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Tracy Morgan

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Tracy Morgan
Morgan in 2009
Born (1968-11-10) November 10, 1968 (age 55)
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
MediumStand-up, television, film
Years active1988–present
Sabina Morgan
(m. 1987; div. 2009)
Megan Wollover
(m. 2015; div. 2020)

Tracy Jamal Morgan (born November 10, 1968)[1] is an American stand-up comedian and actor. He was a cast member on the NBC sketch comedy television series Saturday Night Live from 1996 to 2003, and played Tracy Jordan in the NBC sitcom 30 Rock from 2006 to 2013, each of which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. He also starred as Tray Barker in the TBS comedy The Last O.G.

Early life[edit]

Morgan was born on November 10, 1968, in Brooklyn[2] and raised in Brooklyn's Marlboro Houses and Tompkins Houses in its Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood.[3] He is the second of five children[3] of a homemaker, Alicia (née Warden),[1] and James Morgan Jr IV, a musician who left the family when Morgan was six years old.[3][4]

His father named him Tracy in honor of a platoon mate and friend who shipped off to Vietnam with him and was killed in action days later.[5]

The target of bullies as a child,[6] Morgan attended DeWitt Clinton High School.[3] In 1985, at age 17 in his senior year, he learned that his father had contracted HIV from hypodermic needle use.[7] His father died in January 1987, aged 38.[3]

Morgan married his girlfriend Sabina that year and dropped out of high school just four credits short of his diploma to care for his ailing father.[3] Living on welfare, Morgan sold crack cocaine with limited success,[8] but began earning money performing comedy on the streets[3] after his best friend was murdered. He said in 2009: "He would say to me, 'Yo, Tracy, man, you should be doing comedy.' A week later, he was murdered. And that for me, that was like my Vietnam. I had my survival guilt when I started to achieve success. Why I made it out and some guys didn't."[8]

Morgan embarked on a stand-up comedy career, successfully enough that he "finally moved to a nice community in [The Bronx neighborhood of] Riverdale, from a run-down apartment next to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx."[8]


Morgan made his screen debut playing Hustle Man on the television show Martin. The character sold various items from the "hood", always greeting people with his trademark "What's happ'n, chief?," and had a pet dog he dressed as a rapper. In the 2003 Chris Rock film Head of State, Morgan appeared as a man watching television, often questioning why they are not watching Martin.

Morgan was also a regular cast member on Uptown Comedy Club, a sketch-comedy show filmed in Harlem that aired for two seasons, from 1992 to 1994.

Morgan joined the cast of the comedy series Saturday Night Live in 1996 (Lorne Michaels chose him over Stephen Colbert in the final round) and performed as a regular until 2003. He returned to host on March 14, 2009, and reprised his roles as Brian Fellow and Astronaut Jones. He then made a guest appearance on the 2011 Christmas show, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, and hosted again on October 17, 2015.

Morgan had his own sitcom, The Tracy Morgan Show, in 2003, which was canceled after one season.[9]

From 2006 to 2013, Morgan was a cast member of the television series 30 Rock, playing the character Tracy Jordan, a caricature of himself. His work on 30 Rock was well-received, and he was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series at the 2009 Emmy Awards.[10] He returned to the role in July 2020 for a reunion episode during the COVID-19 pandemic that was an upfront special for NBCUniversal.[11]

In 2018, Morgan began starring in the TBS series The Last O.G.[12] It ran for four seasons until 2021.[13]

Morgan on stage during Opie and Anthony's Traveling Virus Comedy Tour in 2006
Morgan performing stand-up in 2008.

Morgan appeared in a stand-up special, One Mic, on Comedy Central. He also hosted the first Spike Guys' Choice Awards, which aired on June 13, 2007. In 2003, he was on an episode of Punk'd in which his car was towed from the valet parking. He can be heard as Spoonie Luv on the Comedy Central program Crank Yankers and as Woof in the animated series Where My Dogs At?. He also was the voice of Luis in the animated film Rio.

