The 46-year-old funnyman made a surprise appearance at the 2015 Emmy Awards on Sunday, more than a year after being gravely injured in a horrific traffic collision, stepping out to present the award for Best Drama to Game of Thrones. His speech was both heartfelt and funny, drawing big reactions from his former co-stars in the audience, including Tina Fey. Read the full speech below.
Hello, thank you so much. I miss you guys so much. Last year Jimmy Kimmel sat on the 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 amazing new wife, I'm here, standing on my own two feet. And God bless all of you for all your love, prayers and positive thoughts over the last 15 months. Thank you.
I'm honored to be at the Emmys. I always have been honored to be here. It's been a long road back. I suffered a traumatic brain injury [that] put me in a coma for eight days. When I finally regained consciousness, I was ecstatic to learn I wasn't the one who messed up. Only recently I've started to feel like myself again, which means a whole lotta young women gonna get pregnant at the after party. So, on that note, the nominees for best drama are...
UPDATE: Following his appearance, Morgan got incredibly candid with reporters backstage in the press room about his difficult road to recovery.
"When you have traumatic brain damage -- as you can see the scars on my head -- at that moment it first happened, when I didn't see any hope and I couldn't walk, before they taught me how to stand up and sit down again, you don’t feel [like you'll recover]," he said. "But as the months and the months and the months went by, part of my therapy was seeing TV and seeing my friends and saying that I'm coming back one day. My wife made sure of that."
As Morgan began to tear up, he continued. "It was bigger than TV for me at that moment. I wanted to walk my wife down the aisle with no cane. And as I would work [in physical therapy], I would just say, 'I want to go back, I'm going back.' And then my publicist, Lou Kay, he said, 'Well, maybe you should let Hollywood welcome you back home,' and that's what happened."