Tracy Morgan hosted the 2019 ESPY Awards on Wednesday night. Thanks to his opening monologue the comedian was trending on Twitter, but probably not for the reason he’d hoped. The vast majority of viewers were not fans of Morgan’s performance.
A significant portion of Morgan’s material centered around the large settlement he got from Walmart, after his car was struck by a Walmart truck, leaving him critically injured. The event took place five years ago, and put the focus of the show on Morgan rather than the athletes.
Some of the other jokes seemed out of touch with today's social climate.
“Everyone's into fantasy football but when Janet Jackson's boob popped out, to me, that was fantasy football,” said Morgan. He then discussed how weird Adam Levine’s nipples looked when he performed with Maroon 5 during the 2019 Super Bowl.
Morgan appeared to struggle with reading from the teleprompter at times, impacting his delivery and performance. Most of the reaction shots from the live audience showed athletes sporting uncomfortable smiles or blank expressions. But as the monologue dragged on, more laughter could be heard, if not seen. Some viewers claimed the laughter was more a result of sound technicians adding laughs, rather than Morgan earning them.
Not sure which was worse... The Tracy Morgan opening monologue or ABC pumping in fake audience laughter during Tracy Morgan’s opening monologue! #ESPYS— Steve Podraza (@SteveP_45) July 11, 2019
Ultimately, comedy is subjective. That being said, social media reactions are often a good indicator of how something lands with the audience. And in this case, Morgan’s opening monologue was not well-received.
The 2019 ESPY Awards aired Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Watch as Megan Rapinoe shocks Anderson Cooper with story about coming out:
Read more from Yahoo! Entertainment:
Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle's newsletter.