Morgan acted in commercials for NFL 2K, NBA 2K, and NHL 2K, co-starring with Warren Sapp, Ben Wallace and Jeremy Roenick. He appeared in Adam Sandler's film The Longest Yard as a transgender inmate.[14]

In July 2019, he hosted the ESPYs in Los Angeles.[15]

In 2022, the New York Friars Club bestowed the Entertainment Icon Award on Morgan at the club's spring gala. Morgan is only the ninth recipient of the prestigious comedy award, and the first Black recipient.[16][17]


Morgan has listed Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Martin Lawrence, Eddie Murphy, and Richard Pryor as among his primary comedic influences.[18]

Personal life[edit]


In 1987, while in high school, Morgan married his girlfriend Sabina. The pair have three sons together. Morgan filed for divorce in August 2009, after having been separated for approximately eight years.[19] Morgan credits one of his sons with having saved him from his alcoholism.[20] Of his extended family, Morgan said in 2009, "I'm estranged from my own mother and most of my family, and I'm not sure that's going to change much."[8]

In September 2011, on the red carpet at the Emmy Awards, Morgan announced he and model Megan Wollover had become engaged six months earlier in San Francisco.[21] Their first child, daughter Maven, was born in New York City on July 2, 2013.[22] Morgan and Wollover married on August 23, 2015.[23] Morgan filed for divorce July 2020.

In 2023, on an episode of Finding Your Roots, Morgan discovered he is third cousins with American rapper Nas.[24]

Health issues[edit]

In 1996, Morgan was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus and for years has struggled with alcohol use disorder. Morgan has conceded that many of his own troubles were incorporated within 30 Rock episodes.[25] In early December 2010, Morgan received a kidney transplant necessitated by his diabetes and alcohol use disorder.[citation needed] Morgan admitted that he initially did not take his diabetes seriously but later realized the care for it would end up being a matter of life and death.[26]


On October 20, 2009, Morgan's autobiography, I Am the New Black, was released. The book includes stories about living in Tompkins Projects in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, to becoming a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Morgan appeared on National Public Radio's Fresh Air hosted by Terry Gross, at times becoming very emotional about his former life in a New York ghetto.[8]

2014 traffic collision and lawsuit[edit]

On June 7, 2014, Morgan was a passenger in a Mercedes Sprinter minibus involved in a six-vehicle crash in New Jersey. Just after 1:00 am the vehicle was traveling northbound on the New Jersey Turnpike near Cranbury, when it was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer operated by Walmart,[27] causing a chain reaction crash.[28][29] Morgan and three other comedians, including Harris Stanton, along with Morgan's assistant and two limousine company employees, were returning from an engagement at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware, as part of Morgan's "Turn it Funny" stand-up comedy tour.[30] The crash killed Morgan's friend and collaborator, 62-year-old comedian James McNair (Jimmy Mack).[27]

Morgan was taken by helicopter to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, with a broken leg and femur, broken nose, and several broken ribs, and underwent surgery on his leg on June 8.[31] On June 20, 2014, Morgan was released from the hospital and was transferred to a rehabilitation facility to continue recovering from the injuries sustained during the crash. He was released from the rehab center on July 12, 2014.[32]

The driver of the Walmart transport-truck, Kevin Roper of Jonesboro, Georgia, pleaded not guilty to one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. The complaint alleges Roper dozed off and hit Morgan's limousine after swerving to avoid slowed traffic ahead of him.[33] A preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board revealed that Roper had been on the clock since 11:20 the previous morning and was very close to the federal limits of 14 hours per day and 11 hours behind the wheel.[34]

