I Am the New Black

By Tracy Morgan; Anthony Bozza
(Spiegel & Grau, Hardcover, 9780385527774, 224pp.)

Publication Date: October 20, 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc

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Description

The outrageously funny, heartbreaking, and surprising story of Tracy Morgan's rise from ghetto wiseass to superstar comedian.

Who is Tracy Morgan? The wildly unpredictable funnyman who rocketed to fame on Saturday Night Live? The Emmy-nominated actor behind the sly and ingenious character Tracy Jordan on the award-winning hit sitcom 30 Rock, whose turbulent personal life often mirrors that of his fictional alter ego? Is he Chico Divine, the life of the party–any party, anytime, anywhere–getting ladies pregnant everywhere he goes? Or is he a soulful, tender family man who emerged from a hardscrabble ghetto upbringing and, against all odds, achieved superstardom, raised a solid family, prevailed over a collection of lethal bad habits, and is still ascending new heights and coming into his own? The answer is: Tracy Morgan is all that. And a bag of potato chips with a 50¢ soda.

When he was just a boy living in the Tompkins Projects in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, being funny was about survival. With the right snap, Tracy could shut down the playground bullies who picked on him and his physically disabled older brother. And with a wild enough prank, he could exact revenge on whoever stole his Pumas at the community pool. Later, being funny was about escape–from the untouchable sadness of his father's death, from the desperation of the drug dealer's trade, from the life-and-death battles waged on the streets of the South Bronx in the age of crack. But these days being funny is about living his dream–a dream born in the comedy clubs of Harlem and realized on shows like Martin and Saturday Night Live, where he was a cast member for seven years, and in movies like The Longest Yard and Half-Baked.

With brutal honesty and his trademark take-no-prisoners humor, Tracy tells the story of his rise to fame, with all its highs and its many lows–from the very public battles with alcohol and diabetes that threatened both his career and his life to the private and poignant end of his twenty-year marriage. In his singularly warped and brilliant way he muses on family, love, sex, race, politics, ambition, and what it takes to bring the funny.

Hilarious, inspiring, searing, and touching, I Am the New Black is a fascinating peek inside the minds of one of the most compelling and defining comedians of our time.




About the Author

Tracy Morgan is an actor and a comedian. He was a cast member on Saturday Night Live for seven years, has had featured roles in numerous movies, and currently stars on the award-winning sitcom 30 Rock. In 2009 he was nominated for an Emmy Award for his role as Tracy Jordan on that show. He lives in New York City.

Anthony Bozza is a former Rolling Stone staff writer and the author of the # 1 New York Times bestseller Too Fat to Fish with Artie Lange and the New York Times bestsellers Whatever You Say I Am: The Life and Times of Eminem, Tommyland with Tommy Lee, and Slash with Slash. He lives in New York City.




NPR
Tuesday, Dec 29, 2009

The star of NBC's 30 Rock talks to Terry Gross about his tough childhood, how he made the grade in the comedy college that was Saturday Night Live, and why even though he may cry a little on the radio, "the funny bus is still sitting downstairs." (Rebroadcast from Oct. 22, 2009) More at NPR.org

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NPR
Thursday, Oct 22, 2009

Tracy Morgan, a Saturday Night Live alumnus and one of the stars of NBC's 30 Rock, has a new memoir — I Am the New Black — about growing up in what he calls "Ghetto, USA." More at NPR.org

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