A&O Winter Speaker Tracy Morgan delights, shocks

Sarah Eberspacher

Former President George W.Bush. Michael Jackson. Haiti. Chicago’s West Side. No one and no place escaped the barbs of Tracy Morgan Saturday night.

The actor and comedian kept the raunchy jokes rolling for an hour and a half at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall during his stand-up performance as A&O Productions’ Winter Speaker.

“You all wanted it, you all (expletive) got it!” Morgan said. “They say this show sold out in 20 minutes. I feel like Jay-Z!”

Morgan kept the sold-out auditorium of Northwestern undergraduates laughing, gasping and groaning.

A&O members knew Morgan was unpredictable when they booked him, said Sierra Tishgart, co-director of promotions and public relations.

“The show was racy, but that’s just (Morgan’s) unpredictable style,” the Medill sophomore said. “We apologize if any students were offended. Most people know it was a little controversial, but they also know it’s that kind of stand-up comedy.”

The comedian leapt between lines so dirty audience members slid down in their seats to rare moments of serious talk. One less playful moment came when he addressed race relations.

“It’s up to all of you to get rid of racism,” he said. “The whole experience is different (for different races). I think we should celebrate it and even make fun of it.”

Anthony Guzman said he was excited to see the differences between Morgan’s stand-up performance and his character, Tracy Jordan, on the Emmy Award-winning sitcom “30 Rock.” The McCormick freshman and his friends arrived at Pick-Staiger almost two hours early to wait in the cold and get good seats, he said.

“I’m just trying to keep up with the guy and see how he is off-screen,” Guzman said.

Morgan made sure the audience remained alert, even asking a girl who was on her cell phone if she was texting a friend about the offensiveness of his jokes.

“I can tell when you people are judging me,” he said. “I can tell by your laughter!”

Following multiple comments made at the expense of audience members, Morgan said he appreciated the opportunity to perform at NU. The comedian also reminded attendees of how far they can go if they work for what they want.

“Look at me!” he said. “I’m from the projects. Now I’m at Northwestern being funny in front of you people! I flew down because you invited me, and I’m glad to be here!”

Morgan completed his performance by high-fiving and hugging audience members in the front row and kissing two girls­-and one guy. Lex Singer said he was still in shock after Morgan kissed him on the forehead before exiting the stage.

“Tracy Morgan oh-so-delicately grabbed my face and kissed me, and it was the sweetest thing ever,” the Communication sophomore said. “I’m on top of the world. I’m going to call everyone I know. Oh my God! I just need to sit down.”

Singer may have needed to sit down, but undergraduates gave the comedian a standing ovation.

“I love you, too,” Morgan said. “Northwestern is the shit!”[email protected]