On July 10, 2014, Morgan sued Walmart for negligence. The suit alleged that Walmart either knew or should have known that Roper had not slept for more than 24 hours. The complaint alleged that before his shift, Walmart forced Roper to drive from his home in Jonesboro to a Walmart distribution center in Smyrna, Delaware—a distance of some 750 miles (1,210 km) over 11 hours—even though there were several other distribution centers within a much more reasonable driving distance. Morgan filed the suit on behalf of himself, comedian Ardie Fuqua, Morgan's personal assistant Jeffrey Millea, and Millea's wife Krista. Fuqua and Millea were both on the bus with Morgan and injured in the crash, while at the time of the crash, Krista Millea was eight months pregnant, and the suit charges that she suffered loss of consortium due to the injuries suffered by her husband.[29][35][36] In September 2014, Walmart in court papers cast partial blame on Morgan and the other victims for not wearing seat belts, a claim both Morgan and his counsel denied, noting that the driver who caused the crash had been charged with vehicular homicide and that the police report stated that seat belts were not an issue in the case.[37]

By October 2014, the actor was still undergoing rehab and required a wheelchair when taking more than "some steps."[38][39] On May 27, 2015,[40] Walmart settled the lawsuit for a multi-million-dollar amount.[41] It is estimated that the sum settled for was approximately $90 million US. [42]

On June 1, 2015, Morgan made his first public appearance since the crash, in an interview with Matt Lauer on Today. In that interview, he appeared lucid but said that "I have my good days and my bad days, where I forgot things," and that he also gets recurring headaches. He also stated that he had no memory of the crash. Morgan made a surprise appearance at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards on September 20, and was greeted with a standing ovation. He then hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live on October 17, 2015.[43] On the November 3, 2016 episode of Conan, Morgan said that he was no longer angry about the collision and had forgiven Roper.[44] The driver of the Walmart truck, Roper, accepted a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty but would serve no jail time.[45] Roper was sentenced to pay undisclosed amounts of fines, serve 300 hours of community service, and serve probation.[46] Morgan's 2017 Netflix standup special Staying Alive joked about Walmart and the lawsuit, while detailing his hospitalization, rehab and recovery.[47]


During a performance in Nashville, Tennessee, on June 3, 2011, Morgan made remarks about homosexuals, reportedly stating that if his son were gay, his son better speak to him like a man or he would "pull out a knife and stab him." Morgan apologized, saying that he had "gone too far."[48] NBC Entertainment head Bob Greenblatt stated, "I speak for NBC and myself personally when I say we do not condone hate or violence of any kind, and I am pleased to see Tracy Morgan apologizing for recent homophobic remarks in his standup appearance... Unfortunately, Tracy's comments reflect negatively on both 30 Rock and NBC – two very all-inclusive and diverse organizations – and we have made it clear to him that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated." Tina Fey, Morgan's boss both in fiction and in real life, said, "I'm glad to hear that Tracy apologized .... but the violent imagery of Tracy's rant was disturbing to me at a time when homophobic hate crimes continue to be a life-threatening issue for the LGBT community...the Tracy Morgan I know, ...is not a hateful man and [would never] hurt another person. I hope for his sake that Tracy's apology will be accepted as sincere by his gay and lesbian co-workers at 30 Rock, without whom Tracy would not have lines to say, clothes to wear, sets to stand on, scene partners to act with or a printed-out paycheck from accounting to put in his pocket."[49]

In 2012, Morgan's mother, Alicia Warden, said her Youngstown, Ohio, home was on the verge of foreclosure as a result of being laid off from her job the previous year. Her home value at the time was estimated to be $28,000, and her request for help from Morgan resulted in an offer of a one-time gift of $2,000, which she refused. Morgan responded in a statement: "I am saddened that these untrue stories about me have people questioning my commitment to my family. For reasons that are between us, I have not seen my mother in 11 years and outside of a random call here and there have had little to no contact with my sister. We all have personal family issues that we have to deal with in life, but I choose to deal with mine in private and not through the media."[50] Warden also reportedly attempted to visit Morgan in the hospital shortly after his 2014 traffic accident, but was turned away by hospital security and Wollover (who became his wife in 2015). She said she returned the following day and was allowed five minutes with Morgan, who was still comatose at the time.[51]

