Tracy Morgan talks of surviving ‘awful’ accident in SNL return

Comedian played familiar characters, including Astronaut Jones, stranded on Mars

The Associated Press Posted: Oct 18, 2015 12:21 PM ET Last Updated: Oct 18, 2015 12:21 PM ET

Tracy Morgan returned to a familiar stage, hosting Saturday Night Live in his first appearance on the show since a vehicle crash that left him in a coma.

“I was in a terrible car accident more than a year ago. It was awful, but it also showed me how much love and support I have in this world,” the comic said in his opening monologue.

“People are wondering, ‘Can he speak? Does he have 100 per cent mental capacity?”‘ he asked. “The truth is, I never did. I might even be a few points higher.”

Tracy Morgan SNL

Tracy Morgan, a longtime Saturday Night Live cast member and 30 Rock star, was badly injured last year in a highway crash that left his friend, James McNair, dead. (YouTube/NBC)

In one sketch, he was joined by 30 Rock co-stars Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer. Fey broke character to inject a serious note: “We’re so happy you’re OK. We’re even happier you’re ready to make people laugh again.”

Morgan also brought back a couple of his familiar characters — Astronaut Jones (stranded on Mars, à la Matt Damon in The Martian) and animal expert Brian Fellow (joined by a real camel, who mostly cooperated).

Morgan suffered severe head trauma in June 2014 when a truck on the New Jersey Turnpike slammed into the back of the limo van he was riding in. Comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, a mentor of Morgan’s, was killed in the crash. Morgan was in a coma for two weeks. Three other passengers suffered serious injuries.

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