05-21-2018  9:35 pm      •     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

The Latest: Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on the case of LGBTQ discrimination at an Oregon high school.6:30 p.m.:The principal of an Oregon high school will resign and its school district will commit to improving the climate for LGBTQ students as part of a settlement reached between the American Civil...

Paul Allen donates jumiM to Washington gun initiative

SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has donated jumi million to a campaign seeking to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 in Washington state.Allen made the announcement on Twitter Monday.The Alliance for Gun Responsibility says...

Man accused of trying to kill woman with opioid spray

MUKILTEO, Wash. (AP) — An Everett man is accused of holding down his ex-girlfriend at a Mukilteo hotel, shoving Xanax down her throat and forcing a fentanyl spray up her nose in what police say was attempted murder.The Daily Herald reports the woman survived and was able to escape and alert...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

China sentences Tibetan activist to 5 years for separatism

BEIJING (AP) — China has sentenced a Tibetan language activist to five years in prison for inciting separatism after he appeared in a documentary video produced by The New York Times.Tashi Wangchuk's lawyer Liang Xiaojun told The Associated Press that a judge in Qinghai province passed down...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

Correction: 2018 Midterms-Endorsements story

ATLANTA (AP) — In a story May 20 about potential Democratic presidential candidates and their campaign activity in 2018, The Associated Press reported erroneously that former Vice President Joe Biden was planning to campaign in North Carolina on behalf of a congressional candidate Dan...

ENTERTAINMENT

Actress who accused Weinstein needs money to finish film

NEW YORK (AP) — Actress Paz de la Huerta has started a crowdfunding campaign to finish a movie she began making years before she publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape.The movie "Valley of Tears" is her take on the Hans Christian Andersen story "The Red Shoes," about a little girl with a...

Sony invests in image sensors, acquires more of EMI Music

TOKYO (AP) — Electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. said Tuesday it plans to invest 1 trillion yen ( billion) mostly in image sensors over the next three years, under a revamped strategy to strengthen both hardware and creative content.Sony also plans to buy for [scripts/homepage/home.php].3 billion a 60...

At Cannes, a #MeToo upheaval up and down the Croisette

CANNES, France (AP) — Fifty years after filmmakers shut down the Cannes Film Festival, the prestigious Cote d'Azur extravaganza was again shook by upheaval.From the start to the finish, the 71st Cannes was dominated by protest and petition for gender equality, culminating in the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Artist Robert Indiana, known for 'LOVE' series, dies at 89

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s "LOVE" series, has died at his...

All tied up: LeBron's 44 helps Cavs even series with Celtics

CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James knows the path to the NBA Finals better than anyone in today's game.And...

Miss Nebraska wins Miss USA competition

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Sarah Rose Summers from Nebraska beat out 50 other women Monday to win this year's...

Congo Ebola vaccination campaign begins with health workers

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo began an Ebola vaccination campaign Monday in a northwest provincial capital...

Social media under microscope in emotive Irish abortion vote

DUBLIN (AP) — In homes and pubs, on leaflets and lampposts, debate is raging in Ireland over whether to...

Aide: Palestinian leader making swift recovery in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is alert and making a swift recovery after being...

Tracy Morgan
FRAZIER MOORE, AP Television Writer

 NEW YORK -- A gruesome highway accident followed by months of pain and rehab. That's no laughing matter.

Not unless you're comedian Tracy Morgan, who's mining this ordeal for laughs with his "Picking Up the Pieces" stand-up tour. After its current warm-up phase, the tour officially launches Feb. 5 at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana, and continues through May. Among other dates, he will perform three shows in New Jersey, including a New Brunswick theater about 20 miles from where the accident occurred.

"I'm in a good place in my life," says Morgan during a recent phone conversation. "When I first got back on the stage, I had to work on my confidence. But I wasn't scared. I wasn't nervous. I was excited!"

It was June 7, 2014, when a Wal-Mart truck slammed into the limousine Morgan was riding in. The crash killed a close friend and fellow comedian, and left Morgan with broken bones and brain damage. He was in a coma for two weeks.

"I was basically knocking on The Door," he says, but adds with undisguised gratitude, "I came back. That's the spirit moving me."

That was plenty impressive. But still it held no promise that Morgan, who has long scored laughs in concert, on "30 Rock" and "Saturday Night Live," would ever be able to perform again.

On the "Today" show last June, in his first public appearance since the accident, Morgan sat clutching a cane and, with a tear streaking down his cheek, acknowledged he wasn't "100 percent yet."

"When I'm there, you'll know it," he said. "I'll get back to making you laugh, I promise you."

He made good on that promise three months later with a surprise appearance on the Emmy telecast.

By then he had made good on a promise to himself to wed his fiancee, Megan Wollover, on his own terms: walking her down the aisle with no cane.

Then, in October, he returned triumphantly as guest host of "SNL," where he had been a cast member from 1996 to 2003.

"I felt so good going back home to 'SNL,'" he says. "It was like the first day I was there many years ago. That first time was crazy, but to have the opportunity to have the feeling all over again — wonderful, man! And I said, 'I want to (tour) again.' That was the end" of any doubts.

He admits to grave doubts during his long convalescence and therapy.

"I remember being visited by a good friend I've known all my life, and I said, 'Why did God let this happen to me?' And with the meanest look, she said, 'Never question God!'

"I said, 'I'm sorry.' And she said, 'OK, baby. That's all right.'

"Tough times don't last. Tough people do," Morgan sums up. "We're ALL here 'cause we're tough."

Morgan, 47, has made amusing use of a lifetime of tough challenges, including a harsh childhood and health issues that included a kidney transplant in 2010. So it's no surprise that he's dressing his latest wounds in humor.

"The accident was a setback, but, you know, in my world, a setback is a setup," he says. "You use things that happen in your life that weren't funny — tragedy turned inside out. If you don't laugh about it, you'll cry about it. And I'm tired of crying.

"But comedy doesn't just come from pain," Morgan adds. "It comes from joy, too."

Chief among his joys are his wife and their 2 1/2-year-old daughter, who, as Morgan speaks, can be heard chiming in with, "Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse," as she addresses Mickey's image on her iPad.

"Now you see what's important and what's not," declares Morgan. "I've learned a lot, man. I learned about life, about the things I used to stress out about, things we worry about on a day-to-day basis but aren't important — not when it comes down to life and death. I talk about all that onstage.

"But I talk about things that are happening right now, too. I look back. But I look forward, too!"

One thing he's looking forward to is a pilot deal for a prospective series that he would star in. To be developed in partnership with Jordan Peele ("Key & Peele"), the new FX comedy would cast Morgan as a career criminal released from prison after 15 years who finds himself flummoxed by the modern world he's re-entering.

It could begin production as soon as this summer. But Morgan says little beyond "it's gonna be incredible." His current focus is on his tour.

"I've tapped into something, man, that nobody else can talk about," he says of his near-death experience. "I went to the other side and came back bearing gifts, and I'm gonna share all those gifts with my fans. I got a whole bag full of funny for you, a truckload of funny coming your way."

_____

EDITOR'S NOTE — Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore@ap.org and at http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier. Past stories are available at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/frazier-moore

Carpentry Professionals
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

The Skanner Report

repulsing the monkey