* This story was originally published in the November 2008 issue of Complex prior to the presidential elections.
It doesn't get more extroverted than Tracy Morgan. Just months after being bound by an alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet, the 40-year-old 30 Rock star seems looser than ever, drink or no drink. Morgan’s weekly antics on the hit sitcom are about as predictable as a vice-presidential candidate selection; when the SNL alum is in his comedic zone, he’s as much crazy as he is crazy funny. But Morgan’s passion for real-life issues—politics, sobriety and bitches—shows signs of maturation. As he prepares for his busy year, he gave Complex a glimpse into his past (trust us, Prince’s house parties will never be the same) and present. Stay tuned for the best show in America.
You’re supporting Obama. What’s going to happen if McCain wins?
I’m leaving the country. Nothing’s gonna change. That’s the whole thing with Barack and McCain. I’m not just voting for Barack because he’s black. I’m voting for Barack because of his vision. He ain’t just for black people; he’s for all Americans. He’s like Wonder Mike: the red and brown, to the purple and yellow! McCain wants things to stay the same. The same fucked-up way it’s been here for 500 years. So, I’m for a change. I just hope Barack cares if he does win.
What's the difference between the phone calls Barack gets at 3 A.M. and the ones McCain gets?
McCain’s not getting any calls at 3 A.M. His medicine kicks in at 8! Ain’t he got geriatrics or some shit like that? He’s an old man! He has to be in the bed by 9. His room smells like Ben-Gay, medicine and pussy.
Who’s the coolest politician the U.S. has ever had?
Barack! Easily! Ain’t no other president had the crowd laughing and all that. Dude has charisma, he’s got the looks and he’s a cool dude—all the young girls want him! They all want to have his baby. Big pimpin’! No females want McCain, only his wife. Son is getting skin cut off his face and all kind of shit, man. You see how his arms look? He looks like Teddy Ruxpin.
Was there any backlash to your “Black is the new president, bitch!” line on Saturday Night Live?
Morgan: Why would there be a backlash? Why black people got to be ashamed because we want a black president? He’s winning it fair and square. Bush was the one who fixed the votes over in Florida. Why wasn’t there a backlash when Tina Fey said what she said?
Maybe it was more about the "bitch" part…
The bitch part? You don’t think there are bitches out there? That was to all the bitches. All the women and the ladies, I wasn’t talking to them. But that was for the bitches. “Bitches” don’t mean women—“bitches” mean bitches! A bitch is a bitch! And it isn’t just the women. I know some bitch-ass motherfuckers! You know who killed Tupac and Biggie? A bunch of bitches! You know who killed Martin Luther King? A bitch! Whoever did it, you’re a bitch! You know who killed Bruce Lee? A bitch! You know who Satan is? He’s a bitch!
For a while, besides Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy, there was this curse of the black SNL member not getting work after the show; you avoided that.
I’ve been told that before, and I feel flattered and I’m honored, but it’s hard to follow after Eddie. Good Times had gone off. Sanford & Son had gone off. Eddie was the blackest thing on TV. I just say that I had an edge. I came from the hood. They had never seen anything like me. So, if there was a black curse and I did break the curse, I hope it stays broken for other black people coming up behind me. But I have to pay homage to Ellen Cleghorne, Chris Rock and Tim Meadows. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have got a shot.
You’re turning 40 in November. With Jay-Z saying 30’s the new 20, do you think 40’s the new 30?
That’s bullshit! 40 is 40. I feel every bit of it, god damnit. People say shit and then other people reinforce that bullshit. I’ll get out here and do some 20-year-old shit and fuck around and break something! I used to have a serious handle—when I was 20. Now I’m 40! I ain’t getting out there on the court and twisting my ankle so I can’t go to 30 Rock. If my ankle gets twisted, my cash flow stops. I’m not going through a midlife crisis just because I like beautiful women. Motherfucker turn 40 and he don’t like young women, then he’s going through a crisis.
You’re sober now, but you’ve had a history with alcohol. What’s the craziest thing that happened to you when you were drinking heavily?
When I was wilding? I got kicked out of Prince’s house. The last time he won a Grammy, we went to the pre-Grammy party. Free booze all night. Prince had his band in the living room. Everybody left the house except for me and my boy. It was 6 o’clock, 7 o’clock in the morning, the sun was coming up, and we were still drinking. And Prince and his wife were at the door in their pajamas and said, “Come on, Tracy, you’ve got to go.” And I was gay for about five seconds because he’s a pretty motherfucker. If Prince was a woman, I would go down on him. All the way down. Swell his vagina lips up.
[Laughs.] Before your divorce, you were with your high school sweetheart for 20 years. How hard was it to stay faithful?
