Tracy Morgan made a triumphant return to television Sunday night at the Emmys, where he presented the final award of the night for Outstanding Drama Series — and even worked in a couple jokes.
Morgan was critically injured in a car crash in June 2014, and has been in recovery since. He sat down for his first interview following the crash this past June with Matt Lauer, but has mostly stayed out of the spotlight.
“I miss you guys so much,” he addressed the audience, who rose for a standing ovation once Morgan boarded the stage. “Last year, Jimmy Kimmel stood on this stage and said, ‘We’ll see you back here next year, Tracy Morgan.’ Well, Jimmy, thanks to my amazing doctors and the support of my family and my beautiful new wife, I’m here.”
He went on to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers over the past 15 months, and then cracked a joke about waking up from an eight-day coma. “I was just ecstatic to learn that I wasn’t the one who messed up.”
Morgan ended the introduction by making a return to his comedic roots. “Only recently I’ve started to feel like myself again,” he said, “which means a whole lot of women are gonna get pregnant at the afterparty.” Cue his 30 Rock co-star Tina Fey burying her face in her hands — and the entire crowd celebrating that Morgan is back, dirty jokes and all.
“As the months and months went by, part of my therapy was seeing TV and seeing my friends and feeling like I’m coming back,” Morgan later told the press after calling his Emmys experience “very overwhelming.”
“My publicist said maybe you should let Hollywood welcome you back home. That’s what happened,” he added.
Morgan will next be seen on television when he hosts the Oct. 17 episode of Saturday Night Live.
Natalie Abrams contributed reporting.