As a stand-up comedian, Tracy Morgan has gained a reputation as someone whose shows are fraught with controversy. This perception became reality during Morgan’s show at The Pabst Theater on Sunday night.
After having previous shows in Milwaukee cancelled, Morgan brought his "Excuse My French" tour in front of an appreciative crowd on Sunday night. Looking noticeably larger in a shiny purple shirt, Morgan addressed his weight gain and said he had to lose some since he was being mistaken for Cedric the Entertainer. The vast majority of the show was dedicated to graphic talk about sex and Morgan’s complicated views of marriage and women.
While Morgan made a point to state that previous audiences and groups had misconstrued his act as misogynistic, there were certainly elements to his set that gave weight to this interpretation. The element that stands out was his possessive take on marriage and how sexually open a spouse should be. However, Morgan somewhat counteracted this later by strongly speaking out against any violence towards women.
Midway through the show, after Morgan talked about the possibility of hooking up in Milwaukee, an inebriated woman made her way down the aisle to the front of the stage. After some brief chatter, she then quickly exposed her breasts to Morgan, much to his delight.
Even though security then escorted her to the lobby, she was somehow allowed to remain at the show and eventually made it back to her seat.
This was a mistake as at the end of the night, Morgan implored her to return to the front of the stage and flash the crowd what he had seen earlier. She did return and thankfully, after failing to successfully negotiate a pact with Morgan where he would have also exposed himself, the woman decided against the public display but let Morgan have another peek.
It was really disappointing to see Morgan egg her on and provide encouragement, so a wave a relief was felt when she, thankfully, didn’t go through with exposing herself to everyone.
Another surprising and far more wholesome element of Morgan’s set was when Morgan talked about Michael Jackson and then sang a beautiful version of "You are Not Alone." Morgan mimicked Jackson’s vocal style very impressively. He also did a solid Michael McDonald later when he randomly sang "What a Fool Believes."
It wasn’t quite a Susan Boyle-esque shock, but it was pretty clear that everyone had the same appreciation for his singing talent.
The supremely confident Morgan’s greatest strength is the fact that he doesn’t put a filter on his perception of the world and his views. While it is refreshing to hear someone talk so openly and honestly, that also creates a strange sixth sense in an audience.
As a fan, you can sense when things are maybe going too far and start to become a bit too taboo. Morgan doesn’t care about crossing any boundaries, and while that can be ugly at times, it also provided extremely funny moments that had The Pabst Theater crowd in stitches.
The opening act for the evening was Marc Theobald, who made a strong impression as someone to keep an eye on. The best part of his act was his story about going to Ocho Rios and being hassled by local vendors to buy a T-shirt. His story was spot-on for anyone that has ever gone on a cruise or visited a Caribbean locale on vacation.
Theobald also had really strong material about experiences he had while touring in London and in Canada. At the end of his set, he transitioned into bluer material to provide a solid bridge to what Morgan was about to offer.