July 15th, 2009
02:01 PM ET

‘30 Rock’ clown sheds tears for King of Pop

“I cried.” That’s how funny man Tracy Morgan reacted when he heard the news that Michael Jackson had died.

Tracy Morgan

During an interview with Morgan for the new film "G-Force," I couldn’t help but ask him about it - he was sitting across from me wearing a t-shirt with Jackson’s face on it.

I was in the last group of journalists to be filed through Morgan’s multi-camera appointed suite. It was late in the day, so I asked Morgan if he was tired. He said he was feeling good and that he was excited to talk about his new film.

Morgan lends his big voice to one of the tiny characters in "G-Force," a 3-D, live action, animated film in theaters later this month. We talked about the film and his experience on the NBC comedy "30 Rock." I asked him about the pressure of having to be funny on cue.

Then I tiptoed into: “Would you care to comment on the untimely death of Michael Jackson?” When discussing loss, I believe you can never be too careful. Although Morgan was wearing a ‘King of Pop’ t-shirt, I wasn’t sure if he would want to talk about it, but I had a feeling.

Morgan got quiet and looked down. He explained that he grew up with Michael Jackson. He said that no one was allowed to say anything bad about "Mike" in his house. I understood. Tracy Morgan didn’t actually know Jackson personally, he just felt like he did. He spoke for a while, but it was immediately clear just how much Jackson meant to him.

“I know I was this close to meeting Michael Jackson,” Morgan said. “I met everybody in showbiz except for Michael, and I know I was this close. But I can honestly say I think I made him laugh. I’m quite sure I made him laugh. I’m good with that.”

I left the interview hoping that was true.

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Christopher Taylor

    sadly, the King of Pop will never be coming back again, oh i missed Michale Jackson*-"

    October 4, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tammy M Jackson

    I have listened to Jackson Five / Michael Jackson my whole life. (43 years!) I loved him for him... his voice, his dancing, charity work... just an awesome human being!! I never thought ONCE what color he was. Most of the white community grew up with Michael Jackson because his music was a reflection of their culture, as well. Why does race always enter conversation? Can we move on here?

    July 17, 2009 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dawn

    I also agree with T. Morgan, I would never say any thing negative about
    Michael Jackson. People made comments about his nose surgeries and accusations of trying to be another race but I've always remained loyal to him. I never knew him pesonally and sometimes questioned his choices, but I grew up listening to his music and always will remain a MJ fan!

    July 17, 2009 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Carina Lobel-West

    I knew i was right in loving Tracy from the first time I saw him in those overalls !!!! More Power to U brother U are a good man. ... and funyyyyyy !!! to boot. U are one of my favorite five comedians of all time.
    I also cried and cried and cried and still do at the drop of his name.
    I just wish they would Leave Him Alone !!! like He asked.
    The media can do so much good and so much bad too !!!!
    I sure would like to be up dated as to your next visit to Houston, if U'll even come to the south ??? Pleeeeeese, Thank U

    July 17, 2009 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ke

    Touching. RIP MJ.

    July 17, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. todds

    right, kristal – only african americans grew up with michael jackson – more like every person with a television in the world in the 1980s.

    July 17, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kristal Benjamin

    I agree with Tracy Morgan. Most of the people in the African-American community grew up with Michael Jackson because his music was a reflection of our culture. From childhood to adulthood his voice was always there. My most cherished memories are from Christmas because we always had to play his Christmas songs on this day.

    July 15, 2009 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |

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