Exclusive: Tracy Morgan recovering from surgery, will miss several episodes of '30 Rock'

30-rock-tracy-morganImage Credit: Nicole Rivelli/NBCExpect a huge void on TGS in March: EW has learned exclusively that Tracy Morgan — aka Tracy Jordan, the star of the show within the show, 30 Rock – will miss at least two episodes of the NBC comedy because he’s recovering from surgery. The comedian underwent a kidney transplant on or around Dec. 10 and though the surgery was successful — he was seen at a Knicks game on Friday —  the writers are giving him plenty of time to recover.

EW has learned that executive producer Tina Fey and her team of scribes plan to address Morgan’s absence by saying he has some sort of a meltdown because of a good thing that’s happened to him. He’s expected to miss at least two, maybe three episodes, that will air March.

A representative for Morgan released this statement to EW: “Tracy is doing well and taking some much needed time to recover after the surgery. He is looking forward to going back to work after the holidays.”

Morgan is the second member of the cast to undergo a kidney transplant. Grizz Chapman, who serves as a member of Tracy’s security detail on the show, underwent surgery earlier this year. He’s the national spokesperson for the Kidney Foundation.

In 1996, Morgan was diagnosed with diabetes. He told Time last year that during the first season of 30 Rock, he didn’t take the disease seriously. “Then one day I got really sick,” the actor said. “The doctor was like, `Hey, listen, we may have to take your foot.’  That was it for me. Now I take my insulin every day. My blood sugar doesn’t get over 120.”

Comments (207 total) Add your comment
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  • Kat

    Wow. I didn’t know he had diabetes or that he was sick enough to need a new kidney. I’m glad he’s all right. I would express my wish that everyone in need of an organ could get it (and benefit from it), but that could make it sound like I wish more organ donors died….tricky topic. Let’s just say that I hope more people sign up to be organ donors. Best wishes to all donors and recipients.

    • jack

      you don’t need to die to be a kidney donor. everyone has two kidneys but only needs one

      • dave

        Sorry Jack! Not everyone has two.

      • Amy

        I donated my right kidney on Dec 14, 2006. I’m not dead, in fact I just had a baby a few months ago. =)

      • gg

        Ah mommy-jacking at its finest.

      • Cat

        I was born with only one. If that one goes, I’m in deep doo doo.

      • ggg

        hahaha, love you gg. mommy-jacking. gah.

      • etm

        good for you for doing that and congrats on your baby!! :)

    • Ginny

      He did not necessarily need to wait for someone to die; he could have had a friend or family member donate a kidney to him. I am home right now recovering from transplant surgery,where I was the donor. More awareness of this option would save so many lives, because a non-directed donation can start a “transplant chain”

      • LD101

        Donating a kidney isn’t life-saving or a cure. It’s simply another form of treatment. Most recipients will need multiple transplants to achieve a ‘normal’ lifespan. Meanwhile, a living donor will never regain pre-donation kidney function and must live with a higher risk of hypertension, cardiac disease and death, and kidney disease and failure. Since 1994, over 200 living kidney donors have needed their own kidney transplants (per OPTN)

      • Nicole

        organ donation is a great thing. of course ppl need ot understand that nothing is 100% guaranteed. some ppl like LD101, do have to go through multiple transplants, but not everyone goes through that either. I gave a kidney to my mom, I am healthy as can be and actually 3 yrs prior, i had a bad case of toxemia w my pregnancy that temporary affect my kidneys and then after I donated my kidney, i got pregnant, and I showed the same toxemia symptoms-my kidney is doing great and so am i. I have to care for myself like any other person except I dont have the back up of another kidney and even then, kidneys do not work at their full 100% potential. They use 1/3 of their full potential, when you donate, that one kidney of course ends up doing 2/3 of what it really could do. All of these diseases many times can be preventable with lifestyle and choices. Unless we are born with a problem or I happen to let’s see jump out of a plain, land wrong and oops, destroy the only kidney i have wrong. What LD101 fails to mention is that noncadaver organs tend to have a higher success rate too. In general though, donations can either be successful or end up being rejected. As for the donor, donors can lead a healthy life with just one kidney, just like any person, avoiding drugs and leading a healthy lifestyle and considering the fact we do not have that extra back up as we consider certain risks.

      • Hallie

        As a person waiting to get a kidney transplant, a living donor is literally a lifesaver. Even though articles like this one make it seem like people get kidneys donated whenever they need, in truth, there are many many more people on the transplant list than there are donors. More living donors would be great. But even if more people would complete the organ donation form on their drivers license it would make a difference. Comments such as LDL101s, which discourage living donation, do a disservice to those of us waiting for a kidney. You may not choose to be a living donor but don’t discourage others from considering it.

