Reaction to Tracy Morgan’s homophobic rant & the backlash that followed

Tracy Morgan
A ridiculous person who should not be taken seriously.
Today the internet has been on fire with reactions to Tracy Morgan’s performance a week ago at the Ryman in Nashville. Kevin Rogers attended the show and very quickly wrote up a note on Facebook: WHY I NO LONGER “LIKE” Tracy Morgan – A MUST READ.

First, let me say that I don’t agree with Tracy’s homophobic comments at all.. but I’ll defend his right to say whatever he wants to say during a theatrical performance. He is known for saying completely outrageous things.. and for walking audiences. For me, half the fun of going to see Tracy Morgan perform is watching people who don’t know what they’re getting into react.. and I had a ball. gave away dozens of tickets to see Tracy Morgan at the Ryman.. but we made a big deal out of making sure people knew what they were getting into BEFORE we gave them tickets. We posted video clips of his NSFW stand-up online and wrote up a warning:

As crazy as Tracy has acted on television, his stand-up comedy is entirely different. When he was scheduled to perform in Denver, The Comedy Works pre-emptively emailed all ticket holders warning them that the performance would be extremely filthy, “We especially want to make sure you are aware that Tracy’s show is very, very dirty. His stand up show is not what you might expect from seeing him on 30 Rock or Saturday Night Live. His show is the most extreme in nature that we can possibly express.” They even offered to refund tickets prices if buyers decided to opt out of the show.

I attended the show with a comedian buddy of mine and a couple ladies.. and we all had a fantastic time. I wasn’t laughing at the gay-bashing stuff, but I don’t remember it being a show-stopper either. I think I saw 2-3 couples leaving the show early at one point or another, but I
didn’t see any kind of mass-exodus. Honestly, homophobia didn’t seem that out-of-context for the show. It’s Tracy Morgan. He’s said crazy stuff about Sarah Palin, about getting people pregnant.. about everything.. he says crazy stuff. That’s what I expect from him. Plus,
homophobia is a fairly common theme in the culture Tracy is a product of. Not all, but a lot of hip hop acts are pretty quick to say, “no homo.” I’m not defending that, I’m just saying it wasn’t totally unexpected.

After the show, a couple local comics were complaining about Tracy’s show online.. saying it was just, “an hour of butt-fuck jokes” – which is not off-base – but I replied to them that if they don’t enjoy that, it’s their fault for going. Nobody shows up for concerts at the Ryman without knowing what kind of music the band plays. People should know better by now. You can’t just show up at a comedy show and expect that the comedians will be what YOU specifically like. You have to research the acts and seek out what appeals to you. It’d be different if this were an open mic and people didn’t like one of the guys in the line-up – because in that case, that performer wasn’t advertised – there’s no way you could have known what you’d be subjected to that night. With a famous comedian at a theater, you just don’t have that excuse.

Some of the criticism of Tracy has been that “his tone changed” and this homophobic rant “wasn’t funny” – well, that’s not prosecutable. I know people think comedians have to be funny all the time, but that’s not true. Humor is subjective. I didn’t laugh at the homophobic stuff, but I didn’t think much about it at all until this controversy popped up. Tracy had bits that were clearly bits, but he also had portions of his act that seemed, to me, to be completely ad-libbed. When comics do that, they’re really taking a risk – just talking, hoping it’ll end up funny. I’m certainly guilty of that myself.

Writing on stage is fairly common. When a comic is comfortable enough to launch into a subject with only a general idea of where the bit should go, it’s not going to be the punchiest, tightest material ever.. but hopefully the comic can get a feel for where the laughs are and go back and rewrite the bit using what worked and losing what didn’t. Was Tracy doing that on June 3rd? Who knows. I’ll bet he wishes it had come across as funnier than it did. Would those homophobic remarks be justified if it was the funniest thing Kevin Rogers ever heard?

I don’t think Tracy should have apologized at all.. I think comedians should be completely unapologetic and let the act speak for itself. Of course, I’m an unemployed, unfamous comic who has spent the last 10 years driving across the country for little money and less glory. Tracy does have a day job – a primetime show on NBC.. and I’m guessing his handlers felt that he should apologize so he doesn’t jeopardize that relationship.

The main point is: everything Tracy Morgan said was within the context of a theatrical performance. Miranda Lambert sings about loading a shotgun and waiting to kill a guy.. does that mean she’s a confessed murderer? No, it’s an act. “Offensive,” “funny,” and “appropriate” are all subjective terms. Tracy has made a living for himself by being outrageous, ridiculous and shocking. When you go to his show, that’s what you should expect.

Tracy’s inappropriateness IS what’s funny to me. Watching people get upset about him being inappropriate is downright hilarious.

Win FREE Tickets to see Tracy Morgan at The Ryman June 3rd

Tracy Morgan will be performing stand-up at the Ryman June 3rd and N’Sup has some FREE tickets to give away.

Tracy is widely known for being hilariously crazy on “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock,” but is also known for being a little crazy in real life. Some have wondered where the “Tracy Jordan” act ends and the real Tracy Morgan begins. He can be nuts.

