Tracy Morgan of ‘30 Rock' to perform at Growl


Tracy Morgan, shown playing comedian Tracy Jordan from “30 Rock,” will perform at Gator Growl on Nov. 9. Morgan promises to keep a clean routine for the show. (Special to the Guardian)

Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 1:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 1:27 p.m.

Comedian Tracy Morgan is supposed to keep it clean at this year's Gator Growl.

Facts

GATOR GROWL

What: The 89th annual Gator Growl/Homecoming pep rally with skits, comedians and performers.
When: 7 p.m. Nov. 9.
Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, aka, The Swamp.
Tickets: $15 for students, $25 for alumni and guests.
Information: Visit www.gatorgrowl.org.

Gator Growl organizers publicly announced last week that Morgan, a "Saturday Night Live" alumnus who is currently part of the "30 Rock" cast, will perform at the Nov. 9 show.

They say that Morgan, who has in the past performed a dirty and sometimes controversial stand-up act, has agreed to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere at Gator Growl.

Organizers had previously announced that country music singer Josh Turner will be this year's musical act. Event spokesman Sean Quinn said the two very different performers are part of the event's effort to have a broad appeal.

"Gator Growl is one of those events that really is for everyone — students, alumni, the entire community," he said. "When we put these two performers together … it was really to reach out to as many people as possible."

Billed as the country's largest student-run pep rally, Gator Growl has been a UF tradition for 89 years.

Held on the Friday night before the Homecoming game, the show serves as a pep rally for the game and features skits, comedians and sometimes bands.

In addition to Morgan and Turner, this year's event also will include fireworks and a skydiving team. The theme, "United We Growl," is meant to honor the U.S. military on the weekend before Veterans Day.

Tickets are $15 for students and $25 for the general public.

They can be purchased through Ticketmaster at www.gatorgrowl.org. A $25 tax-deductible ticket for wounded veterans and their families can also be bought on the site as part of the Wounded Warrior Project.

Gator Growl organizers declined to release the amount that Morgan and Turner are being paid.

Morgan was recently part of a Twitter stunt on the Emmy Awards, pretending to pass out on stage. Morgan's stand-up routine is typically full of sex jokes, and in the past, he has made controversial comments about gay people and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Quinn said that Morgan has agreed to be family-friendly as part of the Gator Growl contract, noting that he steers clear of dirty material on "30 Rock."

There have been complaints about comedians using ribald material at Gator Growl dating back to Robin Williams in 1982, as comedians face the challenge of entertaining students as well as alumni in the show.

Quinn said that Morgan and Turner might generally appeal to different audiences, but there are crossover fans. He used himself as an example, saying that he's a fan of both country music and "Saturday Night Live."

"It's really good that we're able to produce such a diverse show for people this year," he said.

Nathan Crabbe is a Gainesville Sun staff writer.

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