The Man Behind the Laughter: ‘I Am The New Black,’ Written and Read by Tracy Morgan

Every good story I know starts at the very beginning, because like that white lady said in The Sound of Music, it’s a very good place to start. 

The outrageously funny and always unpredictable Tracy Morgan, best known for his time spent on "Saturday Night Live" and the hit series "30 Rock," candidly narrates his manic, and at times harrowing life story in his 2009 memoir, I Am the New Black. 

You know him as the man who brought life to Brian Fellow and Astronaut Jones. You've seen him pull his shirt up over his belly more times than you care to count. He's right there, doing it on the front cover of his memoir, right now. You've confounded him with the self-referential Tracy Jordan, his character on "30 Rock," but in his memoir, Morgan paints a surprisingly unfamiliar self-portrait of the man behind the characters we've all seen and loved.

Morgan does start from the very beginning. He writes about growing up in the Bronx and Bedford-Stuyvesant, leaving his mother's home to find his father's, and always wanting something more. He describes his humor as his "bulletproof vest," the thing that saved him and kept him alive. It's also the thing that brought him to "Saturday Night Live," where, among other things, he met the future creator, writer, and star of "30 Rock," Tina Fey.

In the excerpt below, Morgan reads from I Am the New Black, and in doing so, does what he does best: makes you laugh.