Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was honored in the city he grew up in — Brooklyn, New York — on Friday, November 9. He received a gold key to the city during a special ceremony that took place at Brooklyn Borough Hall.
When Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams presented the honorary key to the 30 Rock alum, he recognized his work as an entertainer and praised his civic involvement in the community, reported the New York Daily News.
“He knows how to show love the Brooklyn way,” said Adams during his introduction.
“Not pretentious, not distant, not removed, not uncomfortable being around folks who really made his success. Giving back. When you hang out with him, you feel no different than hanging out with someone standing on the corner of Tompkins Avenue holding a Colt 45.”
Giving backpacks to school kids and lecturing them on the importance of getting a good education, helping to refurbish a playground, and rebuilding basketball courts are just some of the ways the former Saturday Night Live star has helped out Brooklynites.
Rapper and actor Method Man also spoke during the presentation, which was attended by Morgan’s wife, Megan Wollover, and their 5-year-old daughter, Maven; one of his sons from his first marriage, 26-year-old Tracy Morgan, Jr.; actor Malik Yoba; and other friends and family members.
Morgan, who turned 50-years-old the day after the ceremony, November 10, shed tears when it was time to give his acceptance speech.
“This is my way to heaven,” he said at one point.
“If anybody deserves a key to Brooklyn it should be him,” Method Man told the Daily News after the ceremony.
“You got an ex-knucklehead, ex-drug dealer, ex — just all around not bad guy. But Tracy could have went in so many different directions. Kids see him, they see themselves, and see that success hasn’t changed him, and know for a fact that they can do the same thing he did. They can identify with him.”
Fabolous, Big Daddy Kane, and Wyclef Jean are among some of the other notable people who have also been awarded a key to Brooklyn, according to amNY.
Morgan, who was actually born in the Bronx, New York, survived a horrific six-vehicle car crash in 2014 and suffered multiple injuries, including brain trauma. He successfully completed rehabilitation and was fortunate enough to return to showbiz.
He was back on television in March as the star of the TBS comedy, The Last O.G. The series, which also stars Tiffany Haddish and Cedric the Entertainer, was renewed for a second season earlier this year. Parts of the show are filmed in Brooklyn.