Nashville, Tennessee: Karl Karschak is an early riser. He leaps out of his Dugger Heights bed at 530am each morning to read The Tennessean, drink coffee, and listen to Woody and Jim on The River 107.5FM. Early that Monday morning, he heard Woody play the "tweet your meat" song, right after the news. Karl's breakfast was sitting right in front of him, so he picked up his Blackberry and took a photo of his big beautiful sausage, and tweeted it to Woody and the gang at The River. If your photo was chosen the winner, you'd win tickets to see Tracy Morgan live in Nashville.
Karl and his wife Rayleen were big fans of Saturday Night Live, and they watched 30 Rock every Thursday night. The Karschak's had VCR tapes of The Tracy Morgan Show from 2004 that she and Karl would watch frequently, because Karl asked Rayleen to marry him during a Tracy Morgan Show marathon.
The next day Karl was surprised to get an email from The River with 2 tickets for Tracy Morgan's show. He was happy that the "tweet your meat" contest picked his big beautiful sausage as a winner, but the show conflicted with little Baer's T-ball practice. He knew his wife would be excited to go, and she could ask a girlfriend to go with her. When he got home that night, and showed Rayleen the "tweet your meat" email, she jumped up and down screaming that she was so excited. Rayleen ran right next door to show Bitsy that Karl was a "tweet your meat" winner. "Woody and Jim loved Karl's big sausage" Rayleen screamed, "and we're going to see Tracy Morgan."
Bitsy Birdwell and Rayleen Karschak are scrapbookers, and devotees of Martha Stewart. They documented getting ready to go to the show, they photographed their drive, and took pictures of Ryman Auditorium. The girls were even planning on stopping at the DQ on the way home, to celebrate, and planned on trying the new brownie blizzard treats. Tracy Morgan had been making them laugh for years. Bitsy was secretly planning on wearing an adult diaper, in case Morgan made her laugh so much, that she wet herself.
Tracy Morgan started off with a bang. Bitsy leaned over and told Rayleen that "Tracy is funnier than Minnie Pearl at a pancake breakfast." Rayleen was so glad that Karl gave her the tickets, so that she and her best girlfriend could enjoy a rare night out.
And then a funny thing happened on the way to the Ryman, one minute Morgan was making the audience laugh about his observations on life, and then he took a wicked turn to the dark side. It was a perceptible moment, because the Tracy Morgan who was on stage changed, his body language was different, and his voice and message became disturbing. He turned into a misogynistic preacher of hate, who believed women were his dominion, gay was a choice, that whining about bullying was bullshit, and that if he had a gay kid he would kill him.
Bitsy's tears started first. When Morgan spoke about women like they were an object, and that he could do whatever he pleased to them, and with them, because they were a gift from god, she was brought back to the beatings she endured from her former husband. She grabbed Rayleen's arm to pull her up, and get her out of there. Rayleen was crying too, as she remembered the bullies in school that hounded her brother. She remembered when he would get beaten up on the way home from school, bloodied and bruised, and she remembered the names people called him. She remembered the day when her mother got the phone call from Middle Tennessee State University, that her little brother was gone, he took his own life.
Bitsy and Rayleen ran for the exits, and vowed to never watch Tracy Morgan do anything again.
A funny thing happened on the way to the Ryman, the laughter was replaced with tears.
Tracy Morgan issued the following statement today. “I want to apologize to my fans and the gay & lesbian community for my choice of words at my recent stand-up act in Nashville. I’m not a hateful person and don’t condone any kind of violence against others. While I am an equal opportunity jokester, and my friends know what is in my heart, even in a comedy club this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context.”
Our community will continue our fight to extinguish hate, and hate speech, in the name of religion or comedy. It's not funny! Words have consequences.