In June 2019, Morgan was involved in a minor collision in his newly purchased Bugatti Veyron with a female driver, and he was captured on video tapping on her window and yelling "bitch, get out of the car".[52] According to Mercury News, the other driver was traumatized by Morgan's conduct.[52] A CBS News reporter visited Morgan to get his side of the story and Morgan allowed the reporter through his gate, answered the door himself, but refused to talk.[53]

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • Emmy Awards
    • 2009, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, 30 Rock, nominated
    • 2016, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, Saturday Night Live, nominated
  • Image Awards
    • 2007, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, 30 Rock, nominated
    • 2008, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, 30 Rock, nominated



Year Title Role Notes
1996 A Thin Line Between Love and Hate Bartender
1998 Half Baked V. J.
2000 Bamboozled TV personality
2001 How High Commercial actor/Field of Dreams Guy Uncredited
WaSanGo Woo Ping English dub
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Pumpkin Escobar
30 Years to Life Troy
2002 Frank McKlusky, C.I. Reggie Rosengold
2003 Head of State Meat hustler
2004 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Joel's Neighbour Scenes deleted[54]
2005 The Longest Yard Ms. Tucker
Are We There Yet? Satchel Paige Bobblehead Voice
2006 Little Man Percy
VH1's Totally Awesome Darnell
Farce of the Penguins Marcus Voice
2008 First Sunday Leejohn
Superhero Movie Professor Xavier
2009 G-Force Blaster Voice
Deep in the Valley Busta Nut
2010 Cop Out Paul Hodges
Death at a Funeral Norman
The Other Guys Himself
2011 Rio Luiz Voice
The Son of No One Vincent Carter
Chick Magnet Tracy
2012 Why Stop Now Leopold "Sprinkles" Leonard
2014 Rio 2 Luiz Voice
The Boxtrolls Mr. Gristle Voice
Top Five Fred
2015 Accidental Love Keyshawn
The Night Before Narrator / Santa Claus
2017 Fist Fight Coach Crawford
The Clapper Chris
The Star Felix Voice
2019 What Men Want Joe "Dolla" Barry
2020 Scoob![55] Captain Caveman Voice; Cameo[56]
2021 Coming 2 America Kareem "Uncle Reem" Junson [57]
2022 Spirited Yet to Come Voice


Year Show Role Notes
1992–1994 Uptown Comedy Club Various
1994–1996 Martin Hustle Man 7 episodes
1996–2003 Saturday Night Live Various roles 128 episodes
2000 3rd Rock from the Sun Tracy Morgan Episode: "Dick'll Take Manhattan: Part 1"
Crank Yankers Spoonie Luv Voice
2003–2004 The Tracy Morgan Show Tracy Mitchell 18 episodes; also producer
2006 Mind of Mencia Captain Black Cawk Episode: "Stereotype Olympics"
Where My Dogs At? Woof Voice
8 episodes
2006–2013, 2020 30 Rock Tracy Jordan 137 episodes
2008 Human Giant The Invisible Man Voice
Episode: "I Want More Corn Chowder"
2008–2013 Scare Tactics Himself (host) 20 episodes
2009 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Tracy Morgan/Kelly Clarkson"
2011 Tracy Morgan: Black and Blue Himself Stand-up special
2014 Tracy Morgan: Bona Fide Himself Stand-up special[58]
Mr. Pickles Skids Voice
Episode: "Dead Man's Curve"
2015 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Tracy Morgan/Demi Lovato"
2017 Tracy Morgan: Staying Alive Himself Stand-up special
2018 Somebody Feed Phil Himself Episode: "New York City"[59]
The Raw Word Himself 1 episode
The Simpsons Himself
Tow Truck Driver
2 episodes
Animals Toaster Voice
Episode: "Stuff"
2018–2021 The Last O.G. Tray Barker Main cast
2019 The Twilight Zone J.C. Wheeler Episode: "The Comedian"
Green Eggs and Ham Michael the Fox Voice
Bubble Guppies Dr. Bigmouth Bass Voice
Episode: "Secret Agent Nonny!"
2021 Squidbillies Early Cuyler Voice, season 13[60]
2022 The Neighborhood Curtis Episode: "Welcome to Bro Money, Bro Problems"
2023 The Santa Clauses Easter Bunny Episode: "Chapter Nine: No Magic at the Dinner Table!"[61]


