Comedian Tracy Morgan, known for paying Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock, hosted Saturday Night Live last Saturday, officially returning to TV after a brush with death last year. Though the appearance was not his first, it was his first live comedy stint since the car crash on June 7, 2014 which left him in a coma for two weeks.
The accident injured three other comedians, Morgan’s assistant, two limo company employees and it killed 62-year-old comedian James McNair. After the crash, the driver of the Walmart transport truck, Kevin Roper, was charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. He pleaded not guilty. After the incident, Morgan filed a lawsuit against Walmart for negligence, which was eventually settled for an undisclosed amount.
Prior to hosting SNL, Morgan made his official comeback at the Emmys on September 20 when he made a surprise appearance and received a standing ovation as presenter of the Best Drama Award. Since the award show, Morgan has been doing more interviews and recently appeared at the Kennedy Center to see Eddie Murphy accept his Mark Twain Award.
Fans were again thrilled to see Morgan back in his element on Saturday, which led to many expressing their excitement through social media using the trending hashtag #WelcomeBackTracy. In his opening monologue, Morgan began by nonchalantly joking about his near fatal injuries and speculations on his loss of full mental capacity. Then, his former coworkers from 30 Rock made an appearance to poke fun at their old show. “I didn’t watch this episode when it aired, but afterwards some of my friends who had seen it were so excited that I felt like I needed to see it,” freshman Aidan Holland said.
Morgan did almost all of the sketches himself and included some stand up comedy bits during his monologue. He even showed up on Weekend Update as a homeless self-help guru. Morgan got more serious later in the show, thanking his family, friends and community for all the support he has received over the last year. “Tracy Morgan is kind of my favorite host ever. He added a lot to the crew,” freshman Patrick Warner said. “He was also so humble and thankful. It was sweet.”
Morgan finished the show with another round of thank yous as his new wife, Megan Wollover, stood beside him with their daughter, Maven Sonae. Morgan ended the show saying, “Thank you Lorne Michaels (the producer of SNL), I love you like I love my daddy. And I love you all. Thanks for being with me. We out!”