Tracy Morgan’s return to Saturday Night Live was bound to be emotional. He has only hosted the show once since wrapping up his seven-year stint in 2003. But the circumstances of his return — as part of his journey back into the public eye after a 2014 car crash that nearly claimed his life — lent his presence in Studio 8H extra dramatic weight.
Morgan addressed the accident right off the top in his monologue, saying, “I was in a terrible car accident a year ago. It was awful, but it also showed me how much love and support I have in this world.” The comic went on to add that people wondered whether he has 100 percent mental capacity, but pointed out, “The truth is, I never did! I might actually be a few points higher now.”
Morgan then discussed how life sometimes imitates art by recalling a 2012 episode of 30 Rock where his alter ego, Tracy Jordan, almost died. That set up what the world has been waiting for: an honest-to-blog 30 Rock reunion, with the entire core cast — Morgan, Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski, and Jack McBrayer — reprising their roles live on the air. (Admit it: didn’t it give you tingles to hear Baldwin call Fey “Lemon” one more time?) We were already tearing up a little at Morgan’s obvious happiness at being back in his home away from home, but seeing that crew together again had us reaching for the Kleenex.