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Saturday, April 5, 2014

DVD Review: Tracy Morgan: “Bona Fide”

I used to watch Tracy Morgan when he was on Saturday Night Live (the years he was one were the last I really watched that show), but these days he’s much better known for his work on 30 Rock. Now his new comedy special, Bona Fide, has him returning to stand-up as well as returning to his home town of Brooklyn.

He begins his show by talking about growing up in Brooklyn, where he sold crack for a time. “I was a crack dealer with a heart of gold,” he says. A lot of his material is about growing up and about his family, and much of it is truly funny. “My aunt was a crackhead. I remember one Christmas she bought me a Game Boy. I was like twelve years old. She bought me a Game Boy. And then stole it. Then she helped me look for it.”

Tracy has a quick, loose delivery, easily moving from one subject to the next. Some of his comedy deals with race issues. About Occupy Wall Street, he says, “Black people occupy all streets.” About Paula Deen, he says: “She was eighteen years old when the Civil Rights Act was passed. That’s eighteen years of saying ‘nigger’ for free. White people you don’t just wake up one morning and be like, ‘I’m nigger-free now.’ No, you’ve got to wean yourself off that word.” (He brings Paula Deen up again later, which is great.)

His recurring theme, or message, is that things are getting dark, and he offers many examples. Such as how even shopping the day after Thanksgiving is dangerous, and how sports have gotten more serious with the use of steroids (“What happened to the good old days… when baseball players just did cocaine?”).

He tells a great anecdote about going to a party at Prince’s house. And about fat girls, he has this to say: “I love chunky chicks ‘cause no matter where you touch ‘em they feel like titty.”

His material on fighting is a bit weak. And he does sometimes milk things a bit, repeating something that gets a laugh.  But I appreciate his stance on how people rely on technology too much. And I love that he returns to that thought again at the end, ripping on text messages.

Bona Fide is approximately sixty minutes.

Bonus Material

The DVD includes the encore from his performance. He comes back out asking himself, “What the fuck am I gonna talk about now?” Well, he talks about porn and sex and masturbation. This feature is approximately five minutes.

Bona Fide is scheduled to be released on April 22, 2014. It will also air on Comedy Central on April 20, 2014 at 10:00 p.m.

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