Whatever you think you know about Tracy Morgan’s life is probably true. This is a guy who keeps sharks as pets, owns one of Michael Jackson’s famed gloves and says his summer hobbies include doing karate and getting girls pregnant. So when I found out I would have 10 minutes on the phone with him, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would he even respond to my questions? Or would he just start yelling at me? The answer was a little bit of both. It took him a few minutes to warm up, but once Morgan got going, it was hard to get a word in. On Thursday, he’ll perform two sets of stand-up at the Howard Theatre.
“30 Rock” is over after the next season. What do you hope happens to Tracy Jordan?
I hope he gets a billion dollars, I hope he does something crazy. I have no idea what these writers have in store. I hope he doesn’t die.
That would be a sad way to end it.
If I’m going down in this damn plane crash, everybody’s going down in this damn plane crash.
You’re going to be on an upcoming episode of Animal Planet’s “Tanked,” where you had a custom shark tank built. What made you start collecting exotic pets?
When I was younger, my father, he was into nature and everything. That’s what it was, my dad got me into it when I was really young. I’ve always been fascinated with animals.
Not many people have pet sharks.
I have a crazy life, I’m Tracy Morgan.
So you have to have crazy animals?
I’m a little eccentric. I have a Michael Jackson glove. I have Muhammad Ali’s boxing shoes. I’m trying to get Evel Knievel’s helmet. I’m trying to get a pair of Bruce Lee’s ’chucks that he used in “The Game of Death.”
What makes you collect these things?
Cause they’re rare. I like that. I’m a rarity. You ain’t never seen a Tracy Morgan a day in your life.
You’ve often been called a filthy comedian.
I don’t think it’s filthy. That’s the misconception in America. We’re not comfortable with sex, so when it comes to talking about something, that’s like saying where I come from is filthy and dirty. Where I come from is promiscuous. Where I come from, we used sex as a sedative. It eases the pain of poverty. I talk about what I know.
Do you consider yourself a truth-teller, then?
I love telling the truth; I’m not gonna start living a lie. It takes too much energy, man. I’d rather tell the truth, man. I don’t think you should call it dirty and filthy. Maybe you should just say different.
At your stand-up shows in D.C., will you be doing any political material?
No, I’m not doing that. I don’t know anything about politics. As a matter of fact, I don’t even call it politics, I call it “politricks.” No matter who’s in the White House, I think it’s all a politrick.
Are you currently working on new material?
Nope, I’m living.
Breathing, waking up, taking care of my family. Nothing specific. I’m not doing show business 24/7. I got a family. Show business is very small to me in my life.
The Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW; Thu., 7:30 & 10:30 p.m., $55-$60; 202-803-2899. (Shaw)
I don’t live in TV land all day. That [expletive] is stupid. That’s not real. I have things I have to do day-to-day. Like everybody else.