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Is The Last O.G. Based on Tracy Morgan’s Life?

April 6, 2020
4 min read

‘The Last O.G.’ follows the story of a man named Tray Barker. After spending fifteen years in prison, he returns home to Brooklyn, only to find it an entirely different place. It has become gentrified, and his ex-girlfriend is now married to a white guy. He realizes that her children are actually his children, which encourages him to turn his life around and become a better person. The show has the distinct Tracy Morgan humor and touches on various issues that hit close to home. The story is so realistic that it might as well have been based on a real person. Is Tray Barker a real person? Here’s the answer.

Is ‘The Last O.G.’ Based on a True Story?

No, ‘The Last O.G.’ is created by John Carcieri and Jordan Peele, and it stars Tracy Morgan in the role of Tray Parker. However, like his every other character, Morgan brings a distinct touch to Tray that makes him look like another incarnation of the actor. The reason behind it is that the idea of the story came from Morgan himself.

In 2014, Morgan met with a horrific car accident that claimed the life of James McNair, a comedian and his friend. He was in a coma for eight days and also suffered a severe brain injury, among other things. It took some time, but he recovered. He considered it his second chance at life, and that’s how the story of Tray took hold in his mind. He shared it with Jordan Peele, whose show ‘Key and Peele’ he had grown to love.

Peele and Carcieri refined the idea, and it finally materialized in the form of ‘The Last of O.G.’. While there were things like Tray’s time in prison that did not coincide with Morgan’s life, there are several other details that Morgan lends to his on-screen persona. Both of them hail from New York and have a history of dealing crack. Morgan borrowed Tray’s dedication to his children from his father’s devotion towards him and his siblings. A Vietnam veteran, Morgan’s father had come home a changed man. He fell to heroin addiction and later, succumbed to AIDS. However, he never failed his children, and it was something that Morgan wanted Tray to have too.

Tray’s ethics and general behavior are not the only ones that Morgan has lent to him. Even Tray’s dressing style is wildly similar to the actor’s. His shoes, especially, are a tribute to Walter Frazier and Eddie Murphy. Despite all these similarities, he doesn’t share Tray’s knack at cooking.

The show has been a personal endeavor for Morgan, and filming the series in the place where he had been raised makes it all the more intimate for him. “When we’re on the set, people I’ve known all my life come to the set and visit me, so that’s like a blast from the past. That right there is nostalgia, and it triggers, and all of those memories come to mind. We’ve got storylines for the next 49 years,” he said to Vanity Fair.

While the show keeps people laughing till the end, for Morgan, it is about kindness and second chances. He believes that if he can get a second chance, why can’t Tray Barker. “Second chance is a beautiful thing,” he said. “The message is you can’t throw, like prison reform, you can’t just throw somebody away ’cause they are incarcerated. We all make mistakes. Forgiveness, love, and forgiveness, it’s a dark premise, but we color in a dark place. That’s the message I’m trying to convey. Live and let go.” In the end, it is a story about regular people, the ones that anyone can relate to. “It is funny yet grounded. And kind.”

Read More: Best Black Comedy Movies of All Time

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