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  2. ^ "Tracy Morgan Born in Brooklyn". Youtube. Jimmy Kimmel Live. September 27, 2022. Retrieved September 28, 2022. Yeah, I was born in Brooklyn
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Lipton, Michael A. (January 12, 2004). "Bowling 'em Over". People. Archived from the original on November 22, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2022.
  4. ^ Fretts, Bruce (November 27, 2003). "Is Tracy Morgan NBC's next breakout star?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
  5. ^ "Tracy Morgan and Jo Koy". The Adam Carolla Podcast. April 7, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  6. ^ Lynette Rice (June 13, 2011). "Tracy Morgan: 'I know bullying can hurt'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
  7. ^ The Star Ledger. section 1. pg 20. June 8, 2014
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  9. ^ Fearn-Banks, Kathleen; Burford-Johnson, Anne (2014). Historical Dictionary of African American Television. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 309. ISBN 9780810879171.
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  11. ^ Rosen, Christopher (June 16, 2020). "A 30 Rock Reunion Is Happening, in a Very 30 Rock Sort of Way". Vanity Fair. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  12. ^ "Review: Tracy Morgan's 'The Last O.G.' is a waste of Tiffany Haddish". USA TODAY. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  13. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (April 27, 2022). "Tracy Morgan's The Last O.G. Not Returning for Season 5 at TBS". TVLine. Archived from the original on April 27, 2022. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
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  17. ^ Genai-Friday, Shanelle. "Tracy Morgan Makes History as First Black Recipient of Friar's Club Entertainment Icon Award". Microsoft News. MSN.com. Retrieved February 23, 2022.
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  20. ^ "Guest: Tracy Morgan | PBS". Tavis Smiley via YouTube. February 17, 2010. Archived from the original on June 25, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
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  23. ^ "Tracy Morgan Marries Megan Wollover During Emotional Ceremony". People. August 23, 2015. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2022.
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  27. ^ a b "Georgia truck driver charged in crash that injured Tracy Morgan". Chicago Tribune. June 7, 2014. Archived from the original on June 7, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
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  29. ^ a b "Morgan lawsuit against Walmart" (PDF). The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  30. ^ "Actor Tracy Morgan in ICU After Crash". NBC. June 7, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  31. ^ "Tracy Morgan 'More Responsive' Day After Crash, Rep Says". abcnews.go.com. ABC News. June 8, 2014. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  32. ^ Deerwester, Jayne (July 13, 2014). "Tracy Morgan released from rehab hospital".
  33. ^ "Tracy Morgan's condition improves". CBS News. June 16, 2014. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  34. ^ Robillard, Kevin (June 6, 2014). "NTSB: Driver in Tracy Morgan crash had been working for 13 hours". Politico.
  35. ^ "Tracy Morgan sues Walmart over deadly crash". CNN. July 12, 2014.
  36. ^ Couch, Aaron (July 12, 2014). "Tracy Morgan Sues Walmart Over Deadly Crash". The Hollywood Reporter.
  37. ^ Gregorian, Dareh (September 30, 2014). "Tracy Morgan: 'I can't believe Wal-Mart is blaming me for an accident that they caused'". Daily News. New York City. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  38. ^ "Tracy Morgan 'struggling' to walk again after crash". One News Now. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  39. ^ Siemaszko, Corky (October 2, 2014). "Tracy Morgan pictured still recovering from crash as he slowly makes his way around home". Daily News. New York City. Retrieved November 30, 2014. Earlier in the day, a News photographer captured shots of Morgan outside his Cresskill, N.J., home.
