Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Are Tina Fey And Tracy Morgan From 30 Rock Friends In Real Life?

Longtime collaborators Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan have had a long working relationship, enduring through success, controversy, and tragedy. After meeting and working together on the set of "Saturday Night Live," Fey and Morgan worked together for several more years on the hit NBC sitcom "30 Rock." The series ran until 2013.

The show, inspired by Fey's time as head writer at "SNL," followed the outrageous life of television writer Liz Lemon (Fey) after her new boss (Alec Baldwin) forces her to hire edgy stand-up comedian Tracy Jordan — a character created, of course, for Tracy Morgan. As the Today Show remembers, it was often hard to distinguish between Jordan and Morgan — both had large, affable personalities, came from harsh upbringings, and lived lives full of public controversy. Though Lemon and Jordan clashed along the way, they ultimately shared a deep mutual respect and friendship. Therefore, it's not unreasonable for fans to wonder if they were as close in real life.

From SNL to 30 Rock

Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan are very close in real life. According to Morgan himself, they became friends almost instantly on the set of "Saturday Night Live." He felt that she understood what made him talented and how that talent could best be showcased, saying "she recognized my funny." Because of this, Fey was able to help him create some of his most iconic characters. Their time working together on "30 Rock," however, seems a bit rockier, thanks to Morgan's penchant for controversy. 

One such incident forced Fey to publicly comment after Morgan made violently homophobic remarks about his son potentially being gay — Morgan later apologized, calling the jokes "too far". As USA Today reported at the time, her statement expressed the hope that his apology would be accepted by his many LGBT+ coworkers. Later that same month, he made jokes at the expense of those with disabilities, using an offensive slur in the process (via New York Daily News). Morgan and Fey satirized these incidents on "30 Rock" in the season six episode "Idiots Are People Two!"

Despite Morgan's public gaffs affecting the show, the pair have remained good friends. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Morgan was overcome with emotion when speaking about Fey. In the early days of his career, Morgan says that people often failed to see the work that he put into comedy, instead reducing his success to "chance." But Morgan says Fey was different from "everybody else," saying, "She understood that I knew who I was... she not only would write things, she would just encourage me" (via Vulture).

Their relationship after Morgan's accident

In 2014, while riding in a limousine on the New Jersey Turnpike, Tracy Morgan's vehicle was hit by a Walmart truck. The incident put Morgan in a coma and took the life of James McNair, Morgan's best friend (via People). The incident has been commonly attributed to the longstanding issue of driver fatigue (via Shiver Hamilton Campbell).

When the accident occurred, Tina Fey was filming the comedy "Sisters," and was in contact with Morgan's publicist (via ET Online). She later described being afraid for his life (especially as Morgan was already living with diabetes), before praising his eventual return to the "SNL" stage as a host in 2015, an appearance that earned Morgan an Emmy nomination. In a 2019 interview with the Today Show's Willie Geist, Morgan appears to get choked up thinking about Fey, "We were probably brother and sister in a past life, we just picking up in this life." 

Bustle notes that Fey visited Morgan as he worked to recover from the accident, and the two met up ahead of her hosting the Golden Globes. According to Fey, the actor was doing well and wanted to be on her show, "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." Morgan had been so depressed in the aftermath of his accident that he couldn't even consider performing at first; in an interview with Howard Stern, he credits the 2015 "SNL" cast and crew for inspiring him to keep going. In the same interview, he recalls reuniting with Fey at the 67th Emmy Awards. Surprising her backstage, Morgan says his longtime friend and co-star burst into tears upon seeing him. When it came time for his speech, his entrance was met with a standing ovation — with Fey herself in the front row, holding back tears.