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Tracy Morgan is Lou Bega in totally legitimate Mambo No. 5 biopic

Tracy Morgan, already a musical artist par excellence, has just taken his craft to a higher level. After spotting a gap in the market for yet another music biopic, Morgan has gifted the world with a trailer for his soul-baring look at the life of Lou Bega.

The clip aired on last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! and features Morgan, decked out with a pencil mustache, fedora, and wide-lapel shirt, slipping effortlessly into the role of the “Mambo No. 5" creator.


As all good biopics must, the trailer begins with Bega’s dreams being questioned by his father. Fake credits role and the scene fades in on Morgan/Bega adjusting his white zoot suit in the mirror. “Lou! It’s time to come to work in the paprika mines, like your daddy!” his father says. Though it’s futile to capture the magic of Morgan’s acting with words alone, his reply—“I’m not working in the pepper-eeka mines, pop! My dream is to be a mambo star!”—should be enough to convince you this thing is worth a watch.

Morgan moves through the biopic paces, showing Bega desperately conjuring up the lyrics to his hit song (“Little bit of pineapple ... no! A little bit of ... Italian sausage sandwiches, no!”) before landing on the famous verses when his various girlfriends come in to visit the recording studio. By the time the trailer ends, we’ve been graced the image of Kimmel as a ponytailed audio engineer, Morgan singing a cover of “Mambo No. 5,” and the triumphant moment when an in-fiction Bega is awarded the “Nobel Prize for Mambo.”

The whole thing seems completely ridiculous at first—a parody too goofy to extend beyond a late night talk show joke. But then you remember that Bohemian Rhapsody, in all its glory, is one of the favorites to win this year’s Best Picture Oscar and, all of a sudden, Tracy Morgan’s Mambo No. 5 doesn’t seem all that far-fetched.

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.