Shit was hard, but I stayed faithful. No women ever took me from my wife. Alcohol took me from my wife. Partying took me from my wife. She just got sick of the drinking and stuff. Once a woman is fed up, there ain’t much you can do about love. I hope to get married again. And I’m going to correct all the mistakes I made with her in my new marriage. Who knows? She may come back to me. My door’s always open.
"Right now I’m doing my thing, and there’s nobody that’s slowing me down. I’m moving at 100 miles per hour."
How’s the dating scene now?
Horrendous! I keep meeting fucking golddiggers. It’s one thing if you’re broke, and the female loves you and helps you struggle to get where you want to go. It’s easy to love somebody when they’re there already. I haven’t been on the dating scene for 21 years. I don’t think I’ll ever find real love out there. When I met my wife, it wasn’t about love and money; we were happy with just love. My woman was good with money. She wanted to always put something away for the rainy day and things like that. I was the one spending. Now a chick want to spend all my money up—and then give me a hassle when I want my dick sucked! Right now I’m doing my thing, and there’s nobody that’s slowing me down. I’m moving at 100 miles per hour. If you can’t keep up, you got babies and you got problems, that shit going to slow you down. I don’t need it. I’m trying to tell my friends, man, I got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t going to be one.
Are you still getting dragged by your friends to the strip clubs?
I haven’t been to a strip club in three or four years. I don’t do that shit no more. When I was a child, I thought like a child, I spoke like a child, and I acted like a child. I don’t want to sit down and watch other women. I’ll tell my [next] wife to get on the bed and put big draws on and throw $400 dollars at her—then take the money back and go food shopping.
You’re playing a character named "Busta Nut" in Deep in the Valley next year. How would you feel if that nickname stuck?
I don’t want anything to stick on me. A character’s a character for that moment. You didn’t call Richard Pryor “Mudbone.” You called him Richard Pryor. That’s respect. You’re not going to put “Busta Nut” on my star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. You’re going to put “Tracy Morgan” on. That’s what my mother and father named me. When I’m in the street and people go, “Yo!” or “Hey!” I don’t respond to that. If you know me you’re going to say, “Yo, Tray! Tracy Morgan! Tray Bag!” That’s when I respond. “Tray Morg!” That’s how my peoples call me. “Caligula!” “Big-Dick Tracy!”
He was Caesar of Rome. Stuck a fucking ring in somebody’s ass! He would have orgies all day. Caligula!
If Tracy Morgan is the alpha male of comedy, Christopher Mintz-Plasse is the beta: living proof that you don’t have to muscle your way into stealing the spotlight. After he and his fake ID stole the show in last year’s Superbad, the 19-year-old L.A. native has parlayed his reedy charisma into a gang of projects for the coming year. This month, check for CMP to play a sword-wielding introvert in Role Models—and then in 2009 to stop typecasters in their tracks by playing the bad-guy role in an adaptation of Mark Millar’s dark graphic novel Kick-Ass. Bottom line: If you’re one of the circle-jerking frat boys still calling him McLovin, quit while you’re ahead. You can beta your life on it.
So, you’ve got the chance to vote for the first time. Who’s your choice?
Mintz-Plasse: I’m going to stick with Obama. McCain is a crazy old dude. I don’t think he’ll do much better than what Bush has done. I want to give the Democrats a chance and see what they can do.
Because you were a minor when you filmed Superbad, your mom had to be on the set. How weird was that for you?
It was only weird when she was there watching me have sex, and that was extremely weird. But I think it was for the best, because when we watched the movie and the sex scene came up, it wasn’t awkward at all, since she'd been right around the corner when it was going down.
She must have been so proud of you!
She was like, “My boy knows how to fuck!” So, yeah, I’m really, really happy.
Did she ever walk in on you with a girl?
No, I don’t bring girls back to my house for that reason. I never did in high school—the car was always the best place for high schoolers because we didn’t have our own house. Sometimes the girl’s house would work out.
Was that scene the farthest you’d gotten in high school?
Ummm…no. [Laughs.] It wasn’t my first time. I wasn’t actually like McLovin in high school.
“Everyone knows my face now; it’s cool when it’s cute girls, but when it’s douchebags, that gets hectic.”
Now that you’re a breakout star, how have the groupies been?
Everyone kind of knows my face now; it’s cool when it’s cute girls, but when it’s douchebag guys that like to grab my arms and throw my face into the camera and be like, “Take a picture with me!”—that kind of gets hectic. I’ve had girls grab my shirt and just get in my face and tell me, “I want to suck your dick!” Flat out, without any introduction or anything.
Ever follow through?
Nah. [Laughs.] I’m not that type of guy. I want to actually meet the girl and talk to her for an hour or two. Not just have a random girl pleasuring me without me knowing her name. That’s not this guy’s way.