      • mikehandy

        LD 101 comments about the effects on a donor are almost entirely untrue. There’s no increased chance of kidney disease or heart disease. There’s a chance of hypertension in the future, but that’s treatable. Yes, some recipients do have to have multiple transplants, but it depends on your age, how good the match was (family member is best), and other factors. It is life saving in the sense that most people should not stay on dialysis for a long time. My father and I have both had transplants. Why would this person write so much misinformation on a serious subject? I can’t imagine.

      • turner

        I received a kidney from my brother almost 30 years ago. He is still doing great and so am I. My kidney is still in good condition. The anti rejection drugs eventual may cause some harm to other parts of your body. I am happy to have led a very normal life all these years.

      • sdavis

        My husband needs a kidney. He is on dialysis and it a difficult lifestyle. I am not a match, but I am considering donating as part of a chain so he can get a transplant faster.

      • dave

        I second mikehandy. LD101 said a lot of stuff that isn’t accurate. Let’s start with the first part. Donating a kidney isn’t life-saving. Umm, wrong. Check out the mortality rates of people on dialysis vs. people who’ve gotten a kidney transplant. Everything else they wrote about a living donor is wrong too. There’s a risk in donating but that’s just during the removal surgery once that’s done and they’ve recovered 99% of donors go back to “normal”.

      • dave

        One more little fun fact. In the US it doesn’t matter if your license says you’re a donor or not if you’re on life support and they want your organs your family has to consent. So even if you want to donate if your parents, spouse, kids, etc. tell them no they won’t take anything from you.

    • kj

      You don’t have to be dead to be a donor I donated a kidney last year. Living people can donate!!!

    • Amanda Kiwinerd

      Haha! He has “the sugar”.

      • Matt

        Only a true TM fan would get “the sugar”.. that is great. Get well Tracy and everyone else on here to donated/received! I’m a donor and have been since I turned 16.

      • jason von kriegenbergh


    • Teri

      I’ve always had the same thinking about “pray for so and so to get a new heart.” It’s not as tricky with kidneys as people can live with just one, but when it comes to something like a heart transplant for a child, praying that the child receives one is like praying for someone else’s child to die. I’ve always found that difficult to do, so now I just pray that more and more people will become aware of organ donations and chose to be donors.

      • bh

        I agree. It is a difficult issue and like your approach to dealing with it. Merry Christmas.

      • LD101

        Everyone should sign their donor card, but please stop perpetuating the erroneous notion that having two kidneys means one is a ‘spare’. A person can ‘live’ with one arm, one leg or one eye, but it still affects one’s quality of life and requires adaptation. People can die or experience major debilitating complications by becoming a living donor. It is not like having a hangnail removed.


      • Mariel

        Yes, organ donation is a tricky topic, but make NO mistake: praying for a heart is ABSOLUTELY NOT like praying for someone else’s death. They are completely mutually exclusive events. I like to think of it this way: Organ donation is not thinking about your own mortality, but about your final act of kindness.

      • Kat

        Wow, okay there were a lot of responses under what I wrote. Thanks, Teri, for understanding what I meant. I know living people can donate kidneys, but I was talking about organ donation in general, which includes things like the heart – and unfortunately, someone has to die in order to donate their heart. It’s a difficult issue for me to think about for the reason you mention – hoping someone receives a heart is kind of related to hoping someone dies so that it can be donated. Thanks, Mariel, for your perspective. Organ donation (in the sense we’re discussing) is about making a gift out of a tragedy, so it’s always inherently sad, but it’s a really beautiful thing.

    • Andy

      I only have one, and it’s not even mine. Got it from a friend back in 2005.

  • slippyal2

    He’s probably going to somebody pregnant

    • Joe Blow

      Are you stupid

      • tim

        it’s a joke he made on a morning talk show. calm down.

    • LF


  • NiaQueen

    What?!!! Kidney transplant? I had no idea he had issues with his kidneys. I would suspect liver because of his past drinking problems. I wish him well. He and Tina Fey are the main reasons I watch 30 Rock.

    • Alice

      It’s possible, but one shouldn’t jump to conclusions. The article says he is diabetic. Diabetics frequently suffer from renal failure as well… especially poorly controlled diabetics as he seems to be admitting he was. I’m glad he is doing well and taking better care of himself. I hope this will serve as a good example for other diabetics out there.

    • Julie

      As a matter of fact, diabetes and hypertension are the two leading causes of kidney failure in the United States

  • Mr. Holloway

    I think we have our second beneficiary (after Milton Green) for the second annual “Kidney Now” fundraiser/charity single!

    (Seriously though, hope he gets better and comes back soon.)

    • Karate Pants

      Niiiiice! :)

  • LOL

    I hope he makes a full recovery, but I wish he wasn’t on the show. It’d be better without him.

    • Tim Nyce

      His stand-up is funny, but his acting is terrible.

      • E.

