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UPDATE: Tracy Morgan Returns to Comedy After Brain Injury

After a serious brain injury in 2014, comedian Tracy Morgan recently returned to TV on Saturday Night Live. The comedian cracked jokes about his injury and taught the nation how to laugh in the midst of recovery.

On October 17, 2015, comedian Tracy Morgan made his triumphant return to television by hosting Saturday Night Live. Over a year and a half ago, Morgan was in a serious limo accident that killed his mentor, James McNair, and left him in a coma for eight days.

Last year, commentators questioned whether he would ever be the same again. Tracy Morgan himself told NBC’s Today Show that he was focused on recovery.

Since then, Tracy Morgan has taken small steps back to comedy. He showed up at the Emmy Awards last month, where he gave a moving speech about his injury and his recovery:

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…

More recently, he performed a surprise stand-up routine at the Comedy Cellar in New York, before returning to Saturday Night Live where the comedian had been a staple from 1996 to 2003. The promos for the show demonstrate that the traumatic brain injury hadn’t affected his sense of humor.

Morgan appeared alongside current cast member Bobby Moynihan in a promo for Saturday’s show. “Did I used to work here?” Morgan, asked. Moynihan stumbled to accommodate Morgan’s demonstrated memory loss, but Morgan broke into laughter.

“Yeah, I remember. I remember everything. Yeah, I remember you owe me $72.”

Morgan is a shining example of how receiving proper treatment can help traumatic brain injury victims overcome even serious disabilities. Over the last year and a half, Morgan has gone through physical and speech therapy, relearning how to walk and talk. Now he’s back in front of the cameras cracking jokes and teaching the nation to laugh, even in the midst of recovery.

David Christensen is a brain injury expert at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He represents the victims of TBI resulting from auto accidents. If you know someone who suffered a serious accident, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.

Image Source: David Shankbone (Photographer’s blog post about photo and event), via Wikimedia Commons