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Review: Tracy Morgan occasionally hilarious, mostly harmless at Hard Rock Cafe in Tampa

Tracy Morgan, shown here in more dapper times.

Archive photo

Tracy Morgan, shown here in more dapper times.



Right away, Tracy Morgan acknowledged the paradox of having a stand up comedian perform at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa Sunday night.

“They don’t even do comedy here,” he yelled in his trademark incredulity. “Comedy and gambling don’t go together. Ya’ll depressed cause you just lost all your money. You ain’t gon’ laugh.”

The laughs could be heard on the casino floor.

The 44-year-old comedian and 30 Rock star filled the next 35 minutes of his set with observational humor, tried and true jokes and gross-out humor mostly about sex. At times cringeworthy and others extremely funny, Morgan maintained control over the small crowd – no hecklers dared to raise their voices.

“Where the hell is everybody?” Morgan asked at the top his set. “This making me look bad. We didn’t even have to do this here. I could have done this show in my hotel room.”

For the entirety of the performance, the Hard Rock Café remained a little less than half full, a sign the venue isn’t known for it’s comedy shows. Morgan’s entrance music wasn’t the Notorious B.I.G. as he requested – which he noted. And as if teeing him up for some early laughs, before Morgan came out on stage, some employee put a 24-pack of bottled water on a stool on stage.

Hints of the misogyny that drew ire from fans in Australia last week popped up in strange places. A long story joke about Morgan’s own mother ended on an extremely explicit sex scene. And the three times he dipped his toe in the well of celebrity, Morgan insulted Kim Kardashian’s inability to cook, defended Chris Brown because of his age at the time of his incident with Rihanna and admitted that if Michael Jackson was alive he’d skip the line at Neverland to be touched before the children.

The broad base and rambling delivery ensured there was laugh hidden in there for everyone brave enough to sit through an entire set.

If you loved Tracy Jordan, this show was the HBO version of his 30 Rock persona.

Sunday night was his last show in Florida, but he could be back anytime now that he’s not shooting a television show.

Hopefully, next time the venue will get his entrance music right.

-- Robbyn Mitchell, tbt*

[Last modified: Monday, April 22, 2013 12:11am]


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