        That’s funny because I always thought his stand up was bad but his bad acting was funny.

      • RyanK

        Yeah I agree with E.

    • rex remes

      TM is lucky that he gets to portray a character who is not funny (just annoying). So, he pretty much gets to play himself.

      • tb81

        I love TM on the show.
        “Ladies of the battered womens shelter. Please be quiet! A man is talking!”
        I’m a bit surprised to see people bashing him here.

    • Noodlezup

      Totally disagree.

    • SpecialK


  • John

    Sorry to hear that he has to have a kidney transplant. . but I’ll appreciate the “Tracy Morgan” break from 30 Rock. Definitely the weak link in a solid show. I find him so annoying, I now DVR the show just so I can fast forward through his scenes.

    • jones


      • Josh


      • SpecialK

        MAYBE IF WAS MEANT TO BE!!!! simpleton If all of you who have nothing good to say, go comment elsewhere. Thank you in advance.

    • Eric Beck

      You know, I hear people knock Morgan’s contribution tot he show. But it shows what morons these people are. He’s CRITICAL to the overall success of the comedy on the show, and this is too short of a forum to give a half-hour comedy primer to discuss the reaosns why. SO, GET WELL SOON TM and HURRY BACK! We’ll miss you!

      • Ted Sheckler

        3rd Rock is a comedy? Sense when?

      • SpecialK


      • SpecialK

        I meant right to Eric Beck

    • SirLizard

      John, I agree with you completely. I don’t wish Tracy Morgan any ill-will, and I hope he has a speedy recovery, but he is the only part of “30 Rock” that I don’t like. He is only funny on rare occasions, mostly because the odds are that anyone who is given good material will be able to deliver every now and then, and he can’t act at all. I know that Eric Beck thinks that anyone who disagrees with his opinion is a moron, but I won’t be as ignorant as he is by insulting everyone who enjoys Tracy Morgan and thinks that he is a comic genius on whom the success of “30 Rock” hinges.

  • kittybling

    He’s lucky he found a donor! Get well Tracy…

    • Hannah

      I wonder how long he was on the transplant list for, if he didn’t start noticing complications until the first season of 30 Rock. Could he have been bumped up as a result of his celebrity status?

      • Michael

        You can’t get bumped up.. but you can put your name on as many lists as you can afford to travel to where they are located. This is what Steve Jobs did, he put his name on every list possible and flew out to Tennessee for his transplant.

      • Bob

        No, you can’t get bumped up the list due to celebrity status, but you might have more relatives, friends or even strangers offer to donate to you because of that status. He could also have registered for the transplant list in more states to shorten the waiting time, as I believe Steve Jobs did.

      • dave

        This is one of those myths that drive me crazy. Being rich can get you a transplant faster than most people but not for the reasons you think. See the comments above this one for why.

  • Jean Lyons

    If you do not like Tracy then stop looking. He is good. I wish him all of the best. Stop being so mean spirited. It could happen to you and you would not want anyone to be bad to you. get a life.

    • wendy

      Thats right, Jean.

  • M

    Kidney Now!

  • Michael

    I hope he’s all right. Get well soon, Tracy.

  • Troll

    Poor Tracy! I hope you get better soon Tray!

  • nan

    Hope he gets well soon and fully recovers. ; )

  • danielle wynboom

    get better soon. tracy

  • Jaime Greer

    How’s the Donor?

  • JT

    The guy need an IQ transplant.

    • Mole

      They say you have to be very smart to be good at playing stupid.

      • SirLizard

        Yes, Mole, that is true, but Tracy Morgan is NOT good at playing stupid… or anything else. He can’t act. Whenever he delivers his lines it sounds like he is just reading the words, or is having them fed to him through an ear piece.

      • tb81

        Tracy rocks.

      • Karate Pants

        Ahhh…that was good. Okay, now that I’ve stopped laughing about the debate about Tracy Morgan’s acting skills, I’ll point out to all of you that it doesn’t matter!
        He’s absolutely perfect for his role on 30 Rock. Period.

    • Buffy Freak

      If you’re going to mock someone else’s intelligence it would be wise to be sure your own comment is grammatically correct.

      • JD

        Right? They say that one criticisizes in others what one lacks himself…

      • C Men

        In that case, JD why is your pen is so small.

    • vja

      He makes more in a year than you’ll make in your lifetime. Not bad for a guy “needing an IQ transplant.”

      • Dave

        Carrot Top makes a lot of money too. Not sure of your point.

      • C Men

        The point is that he’s successful despite the perceived lack of intelligence. (Geez, maybe you need the IQ transplant.)

    • Noodlezup

      He’s clever enough to have found a way to rake in more money than we’ll ever see. I love him on the show.

    • SpecialK

      I’m sure the donor is just fine because if not the media would have turned this into something else.

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