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Stepping into "Saturday Night Live's" Studio 8H for the first time since a traffic accident nearly took his life a year ago, Tracy Morgan admitted the greatest fear in his rehabilitation is failing to do what he once did best: Make people laugh.
“I love comedy and I wonder how I'm gonna be funny again. How I’m going to get it,” the comedian said in the second part of an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Matt Lauer.
Morgan and several friends were returning from a performance last June when the limousine they were traveling in was slammed from behind by a Walmart truck. Morgan’s close friend, James “Jimmy Mac” McNair, was killed, and the comedian suffered a broken leg, several broken ribs and severe brain trauma. Two other passengers in the limo were seriously injured.
In the first part of his interview with Lauer on Monday, his first interview since the June 7, 2014 crash, Morgan said recovering from McNair's death has been difficult: "Bones heal, but the loss of my friend will never heal."
While visiting the SNL studio, a tearful Morgan said his fans have helped lift his spirits, and he doesn't want to let them down.
"The fans have let me know, 'We can't wait for you to come back,'" he said. "I can't wait to make them laugh again.”
Morgan expressed deep gratitude to the medical staff who helped him through his recovery. He also thanked his friends and family, particularly fiancée Megan Wollover, who described the tremendous progress Morgan has made in the past year.
“Well, he's not 100 percent, but you know, he's came a long way pretty fast" she said. "It was a rough beginning. It didn't look so great in the beginning, but he's coming around and he's going to be back.”
The couple plan to get married in August and Morgan said he can’t wait.
“That is the cherry on top of the cake for me,” he said.
Morgan said he still hasn't been able to watch the recent SNL 40th anniversary special. When he heard that his “30 Rock” co-stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin paid tribute to him during the program, “I put my head down and I just started crying,” he said. “It was too much for me at the time.”
But Morgan said if the SNL creator extends an invitation to return, he will do so.
"If Lorne Michaels allows me to have the opportunity, I promise you," he said. "I promise you."
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