Tracy Morgan: Not About to Dis 'SNL'

By Daniel R. Coleridge,
TV Guide Online - 11/19/03

Last weekend, "Elf" star Will Ferrell beat out Russell Crowe for No. 1 Hollywood honcho at the box office. We'll bet his "Saturday Night Live" compatriots - a famously competitive lot - are pea green with envy! But they'll never admit it. "I'm Will's biggest fan," insists Tracy Morgan, who also exited "SNL" recently. "I say, right on! It's good to let you know the show is still producing stars."

Perhaps one of "Elf's" advantages is that it's not based on an "SNL" character, unlike Ferrell's previous big-screen disappointment, "A Night at the Roxbury," which co-starred Chris Kattan. Such gaffes make Morgan cautious of making similar mistakes, however tempting they may be.

"['SNL' producer] Lorne Michaels and I have never sat down and spoke about it," he says, "but Brian Fellow movies would be great. But there's so much more in me. I think I'd like to do what Eddie Murphy did and just leave [my old] characters for 'SNL.' We never saw the Gumby movie, right? So I think I'd like to stay creative and move forward."

Morgan isn't about to dis "SNL," though. He says he dreams of returning someday to host an episode. Yet the jokester will admit that "it's hard to emerge on 'SNL,' where you have 15 or 16 cast members." Which is why he feels fortunate to have landed his own NBC midseason comedy, "The Tracy Morgan Show" (debuting Dec. 2 at 8 pm/ET). "My career fell in my lap," he says modestly. "I'm a lucky guy." Just how lucky remains to be seen.