Check out this interview he did on WGN to promote some shows in the Chicago area:

As crazy as Tracy has acted on television, his stand-up comedy is entirely different. When he was scheduled to perform in Denver, The Comedy Works pre-emptively emailed all ticket holders warning them that the performance would be extremely filthy, “We especially want to make sure you are aware that Tracy’s show is very, very dirty. His stand up show is not what you might expect from seeing him on 30 Rock or Saturday Night Live. His show is the most extreme in nature that we can possibly express.” They even offered to refund tickets prices if buyers decided to opt out of the show.

Here’s a couple clips of his stand-up – obviously NSFW:

Still on board?

If you’d like to see Tracy live, tickets are on-sale now, starting at $34.50. If money’s tight, we’ve got you covered. will be giving away over 15 pairs of tickets to see Tracy at the Ryman June 3rd at select live shows between now and then AND right here, right now.

Fill out the form below to join’s mailing list & register to win a pair of FREE tickets to the show. We’ll announce the winner(s) about a week before the show. Follow N’Sup on Twitter and/or Facebook to increase your chances to win – we’ll give away tickets there and make announcements about which shows around town you can go to if you want to win free tickets.

Sign up for the N’Sup mailing list so you don’t miss future opportunities!)

Tracy Morgan @ The Ryman Auditorium
Friday, June 3 at 8:00 PM
Tickets start at $34.50

Billy Wayne Davis Returns! With Robots! (updated – withOUT robots)

20091014_billywayne_zaniesBilly Wayne Davis is the thinking man’s hillbilly. With a combination of subtle, disarming intelligence and an unmistakable comfort on stage, he has the rare ability to win over every kind of comedy audience imaginable. After making a name for himself in here in Nashville, TN, he has gone on to perform in virtually every corner of the United States, from the deep south to the “alternative comedy” hotbed of Seatte, WA, which he now calls home. Billy Wayne’s comedy really has no discernible category. He can be personal, shocking, political and absurd, but his ability to form an instant connection with audiences allows him to get away with anything and everything. For Davis, no subject matter is off limits because there is nothing he can’t make funny with his trademark drawl and easy charm. He has worked with some of the biggest names in comedy, including Colin Quinn, Lisa Lampanelli, Louis CK and Mitch Hedberg and has toured as the feature act for national headliner Ralphie May. He has performed festivals, comedy clubs and theaters as diverse as Seattle’s Bumbershoot, The Ryman in Nashville, Comedy Works in Denver and the LA Improv.

This week, B-dub returns to Nashville for one show only Wednesday, October 14th at Zanies. Tickets are available now for $15. Here’s a video clip of what you can expect to see:

Last week, he headlined Side Splitters in Knoxville. WBIR-TV interviewed Billy Wayne to promote his shows, which gave him the chance to repeatedly ask why they would cancel production of The Heartland Series [truly a tragedy and easily the lamest thing to be attributed to “the economy” ever] and relate the story about having the microphone turned off on him at that same Knoxville venue years ago when it was a Comedy Zone franchise. [See the clip on]

For their “web extra” video, BW talked about Seattle, grilled the reporter about The Heartland Series again and told them what’s crazier than a pregnant Puerto Rican lady. [See the clip on]

This Wednesday, Davis returns to Nashville to headline at the comedy club where he got his start. The middle act for the show will be something called “The Comic-Bots Robot Band.” (NOTE: The previously announced feature act “The Comic-Bots Robot Band” will NOT be appearing after all.) Here is a video clip:

UPDATE: The previously announced feature act “The Comic-Bots Robot Band” will NOT be appearing after all. Instead, prepare to enjoy “America’s Favorite Comedian Of All Time” ™ Chad Riden as he performs mostly robot-free stand-up comedy. Here’s video of Mr. Riden:

Billy Wayne Davis. Robots. Chad Riden. One show only! Wednesday, October 14th at Zanies – get your tickets now before the machines rise and buy them all. (The Facebook event is here.)


If you miss that show, you can catch Billy Wayne Davis and Chad Riden Friday and Saturday at Harvey’s South Street Comedy Club in Jackson, TN. (The Facebook event is here.)

Unwigged & Unplugged: An evening with Christopher Guest, Michael McKean & Harry Shearer (5/10 @ Ryman)

unwiggedpressphotobSunday night, Nashville cranks it up to 11. The Ryman Auditorium presents Unwigged & Unplugged: An evening with Christopher Guest, Michael McKean & Harry Shearer. Reports from earlier shows in the tour leave us expecting Spinal Tap classics as well as material from A Mighty Wind and Waiting for Guffman.Rolling Stone reviewed their show at Southern California’s Grove of Anaheim:

The two-hour set alternated songs with brief multimedia bits, such as a clip from Spinal Tap’s first television appearance (on 1979’s The T.V. Show) and a run-down of the edits that NBC’s Standards & Practices department required before the network would air This Is Spinal Tap. (“Shit sandwich” you can understand, but “twisted old fruit”?) Musical highlights included a didgeridoo-enhanced “Clam Caravan”; “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow,” for which keyboardist CJ Vanston and McKean’s wife Annette O’Toole joined the proceedings; a bluegrass rendition of the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up”; and “Majesty of Rock,” introduced not inaccurately by McKean as “a genuine specimen of the rock & roll anthem.” Only “Stonehenge” fell flat, its joke about downsizing done in by the intimate scale of the show.