Has the "McLovin" nickname become a pain in the balls yet?
I try not to go out as much. If I do go out, it can get annoying. I went to Chipotle one time, and there was a bunch of teenagers whispering to each other and looking at me. It was really fucking awkward, and then as I was going to leave, this stupid kid ran up to the car door and put his hands in his pants and was like, “I got a boner, I got a boner”—like the McLovin line—and he was running next to the car with his finger in his pants. I just kind of laughed at him. If there wasn’t a car door there, man, I would’ve gave him a kick to the nutsack.
Talk about Role Models, with Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott.
I play an extremely awkward, loner kind of kid with no friends. Paul Rudd’s character tries to bring out my better side.
Seann William Scott sometimes can’t shake “Stifler.” Have you guys talked about nicknames sticking?
We did actually, one of the first days on set. I asked him if he ever got past the nickname; he was like, “Yeah man, after two more movies, people will completely forget about it.” We’ll see what happens in a few years. He’s one of the nicest guys, man. He actually makes me feel like an asshole.
He claimed to take down Jessica Simpson. Did he ever tell you about that?
Did he? I was actually in the room, on the other side of Jessica, when that happened. Eiffel Tower status. We did the Eiffel Tower and the Magician. Seann was nailing her. Then I ran in, and right when he pulled out, I went in. And she didn’t even know that we switched, so she was like, “This is still Seann!” And then she turned around and saw me, and she was fucking way happier than she was when it was Seann.
[Laughs.] Since you’re the youngest on set, has there been hazing from the Apatow crew?
What would you do if Seth Rogen tried to give you a swirly?
“Really, Seth? You’re 25—you’re going to give me a swirly?” Fuck it. Do what you gotta do. Let him, probably.
I saw a webisode you did about the “Dangers of Teabagging” that racked up some hits on YouTube.
You saw that? My publicist told me to take it down.
Well, it’s still up…
That’s awesome you saw that. It was my buddy’s idea. We were bored one Thursday night, so we took three hours out of our night and filmed it. No balls were actually placed on faces. I just want to clear that up. Our buddy is an editor.
After a debut like Superbad, how much pressure is there to stay relevant?
It’s tough, man. I would get scripts back in the day for Sydney White and the 7 Dorks, for something coming out called Hotel for Dogs, and I just have to stay away from things like that. The good thing about being young is that I don’t have a family to feed or a mortgage to pay, so I can take my time with picking scripts. Role Models is going to be hilarious, and Year One is going to be really funny, and then I’m doing one with Matthew Bond, which is going to be an action-comic.
Yeah, I’m playing the son of a mobster who’s like the villain pretty much, and he needs to get Kick-Ass and he wants to kill him. As a son, I want to bond with my dad, so I ask him to get me a costume, and I dress up as a superhero to lure him in, but in the end I figure out Kick-Ass is a good guy and my dad is the bad one.
Spoiler alert. If you were ever in a fight, what would be your dirty move?
Probably a kick to the balls. It’s a cheap shot. If I was losing, that’s what I would do. Just nail them in the nutsack. I’m not an angry guy, though. I’m a lover, not a fighter.
I heard you were taking shots at the Playboy mansion at an afterparty. What’s the craziest night you’ve had in Hollywood since you became a star?
I’m underage; I don’t know if I should talk about that. [Laughs.] You know, I just party with my friends and go visit them at college. But there’s a bunch of movie stars, like Jessica Alba and people I would never expect to know me, who love me from the movie and come up to me like, “Oh my god, Chris, so good to see you!” And I'm like, Wow, you’re excited to see me?
Is Jessica Alba your celeb-crush?
She was when I was younger and watching Dark Angel. Now I’ve kind of moved on. She had a baby and got married. I’m over it. I think Blake Lively is pretty cute; she’s my new crush for now.
You have an advantage when it comes to landing younger Hollywood starlets because it wouldn’t be considered inappropriate. How do you feel about Vanessa Hudgens?
Isn’t she dating Zac Efron?
Yeah, but what does that mean?
True. Fuck it, let’s do it. Vanessa, if you’re reading this article, I want you. On top of me.
You’ve worked with some of Hollywood’s most promising comedians: Who was the funniest you’ve worked with so far?
Steve Carell and Michael Cera. Even when they’re off-set and chillin’, everything that comes out of their mouths is hilarious.
In some of your webisodes, you say you need money to deal with your cocaine habit. What do you spend your money on besides coke?
Umm, pretty much just coke. I buy it by the ounce by the week. It’s a lot of money, and I can’t buy DVDs or video games, so I just stick to coke.
Who’s your line partner?
Well, I just did a line with Tracy Morgan before this interview, so maybe he’ll be my new co-pilot.