Tracy Morgan, A&O’s Winter speaker, seemed a little too eager to come to Northwestern, but it’s still unclear whether we were ready for the 30 Rock star and his brand of humor.
A&O seemed determined to not let anyone in a minute before — or even few minutes after — the clock struck seven on Saturday, as the crowd outside Pick-Staiger Concert Hall grew and the temperature plummeted. A single microphone, a stool with a glass of ice water and a piano bench sat poised on stage awaiting the comedian’s arrival.
Morgan took the stage around 7:30 p.m. with two escorts from University Police and a warm reception from students. One particular female student declared her love for Morgan, to which he promptly replied, “Show me your titties.” This set the tone for the evening. Morgan quickly noted how close the stage was to the first row of seats, an opportunity he would take advantage of later in the set.
After pointing out the only two African-American students he could find in the front row, Morgan quickly launched into a rather typical, albeit raunchy, stand-up performance. He questioned Tiger Woods’ recent stay at a sex therapy clinic, explaining that everyone but babies and the elderly are sex addicts.
Morgan also informed Northwestern students that if his 18-year-old son ever does try to fight him, the fight would take place in the nude and his son would have to live with the fact that his father’s balls touched his leg.
The tone of the night took a noticeable turn when Morgan asked for the gay men in the audience to cheer. He explained that while he harbors no hatred for homosexuals in general, he doesn’t appreciate when they try to “suck [his] dick.” Morgan repeated the joke several times, and the laughs became more and more hesitant.
Morgan then turned his attention to the front row of the audience. Labeling one of the girls a “fat ass,” Morgan asked if she had swallowed a black girl. No one left Morgan’s crosshairs unharmed. White, black, Asian, gay, handicapped, there were few groups that went un-stereotyped or without ridicule. The comedian said that it was all in good fun, healthy even, that we need to be able to laugh about these things, but Morgan sensed the tentative laughter, graphing out the level of laughter with his hand. “Fucking laugh at everything I say,” Morgan said.
The obvious white majority in the crowd didn’t escape Morgan’s racially charged humor for a second. He spoke about “white rage” and the need to get laid, pointing out a particular male member of audience as a potential shooter.
The SNL alum touched on several other “topical” subject matters such as 9/11, the search for Osama Bin Laden and George W. Bush’s inadequacies as a president. The set came to a close with an overlong, gross-out joke about Morgan’s first “baby girl,” who had a tiny arm, a dialysis bag, leg braces and a voice box. “She was fucked up, but she was my baby girl,” Morgan explained.
Though the evening was filled with laughter, it wasn’t clear whether it was because Morgan was funny or the audience didn’t know what else to do. The one thing people seemed to be able to agree upon was that they were lucky their seats weren’t in the first row.