Tracy Morgan wants to get one thing clear: He’s not a TV character.
To be more specific, he’s not Tracy Jordan, the lovable self-centered idiot he portrayed for seven seasons on Emmy Award-winning sitcom “30 Rock.”
The NBC series came to an end in January, and this summer, the Bronx native is on the road doing stand-up, selling out shows but also raising eyebrows due to their extremely sexually explicit nature. A handful of people – probably the ones expecting the guy they saw on TV – have even walked out.
In a recent interview to promote his gig on Sunday at the Fillmore Charlotte, the comic was defensive about his comedy, cranky about “30 Rock,” occasionally unfocused ... and generally very, very entertaining.
Q. Why did you decide to call the tour “Excuse My French”?
We’re dealing with a lot of PC right now in the world, and I’m totally not PC. Some people can’t take that. So to those, excuse my French. I’m keeping it real with my audience. I have a different perspective.
Q. How would you describe your perspective?
It’s how I see life, in a comedic way. I come from the ghetto. I’m not Paris Hilton; I’m not heir to a billion-dollar dynasty. I’m a regular person. I’m everyday people. Regular everyday people inspire me.
Q. “30 Rock” was a part of your life for seven years. Was it tough to –
So has my aunt. My aunt’s been a part of my life for 44 years. Nobody ever asks me about her.
Q. Do you want to talk about your aunt?
We can talk about her. I think she’s interesting. But no, ask me the question about “30 Rock.” I was just being sarcastic.
Q. Was it tough to say goodbye to it?
No. It wasn’t like an aunt or an uncle died. We did seven years of good TV. I was sad to see the people I worked with for seven years not be there anymore, but we’ll see each other again.
Q. Do you keep in touch with the cast?
No, I don’t. I have my own friends. They have theirs. I don’t see what “30 Rock” got to do with Excuse My French. This is why people come to my show and why critics say bad things about me, ’cause all the reporters want to do is talk about “30 Rock,” when I’m really trying to do stand-up. So people come to my show looking for “30 Rock.” It can be frustrating.
Q. Well, I was going to ask, what’s the difference between the rush you get from TV and the rush you get from stand-up?
I love it all. But live entertainment – there ain’t nothing like it. It’s on me. (In my stand-up show) I’m talking about my perspective – how I see life – and injecting my sense of humor into it. People love it. People stand up. That’s the only thing that matters to me. If a few people don’t get it and walk out, I’m fine with that.
Q. I have to admit, I’ve read a couple of pretty harsh reviews (mainly taking issue with the sex stuff) ...
Critics don’t get my show because they are looking for Tracy Jordan. I don’t listen to critics. After every show, I’m getting standing ovations. That’s what matters to me. Not somebody that comes to my show with intent. I don’t care about that. Critics, they ain’t nothing. Let me see you get up and do standup for an hour and a half. If I wasn’t funny, I wouldn’t be invited to Charlotte.