The line between real-life comedian Tracy Morgan and his 30 Rock character "Tracy Jordan" has always been thin. And at his show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, just a week before Morgan takes the stage in Miami for the South Beach Comedy Festival, that line got a little bit thinner.
Fans booed Morgan onstage, walked out, and demanded refunds for what they called a sexist and graphically sexual performance, the city's Herald Sun reports.
Audience members reported that Morgan's set was "beyond the gutter." In a conversation with Australian radio station 3AW, a woman named Sue said:
It was all sexually related. He said he was a pervert and this is the sort of stuff he liked and then it went on from there ... It was like a horrible experience ... He went everywhere, he discussed disabled people having sex, what his experiences were, everything he discussed was just disgusting.
Steve Bennett, comedy reviewer for UK comedy website Chortle, had a similar reaction:
This is an unpleasant, graphic, charmless 45-minute tirade - brevity being a rare redeeming feature - sharing his baser instincts in putrid detail, and very little humour. 'Fucking women are crazy' he tells us, with his advice to the fairer sex being both, 'get yo' ass in the fucking kitchen' and 'give that pussy up and stop this bullshit.' For 'bullshit', he means 'conversation', I think, for as he taps his head, he warns the men: 'Once a woman get in there, she live rent-free.'
But other comics have come to Morgan's defense, noting that sexually explicit comedy isn't exactly new for the 30 Rock star. "I think what he was saying wasn't funny at all," comic Josh Earl told the Herald Sun. "But a simple YouTube or Google search lets you know that that is what his stand-up is like."
Another fellow comic, Tommy Little, also defended Morgan: "People walked out of Tracy Morgan's show because it was sexist, that's like walking out of a musical because there's too much singing."
Morgan has not yet responded to the criticism. He's still scheduled to perform at the Fillmore tomorrow, April 19, at 8 p.m., and his last tweet from Australia shows him soaking up the sights:
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.