07/27/2009 at 06:46 PM EDT
It seems like Tracy Morgan is surrounded by animals. On 30 Rock
he plays a slightly off-kilter star who happens to own a snake. On the big screen, in the summer hit G-Force
, he gives life to a superhero guinea pig named Blaster. And at home, Morgan has a virtual zoo of his own: two snakes, three sharks, two moray eels, two piranhas, one jellyfish, five scorpions, one bird spider and two dogs. And that's just now. "Growing up, I had a turtle, a frog and dogs," he tells PEOPLE Pets. "I had a Chihuahua named Chi Chi, too."
So with his new role as a crime-fighting creature, and his menagerie of fierce pets, is Morgan an animal owner to fear? Nah! "I'm a puppy dog," he says. "I think it's cool to have strong and powerful animals."
Though he doesn't own one of his own, Morgan had a ball playing a fluffy rodent in G-Force
. "I was tickled seeing myself as a guinea pig that looks like me with my voice," he says. "Guinea pigs are cute and cuddly and furry and I love them! When I was in the third grade, we had one in our class and we used to feed them and give them carrots and cabbage and all that stuff. I was all about them, so I've had my rendezvous with guinea pigs. I'm a huge fan of animals and having pets."
Though it may not be an Oscar-winning role, the actor was still excited about what he calls a "marvelous" opportunity. "People before me showed me how to do it, like Eddie Murphy in Shrek
, and Chris Rock in Madagascar
," he says. "I look up to these people and they are my heroes. Now I can have a conversation with those people about our experiences." Welcome to the animated-animal club, Tracy!Read more celebrity stories on PEOPLE Pets:Dancing's Karina Smirnoff's Relaxation Secret: Her Dog, Randy!Leona Lewis Rescues Bunny from Becoming Dinner