Garrett Morris’ signature smile has thrilled audiences for over 40 years. As one of the old school cast members of Saturday Night Live, he was a classic comic relief for the Show “Martin” with Martin Lawrence for 3 seasons, and on the “Jamie Foxx Show” for five years. Now, the 81-year-old Morris is currently going into his sixth season as Earl on the CBS hit show “2 Broke Girls”.
“I think I’ve got the best job in the world,” say Morris.
Although he’s all smiles, you’d never know the journey Morris had to take to get to this point.
Garrett is the result of his mother being raped when she was just 16 years old. He grew up in the city of New Orleans and was raised by his grandparents. It was his grandfather who saw his talent for singing early.
“I sang the blues and gospel” then at the age of 19, he moved to New York and landed a few acting gigs and even sang with the Harry Belafante singers. But in 1975, he struck gold with a 5-year stint on Saturday Night Live. It was during that time, that Morris also began his cocaine habit. It would take him 30 years to finally kick the habit.
But it was during one of the best years of taping the “Martin” show that Garrett was shot in broad daylight. The whole ordeal last 2 years, with a year of him having to be in a wheelchair. But it did teach him a lesson about life that he still lives by today.
“A couple of guys tried to rob me,” tells Morris. “But if they would’ve known HOW to rob me, saying something like ‘I’m going to shoot you if you don’t give me your money,’ I would’ve done that. But they came from behind so I had to do what I had to do.”
“I’m first-degree black black, so when they came from behind me, they didn’t expect me to do what I did. When the guy grabbed me, I side kicked him and put him down. Across the street there were a number of guys who saw what was going on so when I did what I did, he got embarrassed. So then he pulls out the gun and shoots me.”
“I got shot in my intestine and it messed me up. I had to have a colostomy bag for about 8 months and had to endure literally 10 major operations over the next few months because when I got to the hospital, I was in a coma”
A colostomy bag is a prosthetic medical device that provides a means for the collection of waste from a surgically diverted biological system (colon, ileum, bladder) and the creation of a stoma.
But that’s when things turned worse for Morris on ‘Martin.’
“During that time, I think it was my fourth major operation, that the person who was producing the Martin show, that I got the news that I was being let go. I received the script and it said that ‘Stan sells the radio station’ and I asked, ‘does that mean that I’m gone?’ and of course the answer was yes.”
“When I was in the hospital I kept asking myself, ‘am I gonna die?’. But then it struck me: whether you feel good about dying or bad about dying, you’re going to die anyway. So,…