“Some days were dark and some days were okay,” he admits.
Though most of the special is full of the trademark Morgan crassness that made him a fan-favorite on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, his hour-long routine is also full of personal stories about his long recovery.
“I suffered some terrible injuries – traumatic brain injury. I broke every bone in my face, my ribs. I pulverized my femur,” he says. “I’m from the ghetto and after I came out the coma I was blind for a week and where I come from you don’t want to be blind for a second. All kinds of s— started coming up missing in my hospital room.”
His Hospital Stay
“When I came out of the coma, my whole family came to the hospital to visit me just to tell me they love me,” he says. “Except for my grandmother. Like every other old black woman, all she cares about is an education. I’m, like, ‘Grandma, I made it. I survived!’ She said, ‘Good. Now you can go back and get your GED.”
“It’s good to have relatives around when you’re convalescing like that,” he adds. “They give you the strength and motivation to get better – just so you can get [away from them.]”
His Mental State
“After the coma I was behaving erratically,” he says. “I was acting really erratically and the doctors told my wife, ‘Mrs. Morgan, that’s the brain trauma.’ And my wife looked at the doctor and said, ‘Nah. Nah. [He’s] always been crazy. I was hoping the accident was going to fix his crazy brain.’ ”
“When the accident happened, I got depressed watching my friends like Tina Fey, Kevin Hart, all those people, doing what I loved to do and I started eating a lot of comfort food and I put on a lot of lbs. and one day my wife just got fed up and was looking at me lying on the couch like a beached whale with disgust,” he continues. “It was like she was counting the stretch marks and she said to me, ‘Why don’t you get off the couch and go to the comedy club and do some comedy?’ … And I jumped up and said, ‘I’m back!’ ”
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How His Wife Inspired Him
“I kept my physical therapist close to me because me and my wife planned on getting married when things settled and I wanted to walk my wife down the aisle without a crutch, without a cane,” says Morgan. “I kept [my speech therapist] close to me because I wanted to recite the vows to my wife at our wedding correctly. I wanted to say ‘I do’ and not ‘f— you.’ ”
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How His Daughter Inspired Him
“When I was in my wheelchair, my daughter was 14 months old and I got to see her take her first steps,” he says of Maven, now 3. “That’s important to a man. That inspired me to get out of my wheelchair and I took my first steps. Now me and my daughter walk hand-in-hand for life because we learned how to walk at the same time. That’s magic.”
Staying Alive is now streaming on Netflix.