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Big day for Tray! Beep gifts comedian Morgan with key to Bklyn for birthday • Brooklyn Paper

Big day for Tray! Beep gifts comedian Morgan with key to Bklyn for birthday

Happy Birthday: Borough President Adams awarded Brooklyn’s own Tracey Morgan with the key to Kings County at Borough Hall on Friday.
Photo by Colin Mixson

Happy birthday, Tracy!

Borough President Adams gifted Brooklyn-bred comedian Tracy Morgan with a ceremonial key to the Borough of Kings to celebrate the funny man’s 50th birthday on Friday.

The foot-long, gold key to Brooklyn is an honor that Adams said rivals the star bearing Morgan’s name that folks in faraway Los Angeles installed in a sidewalk as part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“Yes he has his Hollywood star, but that’s for the West Coast. This is about the East Coast, and you can’t say East Coast without Brooklyn, the third-largest city in America,” said Adams, offhandedly claiming Kings County outgrew Chicago as the country’s third-largest city — an assertion that publicly available U.S. Census data does not support.

The key also recognizes Morgan’s work on television series “The Last O.G.” — which he filmed throughout the borough — and “30 Rock,” as well as his help in refurbishing public basketball courts in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where he grew up, and other neighborhoods as part of a joint effort with Adams and bigwigs at Turner Broadcasting System, the network that airs “The Last O.G.”

The beep referenced another Brooklyn-born-and-bred icon, rapper Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace — who is set to get a Clinton Hill street named after him and served as the inspiration for new Brooklyn Nets uniforms — in commending Morgan’s love for his home town.

“As Biggie would say, he knows how to spread love the Brooklyn way,” Adams said.

Other notable attendees at the Borough Hall ceremony included actor and rapper Clifford Smith, known by his stage name Method Man.

Morgan choked back tears while accepting the honor, saying the traumatic 2014 car crash in New Jersey that seriously injured him and killed another man inspired him to further connect with his roots before delivering a punch line that made the crowd howl.

“I wanted to know who I was after that accident, so I went on Ancestry.com, where some of the charts say 20-percent Native American, 25-percent African-American, 20-percent Irish,” he said. “But my whole chart just said n—– from Brooklyn.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Welcome home: A teary-eyed Tracey Morgan addressed a crowd at Borough Hall on Friday, where Borough President Adams awarded to the Brooklyn-born comedian a key to the borough.
Photo by Colin Mixson

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