Some say it was ending worth waiting for, despite the awards show bringing in record-low ratings (reportedly only 11 million tuned in this year, compared to 17 mil in recent years).
Tracy Morgan took the Microsoft Theatre stage in Los Angeles on Sept. 20 to present the last honor of the evening—the 2015 Emmy for Outstanding Drama—but over the last year, he has been living a tragic drama of his own.
The 46 -year funnyman elicited a standing ovation, as he made his first major appearance since the deadly accident that left him in a coma for eight days, and took the life of his close friend James “Jimmy Mack” McNair. Choking back tears, the 30 Rock actor thanked his friends and family for their support, and recalled the challenges he’s had to face since the horrific accident back in June 2014, when his limo was hit by a Walmart tractor-trailer on the New Jersey Turnpike.
“Last year Jimmy Kimmel said on this stage, ‘We’ll see you back here next year, Tracy Morgan.’ Well, Jimmy, thanks to my amazing doctors, and the support of my family and beautiful new wife, I’m here. Standing on my own two feet,” Tracy said.
But the somber mood was short-lived, and the Saturday Night Live alum didn’t miss a comedic beat, prompting an uproar of laughter from the audience, as he recalled how happy he was to wake up from his coma last year to find that he wasn’t actually “the one who messed up.”
And in case anyone forgot it, Tracy made his hilariously vulgar trademark quip, announcing that because he is finally starting to feel like himself, “a whole lot of ya’ll women are gonna get pregnant at the after-party!”
Tracy is set to return to his old stomping grounds to host Saturday Night Live on October 17.