Don’t ask Garrett Morris what he’s been up to the past, oh, nearly 30 years, since he left Saturday Night Live as one of the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players. He’s been plenty busy, thanks very much, and boasts the imdb.com credits to prove it. “I just finished a movie with Ice Cube,” he says in a voice that’s gotten deeper and more Barry White–ish with age. Last year, Morris, along with partner Kevin Garnier, opened the Downtown Comedy Club in the Alexandria Hotel on Spring Street.
Though open only on Friday and Saturday nights, the first comedy club in the burgeoning neighborhood has been good. “I have really bad taste, so I hang out with a lot of comedians,” Morris says laughing, his voice seemingly huskier than at the start of the conversation. “I love comedy. I love comedians.” This is evident by the fact that unless he’s out of town filming a movie with Ice Cube, he’s in the club almost every weekend singing and introducing the comics. And how does the former New Yorker like the area?
“It’s like the Village; there’s a sense of community feeling. People come up to me and say they’re glad we’re here. It’s your patriotic duty as an L.A. citizen to come down here and see us.”
When asked if he watches the current season of Saturday Night Live, Morris says, “They had a lot of good years with Eddie Murphy, Jon Lovitz, Jimmy Fallon, Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, but now Madtv and some others are the only ones taking any chances. I watch forensics shows, Medium and the Lakers. What kind of a chance does Saturday Night Live have with this kind of competition?
“One more thing,” he says, seriously. “If you drive around L.A., you need to put plug-ups in your trunk.” Huh? “Because the cows farting is a big problem with emissions in our air. So when you see a cow, you need to plug him up. Thank you for letting me make that jump.”