  40. ^ Reaney, Patricia (May 27, 2015). "Tracy Morgan settles lawsuit with Wal-Mart for undisclosed sum". Reuters. Archived from the original on May 29, 2015.
  41. ^ Stempel, Jonathan (August 7, 2017). "Wal-Mart, insurers settle lawsuits over 2014 Tracy Morgan crash". Reuters. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  42. ^ "Tracy Morgan Medical Malpractice Law Suit". September 18, 2017.
  43. ^ Buono, Antoinette (October 14, 2015). "Tracy Morgan Hilariously Pokes Fun at His Brain Damage in First 'SNL' Promos". Entertainment Tonight.
  44. ^ Feig, Zakk (November 4, 2016). "Tracy Morgan says he forgives driver". Hotnewhiphop. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  45. ^ Napoliello, Alex (November 29, 2016). "Driver in Tracy Morgan crash pleads guilty, avoids prison time". nj.
  46. ^ "Driver in Tracy Morgan crash pleads guilty, avoids prison time". November 29, 2016.
  47. ^ Jung, E. Alex (May 11, 2017). "Tracy Morgan Reflects on Life, Death, and Why He Doesn't Care for Politics". Vulture. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  48. ^ Oldenburg, Ann (June 12, 2011). "Tina Fey:Tracy Morgan is 'not a hateful man'". USA Today. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
  49. ^ Villarreal, Yvonne (June 10, 2011). "'30 Rock's' Tina Fey and NBC honcho Bob Greenblatt respond to Tracy Morgan's homophobic comments". Los Angeles Times.
  50. ^ D'Alstolfo, Guy (February 3, 2012). "Tracy Morgan's mom: 'I'm trying to find the answer'". The Vindicator. Youngstown, Ohio. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  51. ^ Griffith, J. (June 11, 2014). Tracy Morgan's estranged mother: I was turned away at the hospital. nj.com, retrieved February 24, 2022.
  52. ^ a b "Tracy Morgan cusses out other driver following collision involving comedian's $2M sports car". The Mercury News. June 5, 2019. Retrieved December 24, 2021.
  53. ^ "'You Are Going To Jail': Woman Involved In Fender Bender With Tracy Morgan Describes Terrifying Ordeal". June 5, 2019. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  54. ^ "Mind Games and Broken Hearts: Jim Carrey and Michel Gondry on Making Eternal Sunshine". Vanity Fair. March 19, 2019. Archived from the original on March 20, 2019. Retrieved October 23, 2021.
  55. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 22, 2019). "Warner Bros' Animated Scooby-Doo Finds Its Fred & Daphne In Zac Efron & Amanda Seyfried". Deadline. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  56. ^ "Will Forte, Gina Rodriguez and Tracy Morgan to Star in Animated Scooby-Doo Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. March 2019. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  57. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (November 20, 2020). "'Coming 2 America' Sets March 2021 Release Date on Amazon". Variety. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  58. ^ "Tracy Morgan's Stand-Up Special BONA FIDE Set for Release, 4/22 – BWWComedyWorld". April 9, 2014. Archived from the original on March 30, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  59. ^ Morabito, Greg (June 27, 2018). "Watch Phil Rosenthal Embark on a Culinary Quest in the New 'Somebody Feed Phil' Trailer". Eater. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  60. ^ Petski, Denise (November 1, 2021). "Tracy Morgan To Voice Early Cuyler In Adult Swim's 'Squidbillies' In Final Season". Deadline. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
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External links[edit]

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2020 film Scoob!
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