Over his lengthy comedic career, Tracy Morgan has created an array of bizarrely memorable characters — from homeless celebrity hounds to nonsensical wildlife enthusiasts to cosmic lounge singers.
But when Morgan, 45, performs stand-up — which he’ll do three nights this week at Cobb’s Comedy Club in The City — those characters will not appear, and his material will be purely personal.
“I want to welcome people to the weird, wonderful life of Tracy Morgan,” the former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” veteran says. “I love to perform and talk about the things that are affecting me and the way that I look at life. When I’m acting, you’ll see other characters come out. When I’m doing stand-up, it’s all about me.”
Morgan’s tales are littered with the people he has met along the way on his unique comedy career, which began in the notoriously tough Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant.
While he might occasionally delve into those painfully comedic experiences during his act, he won’t conjure any rendition of Tracy Jordan, the character he portrayed for seven seasons on “30 Rock.”
“The only thing I have in common with that character is my first name,” Morgan says. “I’m an actor — I was acting out a role. No one expects Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin to behave like the characters they played on that show. They don’t ask Brad Pitt why he’s different than Benjamin Button.”
Morgan says he has a basic idea of what he’ll cover before he takes the stage for his stand-up routine, but sometimes things happen that steer a performance wildly in a particular direction: “I’m not deliberately trying to do anything unpredictable. But life can be unpredictable, and I’ve got to roll with that sometimes.”
It can lead to some outrageous performances, and Morgan doesn’t try to shy away from those possibilities.
“Hey, there is no other comedian out there like me,” Morgan says. “I’m absolutely one of a kind.”
At times, it has brought him trouble — for example, in 2011 when he made homophobic comments at a performance in Nashville, Tenn., an incident for which he has repeatedly apologized. Crowds in San Francisco appear to have forgiven him. Morgan says he always receives a warm reaction when he performs here.
“The audiences in San Francisco are great,” Morgan says. “I love Cobb’s. It’s one of the best venues to perform in. I’m looking forward to a great couple of nights with my fans.”
IF YOU GO
Where: Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10 p.m.
Friday, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday