Late Night: Tracy Morgan explains his homophobic rant (again)
Of course, Letterman was referring to the homophobic rant Morgan unleashed onstage this summer in Tennessee.
Morgan seemed tired of discussing the subject. "At the end of the day, I'm a comedian. I try to use the gift God gave me to help the world, to heal the world, not to hurt anyone," he said.
He also claimed that he, too, bore some psychic wounds as a result of the incident. "I was hurt by it because people came to the show and were bummed out."
Letterman, who's nothing if not a relentless interrogator, wasn't going to let his guest off that easily. "What were people upset about?"
Morgan explained that his brand of comedy may be less direct than what his audience was used to. "Comedy Central is premise, set-up, punchline. But I came up under the old regime .... Sometimes I have to get to it."
Letterman pushed him once again. "Did you not say what they were upset about?"
"I can't remember. That was maybe 50 shows ago," Morgan replied. "Whatever it was, I do comedy in the spirit of Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, and all the people like yourself that came before me."
Letterman laughed at the comparison, but ultimately expressed his sympathy for Morgan. "Nobody has made more apologies in his lifetime than me," he said.
-- Meredith Blake
Photo: Tracy Morgan. Credit: Art Streiber / NBC.