In June 2014, the 30 Rock actor was involved in a six-vehicle car accident from which he suffered a “traumatic brain injury,” as he explained Sunday after taking the stage to present the final award of the night.
“I miss you guys so much,” began an audibly and visibly emotional Morgan. “Last year, Jimmy Kimmel stood on this stage and said, ‘We’ll see you back here next year, Tracy Morgan.’ Jimmy, thanks to my amazing doctors and the support of my family, my beautiful new wife, I’m here standing on my own two feet. God bless all of you for your love, your prayers and your positive thoughts over the past 15 months. … I’m honored to be at the Emmys, I always have been honored to be here. It’s been a long road back; I suffered a traumatic brain injury that put me in a coma for eight days.”
Proving he hasn’t lost his sense of humor through it all, Morgan continued, “When I finally regained consciousness, I was just ecstatic to learn that I wasn’t the one who messed up. Only recently have I started to feel like myself again, which means a whole lotta women gonna get pregnant at the after party.”
The reaction from Morgan’s 30 Rock co-stars — Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer — is priceless:
Following the speech, Morgan proceeded to the press room, where he offered more of his thoughts on the evening…
On the warm reception he got from the Emmys audience: “It was very overwhelming. You have to understand, in the last 15 months, I missed this stuff. I missed it. When I got on stage, it was overwhelming for me. I had to not be so emotional at that moment. I just wanted to let them know I missed them very much.”
On regaining hope after his accident: “As the months went by, part of my therapy was seeing TV and seeing my friends and saying, ‘One day, I’m going to come back.’ [Choking back tears] My wife made sure of that. It was bigger than TV for me at that moment. I wanted to walk my wife down the aisle with no cane. After that, I just said, ‘I’m going to go back.’ My publicist said, ‘You should let Hollywood welcome you back,’ and that’s exactly what happened.
On whether or not he ever lost hope: “I just hope my tragedy and Jimmy [Mack]’s death isn’t in vain. I hope that the thing that happened to me can be prevented now. That’s what I hope. We don’t [give up]. We don’t do that, as Morgans.”
Your thoughts/emotions on Morgan’s incredible speech? Drop ’em in a comment.