Tracy Morgan Couldn’t Bring Himself to Watch SNL 40, Promises Comedy Return

Laughter may one day be the best medicine for Tracy Morgan, but as the struggling comedian continues to recover and go through physical therapy, he is crying more than cracking up these days. The 30 Rock alum, 46, recently sat down for an extended interview with Matt Lauer, his first since the tragic car accident that left him severely injured and one of his close friends dead, and NBC aired the second part of the interview on Monday evening, June 1.

Morgan broke down as he spoke to Lauer, 57, about the June 2014 crash. The star was in a limo-bus with friends and colleagues on his way back from a comedy gig, when their vehicle was hit in a multi-car pileup. The accident killed Morgan’s good friend James McNair at the age of 62, and put Morgan in months of rehabilitation to treat physical and mental ailments from the crash.

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“I have my good days and my bad days,” he explained with his fiancée Megan Wollover and his lawyer Benedict Morelli by his side. “Sometimes I don’t feel well, sometimes emotionally I don’t feel well and I’m not ready for crowds of people because I’m really focused on my memory coming back to me, my walking getting better. My balance is still off so I have to really focus on those things before I’m out here.”

Morgan, who has been performing stand-up and acting for more than two decades, said he hopes to one day return to his beloved career. He is dealing with depression following the tragedy, and is working to get back to his old self.

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Tracy MOrgan
Tracy Morgan appears on NBC News’ “Today” show on Monday, June 1, 2015 NBC

“I love comedy,” he told Lauer. “I wonder how I’m going to be funny again, how I’m going to get to it, remembering my identity, what do I do? The fans let me know, ‘We can’t wait for you to come back, we can’t wait for you to come back.’ I can’t wait to make them laugh again. When I couldn’t do it, and I have the audience there, for a long time, that was it for me. It was making people laugh and crack up — then that was taken from me. I guess that’s God’s way of saying, ‘Do you really love it?’ So, I love it.”

Despite his love for making people laugh, Morgan was not well enough to participate in Saturday Night Live‘s star-studded 40th anniversary show this past September. The celebration, which brought out famed alums like Jimmy Fallon, Dan Aykroyd, Will Ferrell, and Steve Martin, paid homage to Morgan and acknowledged his absence. 

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“The 40th anniversary… we were all together in my house and I wouldn’t look at it,” he explained. “I wouldn’t watch it. Lewis Kay, my publicist, called and said, ‘Wow’… He said, ‘Wow.’ Then I texted him, I said, ‘What happened?’ He said, ‘Alec and Tina just, aw man, they gave you a very big, very big tribute.'” 

Morgan’s 30 Rock costars Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey took a somber moment during the show to send their love to the star. “I wish my friend Tracy Morgan was here tonight,” Fey said. “I know that he was hoping he would be well enough to be here too.” Baldwin promised that they would see Morgan at the 41st anniversary, and the two told him they love him.

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“I just put my head down and started crying because it’s a lot for me,” Morgan continued. “It was too much for me at that time. Now it’s just on to the business of getting better and healing. That’s what I’m gonna do and one day, when I’m 100 percent, I’m gonna grab that mic and I’m never gonna let it go. Never. I promise you. I promise y’all. I’m gonna be the funniest I can be cause I ain’t never gonna take life for granted no more.” 

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