The trio’s official tour site, has posted a 13 minute clip on YouTube from their May 1st show at the House Of Blues in Houston, TX:

Sunday, May 10 at 8:00 pm

Ryman Auditorium
116 5th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37208

Tickets are $55.50 & $35.50, available from Ticketmaster.

Tennessean: “Musicians rock comedy: Flight of the Conchords, others use music to get laughs” Misses The Local Angle

Today The Tennessean‘s Dave Paulson wrote about Friday’s sold out Flight Of The Conchords show at The Ryman, mentioning Spinal Tap, The Doyle and Debbie Show, Doug Stanhope & The Mattoid (who are at the Exit/In Friday night) and a few Nashville-based funny musicians as well. Read the whole article over at The Tennessean.

It’s an okay write-up, but only okay. Dave could have looked deeper than Nashville’s “funny musicians” to find his local angle. For example..

Lahna Turner
Lahna Turner
Lahna Turner is a very funny lady who now calls both Nashville and Los Angeles home. She is a fantastic stand-up comic with a sick sense of humor and a knack for writing killer funny songs. She has appeared on NBC, Comedy Central and VH1 and has toured the world.

Occasionally, Lahna produces “The Music City Comedy Show” at Zanies Comedy Showplace – a night of funny people who have music in their comedy acts. In the past, the lineups have included Rik Roberts, Steve Goodie, Wynn Reichert, Sean Parrott, Bucky Habanero, and Shantel Adams.

Rik Roberts
Rik Roberts
Rik Roberts is a Nashville-based comic who performs hilarious “super-clean” comedy delivered with a little Southern flavor. His act is largely rapid-fire, family friendly stand-up comedy plus some original comedy songs and a little bit of improvisation. Rik has performed at clubs and colleges across the nation, works many corporate events, and also teaches stand-up comedy classes. Rik regularly hosts showcases of his graduating students and headlines at Zanies.

Steve Goodie
Steve Goodie
Dr. Demento has called Nashville’s Steve Goodie, “One of our most talented 21st-century parodists.” Steve has also appeared on many other radio programs around the nation, including The Howard Stern Show, and The Bob And Tom Show. Every Sunday at 8pm, Steve hosts the show at The Bluebird Cafe, emceeing this renowned evening of songs, keeping it moving along with his nutty witticisms.. and he performs his hilarious songs around Nashville and on the road regularly.

Wynn Reichert uses a tongue-in-cheek delivery to belt out tunes like, “I Need To Get Laid,” and audience favorite, “Sometimes I Wish I was Black.” Wynn is originally from California, lives in Nashville and tours internationally.

Sean Parrott
Sean Parrott
Sean Parrott has been bringing his charismatic stage presence and a unique point of view to comedy clubs and bars all over the Southeast since 2006. Brought up on Bugs Bunny and Monty Python, Sean is an observational absurdist with a keen eye for finding the humor in everyday life. He was recently a Finalist in the Reader’s Digest Nashville’s Funniest Comic Competition and did voice over work for an animated film, “Back to Life, ” that was featured on the Independent Film Chanel. Sean is also half of musical comedy duo, “The Dead Dead” which has been featured on the hilarious “Mangy Dog Whoop Dee Doo” (visit The Dead Dead online at MySpace & FunnyOrDie). Sean performs regularly at Zanies, is actively involved in the DIY comedy shows around town, and will be featured at the upcoming Mangy Dog LIVE show April 18th at 10pm at the Improv Nashville Comedy Theater.

Mangy Dog Live! 2009.04.18Speaking of the Mangy Dog Whoop Dee Doo, this Nashville-based podcast consistently features funny songs and parodies and whatnot produced by local professional funny people Jesse Perry, Mark Anundson, the previously mentioned Sean Parrott, Damian Anaya, Brad Edwards and more..

Mark Anundson
Mark Anundson
Mark Anundson is especially prolific. Not only is he the “Fungenieer” for the Mangy Dog Whoop Dee Doo, but he also hosts WRVU’s wildly popular “Get Up, Stand Up” radio show every Tuesday morning from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on 91.1 FM & archived online in the horrible RealPlayer format. He also produces hilarious songs for his own funny podcast, Happy For Apathy and has released a cd of his musical fun. He recently headlined the Sunday Stand-up Showcase Showdown And Stuff at the Improv Nashville Comedy Theater, improvising several funny songs on the spot using only his keyboard and his very funny brain.

This isn’t nearly a comprehensive list of ALL the musical comedy acts in Nashville.. but it’s a start. Keep an eye on the NashvilleStandUp calendar for upcoming shows featuring these very funny people.