Tracy Morgan slammed by critics after awkward ESPYs opening monologue

Tracy Morgan missed the mark with his opening monologue at Wednesday night’s 2019 ESPY Awards.

The comedian hosted the annual bash – which recognizes excellence in sports – and left the audience and viewers cringing with his performance.

Criticism centered largely on Morgan’s material which focused heavily on the big payout he got after he was struck by a Walmart truck in 2014, leaving him critically injured.

Fell flat: Tracy Morgan hosted the ESPY Awards on Wednesday night but the audience and viewers were not impressed with his 'awkward' and 'unfunny' monologue

Fell flat: Tracy Morgan hosted the ESPY Awards on Wednesday night but the audience and viewers were not impressed with his ‘awkward’ and ‘unfunny’ monologue

Viewers were not impressed that Morgan, 50, was making the show all about him rather than the athletes they had come to celebrate.

Some Twitter users remarked on how out of touch Morgan’s jokes were with the current social climate.

‘Everyone’s into fantasy football but when Janet Jackson’s boob popped out, to me, that was fantasy football,’

other issues stemmed from Morgan’s apparent struggle to read the teleprompter at certain points, impacting his performance.

Viewers were not impressed that Morgan, 50, was making the show all about him - talking about his accident in 2014 - rather than the athletes they were celebrating

 Viewers were not impressed that Morgan, 50, was making the show all about him – talking about his accident in 2014 – rather than the athletes they were celebrating

Bad: Many viewers took to Twitter to express their disappointment at Tracy's performance and also claim that 'fake laughter' was added by sound technicians

Bad: Many viewers took to Twitter to express their disappointment at Tracy’s performance and also claim that ‘fake laughter’ was added by sound technicians

Dying: Some Twitter users thought Tracy's performance was generally not good

Dying: Some Twitter users thought Tracy’s performance was generally not good

Cameras inside the Microsoft Theater captured the awkward reactions of the audience with some athletes visibly wincing at the SNL alum's quips or just staring blankly

Cameras inside the Microsoft Theater captured the awkward reactions of the audience with some athletes visibly wincing at the SNL alum’s quips or just staring blankly

Cameras inside the Microsoft Theater captured the awkward reactions of the audience with some athletes visibly wincing at the SNL alum’s quips or just staring blankly.

Some viewers event claimed that laughter was added in by sound technicians because so many of Morgan’s jokes fell flat. 

Meanwhile, Morgan revealed in a recent interview that he had a very specific reason for hosting The ESPYs.

The comedian told the Associated Press that he wanted to host the ceremony, live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, to spread awareness in the fight against cancer.

‘The main reason I really wanted to do it is the fight against cancer,’ Morgan revealed, adding that his grandparents and former wife, Sabina, died of the disease. 

Host for a reason: Tracy Morgan revealed in a recent interview that he has a very specific reason for hosting The ESPYs on Wednesday night

Host for a reason: Tracy Morgan revealed in a recent interview that he has a very specific reason for hosting The ESPYs on Wednesday night

‘I have an opportunity to fight their cause and I’m all in,’ Morgan added.

Every year, The ESPYS raises both awareness and funds for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, in honor of late North Carolina State men’s basketball coach Jim Valvano.

The foundation was started at the first ESPYs in 1993, just weeks before he died at the age of 47, and the ESPN network has raised $97 million over the past 26 years.

All in: 'I have an opportunity to fight their cause and I’m all in,' Morgan added

All in: ‘I have an opportunity to fight their cause and I’m all in,’ Morgan added

Morgan added in his interview that he wanted to honor Valvano’s legacy while continuing to fight cancer. 

‘We’ll have a great time, but the most important thing is Jim Valvano. I’ll never forget watching him at the ESPYs,’ Morgan said.

‘We forget sometimes the cause, we enjoy being there, but we got to understand the reason why we’re there. It’s an opportunity to give back. I’m in service to others.’ 

Legacy: Morgan added in his interview that he wanted to honor Valvano's legacy while continuing to fight cancer

Legacy: Morgan added in his interview that he wanted to honor Valvano’s legacy while continuing to fight cancer

Morgan has been a lifelong sports fan, from watching his father and uncle play football, to running in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and 55- and 110-meter hurdles in high school.

‘I was born into it,’ he said, while adding a story about his family’s sporting legacy.

‘I was told that my grandmother ran track against Wilma Rudolph in the Olympic trials and lost because she was pregnant with my dad,’ Morgan said.

Near fatal: He also reminisced about the near-fatal car crash that happened just over five years ago, which changed his life in several ways

Near fatal: He also reminisced about the near-fatal car crash that happened just over five years ago, which changed his life in several ways

He also reminisced about the near-fatal car crash that happened just over five years ago, which changed his life in several ways.

‘I’m 50 years old and I’ve been hit by a truck doing 75 mph,’ Morgan said. ‘I thank god for every day.’ 

Morgan stars in the TBS series The Last OG, which recently wrapped up its second season.

Reminisce: He also reminisced about the near-fatal car crash that happened just over five years ago, which changed his life in several ways

Reminisce: He also reminisced about the near-fatal car crash that happened just over five years ago, which changed his life in several ways

Via Source