Tracy Morgan’s ‘comeback story’ mirrors Friars Club comeback

Tracy Morgan is the perfect choice for the Friars Club’s highest honor because he’s a survivor.

The “Saturday Night Live” alum was nearly killed in a car accident eight years ago when a Walmart truck slammed into his limo on the Jersey Turnpike.

On Thursday, he received the Friars’ Entertainment Icon Award, joining Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Douglas Fairbanks, Tony Bennett, Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro and, most recently, Billy Crystal.

“Never give up,” Morgan told the black-tie crowd. “Fall down seven times, get up eight times. Unless you get hit by a Walmart truck…you can lay down and wait for your lawyer.

The club’s dean, barrister Arthur Aidala, said Morgan was the perfect choice as the world overcomes COVID.

“It’s the story of Tracy’s return. This is the story of the return of the city. This is the story of the return of the Friars,” said Aidala, who hosts “The Power Hour” on AM970.

Three mayors – Eric Adams, Bill de Blasio and Rudy Giuliani – attended the gala at the Ziegfeld Ballroom. CeeLo Green performed.

The crowd included journalist Geraldo Rivera, actor Ben Vereen, lawyer Alan Dershowitz, actor JB Smoove and actor Joe Piscopo with model Carol Alt.

Plus, there was a trio of Knicks past and present — Allan Houston Obi Toppin, Allan Houston and Immanuel Quickley — honoring superfan Morgan.

The gala helped revive the Brethren, whose membership dropped from more than 500 to less than 300 due to the pandemic and questionable accounting.

The club’s former executive director was convicted of federal tax offenses in 2019.

The club has a new accounting firm and the main downstairs dining room will soon be a Charlie Palmer restaurant open to the public.


Layla Law-Gisiko, a candidate to replace incumbent West Side State Assemblyman Dick Gottfried, is one of the main opponents of plans to build 10 skyscrapers around Penn Station.

Community Board 5 member Law-Gisiko told me that Vornado, who owns 9 million square feet in the area, is a big contributor to Governor Hochul.

“It’s absolutely insane,” she said. “These are the old urban renewal policies of Robert Moses. We know that doesn’t work. This will demolish many buildings that are occupied.

Rocker Steve Marshall, whose home on W. 30th St. will be razed as part of the plan, still remembers when a young singer named Madonna Ciccone took the elevator up eight stories to his recording studio .

One musician was unimpressed. He told her, “Don’t quit your day job,” Marshall said. “Six months later she released ‘Like a Virgin’.”


Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez got engaged two months after this column announced they would be.

Now I can predict Bennifer 2.0 will be exchanging vows at their Los Angeles home around Christmas — if their lawyers can work out their very messy prenuptial agreement and they both sign.

The bride and groom are said to be worth $150 million each, which pays for a lot of legal advice.


Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner wanted to be invited to Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker’s wedding, but Kris Jenner refused.

Kris just can’t stand being in the same room as her ex-husband, according to sources close to the Kardashians.

The animosity affected Caitlyn’s relationship with her stepchildren. Jenner was in Spain on the wedding day to cheer on her women’s motor racing team from the sidelines.


The search is started. Norm Macdonald fans wanting to see the comedy special filmed before his death should know that there is also an unaired comedy pilot, “Back to Norm.”

In an upcoming episode of “The SDR Show,” Bruce McCulloch of “Kids in the Hall” fame, reveals the existence of the pilot he made for Comedy Central and has made it his mission to “find it and disclose it on the Internet”. ”

McCulloch has worked with fellow Canadian Macdonald over the years and thinks it’s too funny for people to miss.

“I knew him (Macdonald) from the start of my standup … and I’m going to try to find him,” McCulloch said.

Macdonald died of cancer on September 14, 2021.


Debbie Dickinson, once a supermodel, is now an art dealer with a gallery on W. 23rd St.

Among the eight artists of his first show is the Ukrainian Tatiana Lisovskaya, who was the composer of Julian Schnabel’s film, “At Eternity’s Gate”.

“The war in Ukraine takes heart and pleasure from my creative life, but I hope the war will end soon,” Lisovskaya said. “I hope this is a good lesson for other countries not to go to war and solve problems in better ways.”


Natalie Portman hated training to star in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder,’ opening July 8 with Chris Hemsworth and Christian Bale.

Portman, who will be on the cover of Social Life this weekend, told the magazine, “I’m super tired after working out. And during. And dreading it before.

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But she prevailed and became visibly stronger.

Portman teased super-buff Hemsworth on Instagram, saying, “And you thought you were the one and only.”


Andrew Lloyd Webber gave artist Maria Kreyn $1million to create eight monumental paintings inspired by Shakespeare’s writings for the lobby of his Theater Royal Drury Lane in London.

Kreyn will present new works at the opening of the Influences of Time exhibition on May 31 at C1760, the modern art department of Colnaghi, the oldest art gallery in the world on E. 70th St.


Metropolitan Palm Beach editor Margaret Bastick Luce is on the cover of 25A magazine this month. The former Ford model is responsible for past covers such as Joe Namath, polo player Nic Roldan and Jack Nicklaus.