Tracy Morgan honored with key to Brooklyn
BP Adams presides over emotionally charged event for The Last O.G. star and family
Few celebrities have enjoyed as symbiotic a relationship with the Borough of Brooklyn as Tracy Morgan.
Currently filming his hit TNT show “The Last O.G.” for TBS in and around Bushwick, Morgan has also led the renovation and upgrade for the Marcy Playground, where he himself played as a child some 40 years ago. In the wake of a devastating 2014 brain injury, Morgan also claimed a need to reconnect with the borough as a vital perquisite for his recovery.
“I don’t care where you go in the world,” Morgan said while dedicating the newly upgraded Marcy Playground. “If you can’t give love back home, it ain’t real.”
Now, the time has come for Brooklyn to give some love back.
Gathering at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall, in view of friends, family, supporters and fans, Borough President Eric Adams offered the Key to Brooklyn to an emotional Morgan.
“He knows how to show love the Brooklyn way,” said Adams. “Not pretentious, not distant, not uncomfortable being around folks who really made his success. Giving back. When you hang out with him, you feel no different than hanging out with someone standing on the corner of Tompkins Avenue holding a Colt 45.”
“I don’t know what to say, man,” Morgan began, before becoming choked up with emotion. Upon receiving the key from Adams, Morgan raised it high in the air like a boxer who has just won the heavyweight championship of the world belt.
“This is for you, this ain’t me,” Morgan said as friends and family joined him in front of the microphone. “I’m in service to you. I don’t even know what to say.”
Morgan came into fame as a recurring guest on Martin Lawrence’s show “Martin,” before being cast in Saturday Night Live for several seasons and later appearing in the sitcom “30 Rock”.
Currently, he plays the eponymous character in TBS’s “The Last O.G.”. In the show, Morgan, who also serves as executive producer, plays Tray Barker, a paroled gangster trying to adjust to life in his rapidly gentrifying Bushwick neighborhood.
With mostly positive response from critics and viewers, largely based on the strength of Morgan’s performance, a second season was ordered last spring.
In April of 2018, Morgan unveiled his star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame.
Over the years, Morgan has famously grappled with personal issues, including diabetes and alcoholism, which ultimately led to him receiving a kidney transplant in 2010. He was later hospitalized and in rehab for more than a month following the 2014 limousine crash that led to the death of his collaborator, James McNair.
Even after his discharge home, Morgan still required the use of a wheelchair and ongoing therapy for brain injuries. His lawsuit against Walmart, which operated the truck that struck his limousine, was settled for an undisclosed amount in May 2015.
“I wanted to know who I was after the accident. So I went to Ancestry.com,” Morgan told the audience. “You know where the chart says 20% Native, or 25% African-American? Mine just said, ‘Screw it, Brooklyn!’ When I do comedy in Africa or Australia, Brooklyn is in the house.”