Tracy Morgan has a new outlook on life following his near-fatal car accident in June 2014.
The 48-year-old comedian-actor stars in the upcoming TBS comedy he co-created with Jordan Peele and John Carcieri, The Last O.G., and he opened up about why he chose to surround himself with veteran comedic actors like Girls Trip’s Tiffany Haddish, Black-ish’s Allen Maldonado and Cedric the Entertainer for his return to series television.
“Maybe I’m just a better man since the accident. Maybe I’m just a better man. It ain’t about me. It’s bigger than me,” Morgan told reporters Thursday at the summer Television Critics Association press tour, reiterating that fact: “I’m just a better man now. I know it ain’t about me. It’s bigger and I thank God for that.”
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On The Last O.G., Morgan plays Tray, an ex-con who is shocked to see how much the world has changed when he is released from prison after a 15-year stint. Returning to his gentrified Brooklyn neighborhood, he discovers that his ex-girlfriend has married an affable, successful white man who is helping raise the twins Tray never knew existed.
Morgan addressed the physical challenges he faced filming the show since his accident, crediting his co-stars for looking out for him during production.
“I have production and I have my crew and I love them, and they make sure I sit down. Cedric and Al and Ryan [Gaul] and Tiffany, they all [tell me], ‘Sit down.’ They don’t ask me, they say, ‘Sit down for a little while. Sit down.’ So I’m good. I’m taken care of by my people and I love them with my heart and thank you for thinking about that. I’m well taken care of,” Morgan said.
The theme of “second chances” has been a noticeable through line in Morgan’s recent projects, most notably his Netflix comedy special, Staying Alive, earlier this year. When asked what it means to him to be able to star on a half-hour comedy, three years after his serious traffic collision, Morgan was reflective.
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“What does it mean to me? Thank God, that’s all I can say. Self-explanatory, thank God,” he said.
Morgan also previewed what viewers can expect when the season kicks off this fall, commenting that though the cast is predominantly black, he does not see it as solely about the black community.
“It’s not going to only explore the black community, but humanity. This isn’t a black show; this is a show about humanity. This is a show about second chances. This is a show about redemption,” Morgan explained. “I want it to transcend that. Black people ain’t the only ones who live here. … There are white people who come home from prison too, so we didn’t want to deal with that like that. I wanted to deal with humanity.”
The Last O.G. premieres with back-to-back episodes on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on TBS, before launching in its regular time slot at 10:30 p.m. the following week.
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