The 46-year-old comedian didn’t shy away from talking about the tragic accident. Instead, he directly addressed it during his opening monologue.
“It was awful, but it also showed me how much love and support I have in this world,” Morgan said. “People were wondering: Can he speak? Does he have 100 percent mental capacity? But the truth is, I never did. I might actually be a few points higher now.”
Morgan then made a nod to his 30 Rock family, who he said stood by him and supported him throughout his ordeal. Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer even joined him on the SNL stage, sweetly lining up to give him hugs in an adorable moment that tugged at the heartstrings.
They also helped him launch into a skit that took Morgan back to a fictional 2012 episode of 30 Rock where his character almost died, with his co-stars discussing his strange near-death experience. The bit even stayed true to its time with advertisement runners for the now-cancelled NBC shows Smash and Animal Practice.
At the end of the segment Fey turned serious to give the actor a message from the heart. “We’re so happy you’re okay but we’re even happier that you’re ready to make people laugh again,” she said.
Morgan kept the audience in stitches throughout the strong episode. Check out four of our favorite moments from the rest of the show below.
Larry David Does a Dead-On Bernie Sanders Impression in Democratic Debate Sketch
The Curb Your Enthusiasm star appeared during the cold opening of SNL, proving he was born to play Bernie Sanders as he poked fun at the Democratic political debate.
"I’m hungry, but I’m good, and if you don’t mind, I’m going to dial it right up to a ten. We’re doomed!” he quipped in the hilarious sketch.
The real-life Sanders watched the skit and was so impressed with David’s impersonation that he joked that he wanted the actor to fill in for him on the campaign trail. “I think we'll use Larry at our next rally. He does better than I do,” he told ABC's This Week.
Tracy Reprises Role as Brian Fellows -- But a Camel Steals the Spotlight
Morgan brought back one of his former characters, Brian Fellows, an animal expert who knows nothing about animals. While he seemed a little shaky during his opening, he was back to his old self, decked out in full safari gear as he hammed it up with a beaver and a camel. The latter, naturally, stole the spotlight. At one point, the camel moved his behind so close to the camera that he blocked Morgan’s shot! But like the pro that he is, the actor didn’t miss a beat -- or seem nervous that a large animal was dancing around the stage in front of him.
Demi Lovato Joins Tracy for The Martian Spoof
Tracy brought back another beloved character, Astronaut Jones, and this time, he was front and center for a timely spoof of the movie, The Martian.
After it was announced by NASA that one of their men was lost on Mars, the camera cut to Morgan who explained that he was “alone” on planet Mars. Moments later, Demi appeared. She introdued herself as Martiana and offered to help the actor in exchange for peace, but Astronaut Jones had something very different in mind.
Demi Owns Her SNL Debut
The night’s musical guest performed her hit song, “Cool For the Summer,” as well as her latest single, “Confident.” The 23-year-old pop star, dressed in a sexy black ensemble, was backed by a full band, and a horn section helped breathe new life into her tunes. Later in the show, she showed off her vocal skills once again when she belt out a version of “Stone Cold.”
Following the episode, both celebrities and fans took to Twitter to celebrate the amazing show, including Demi who shared that Tracy was the “the SWEETEST.”
When Tracy Morgan came onstage 🙌 when 30 Rock reunited 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌 when they cut out and Tina was wearing clogs 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙏— Megan Lasher (@MeganLasher) October 18, 2015