When Tracy Morgan hosts Spike TV’s “Guys Choice” awards on June 13, he’ll be wearing an alcohol monitoring device around his ankle.
There’s no better symbol to Morgan’s current situation. The comedian and “30 Rock” co-star has recently experienced several alcohol-related troubles, but said in an interview with The Associated Press that he’s trying to “keep moving forward.”
In February, Morgan, 38, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drunken driving charges in New York. He previously pleaded no contest to a DUI charge in Los Angeles. As part of his court-ordered treatment, Morgan was recently fitted with the monitoring device, which he’ll wear for two months.
A few weeks ago, a Miami disc jockey filed a misdemeanor battery complaint against Morgan, alleging he groped her, claiming he smelled of alcohol at the time. Morgan declined to comment on that charge because, he said, “It’s still being worked out and resolved.”
Further, a video clip of Morgan appearing on a morning show of a Texas ABC affiliate was posted on YouTube titled: “Tracy Morgan Wasted on Live TV.” In the video, which has been watched by over 430,000 people, Morgan takes off his shirt, slaps his tummy and jokes that the sound is a “mating call.”
Morgan insisted he wasn’t drunk for that television appearance and said he’s disappointed that negative media coverage of him has taken on “a life of its own.”
On his drunk driving, he said: “It happened. Unfortunately, it happened. I’m not perfect. I’m like anyone else. Driving under the influence isn’t cool. I have kids and I don’t want anyone to get the wrong message about that. It’s something I’ve resolved in my life. Things got a little bumpy and it was taken care of. And I feel great about it and feel good in my sobriety.”
Morgan, who is married with three children, said he deals with his alcohol problems “one day at a time.”
“I don’t know about tomorrow, but I know that today I don’t want a drink,” he said.
“I’m a guy!” exclaimed Morgan. “I want to be a guy, guy! I’m the king of the guys that night.”
The show will tape on June 9 in Los Angeles and air June 13 on Spike at 10 p.m. (EDT). Each award category presents two head-to-head nominees, such as “hottest girl on a the planet,” which pits Beyonce against Adriana Lima.
Morgan expects to improvise a little during the show, and even claims he’s never written a joke in his life.
“You conversate,” he said. “To me, Richard Pryor, it was a conversation.”
Morgan, a former cast member of “Saturday Night Live,” will also return to “30 Rock” for its second season this fall. NBC renewed the sitcom for the 2007-2008 season in April.