“I was in a terrible car accident more than a year ago. It was awful, but it also showed me how much love and support I have in this world,” Morgan said, returning to SNL for the first time following a tragic car accident that put him in a coma last year.
Morgan joked about concerns that he might have suffered brain damage.
“People are wondering, ‘Can he speak? Does he have 100 percent mental capacity?’ ” Morgan asked. “The truth is, I never did. I might even be a few points higher.”
He said when the accident happened, he knew his comedy family would be there for him.
“I already knew how much they cared for me from a very special episode of 30 Rock,” Morgan said.
Morgan went on to describe a fictional 2012 episode, in which his character Tracy Jordan nearly died. Then his 30 Rock costars Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Jack McBrayer and Jane Krakowski appeared to act out a scene from the fake episode – which was complete with references to 2012, such as viral sensation Psy and canceled NBC shows such as Animal Practice and Smash.
While the segment was played for laughs, Fey made sure to get in a sincere welcome back to her co-star.
“This is no joke. We’re so happy you’re okay. We’re even happier you’re ready to make people laugh again,” she said.
Later, Morgan brought back his classic animal expert Brian Fellow – who still doesn’t actually know much about animals.
He also brought back another familiar character, Astronaut Jones. This time, the character was stranded on Mars, ala The Martian. Per tradition, made an indecent propsal to musical guest Demi Lovato, who played an alien, asking her to, “take that butt out of that space suit.”
Morgan, 46, has been getting ready for his big return for weeks. He made an emotional appearance at the Emmys in September, and on Monday, Morgan prepared for SNL by performing stand-up comedy for the first time since the accident. The star tweeted a photo of himself at New York’s Comedy Cellar.
Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays (11:30 p.m. ET) on NBC.