After years of larger-than-life hilarity on shows such as Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock and The Last O.G., Tracy Morgan wanted a house fit for a king . . . of comedy.
And the 22,000-sq.-ft. mansion in New Jersey he shares with his wife, Megan, 32, and their daughter Maven, 5, fits the bill.
“Look at it—it’s a castle!” says Tracy, 50, in this week’s issue of PEOPLE of the 7-bedroom, 10-bathroom home. “I always wanted a big house when I was a little boy. Who ain’t dream of having a big house. So we bought it.”
The Brooklyn-born star is loving suburban life. “I’m a Brooklyn dude with a Bronx heart, by way of New Jersey. I found this home in New Jersey and I love it,” he says. He also appreciates that the property allows him time out of the spotlight, “A big part of my life is lived publicly, so my privacy means everything to me. I like to be home with my wife and my daughter.”
Since purchasing the house in 2015, following a near-fatal, multi-vehicle highway crash that left Tracy in months of grueling recovering, he and Megan transformed the massive mansion into a fun-filled haven with help from designer Michael Corrales.
“This is where me and my wife and my daughter lay our heads. And it’s pure comfort thanks to that man,” Tracy says.
They initially tried to decorate it themselves but quickly became overwhelmed. “There was so much room that we didn’t know [what to do],” Tracy admits. “We found ourselves picking out furniture and carpets. This was not our business.” He was introduced to Corrales by “my friend Shawn over at Roc-A-Fella,” known to most as Jay-Z.
Among his favorite features are a movie theater, basketball court and bowling alley, all on the house’s sprawling lower level. They use the space for entertaining, inviting over close friends and family to enjoy a game of pool on a table that also serves as a fish tank (home to two alligator gar, a species that can breathe both air and water) or watch a movie in seats with built-in woofer speakers. “You don’t just hear the sound, you feel it,” says Tracy, who’s also dad to sons Gitrid, 33, Malcolm, 31, and Tracy Jr., 27, from a previous marriage.
The designer managed to blend Megan’s more classic inclinations (on display in the formal rooms upstairs) with Tracy’s love for “old-school Hollywood” (the faces of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra watch over the billiards area) and all things aquatic.
In addition to the pool-table tank, there’s a 20,000-gallon shark reef in the backyard that is home to eight sharks, and several other massive fish tanks throughout the house.
“My father got me into marine life, and plus, my great-great-grandfather is Jacques Cousteau,” the comedian jokes. “Jacques Cousteau Morgan!”
Despite all of his estate’s elaborate features, Tracy knows what really matters most in his home life. “Her. The baby,” he says simply, gesturing to Megan and Maven. “A house is not a home if there’s nobody there to love. There’s a lot of love in here.”
And the Morgans are definitely here to stay. “It’s paid for,” adds the comedian, laughing. “It’s going to be in our family forever.”