Tracy Morgan Sheds Tears During First Public Appearance: 'I'm Not 100 Percent Yet'

Tracy Morgan hasn't had much to laugh about over the last year, but he's moving forward.

On Monday's Today show, the comedian spoke for the first time about the June 2014 car accident which killed his mentor, James "Jimmy Mack" McNair, and sidelined him with brain trauma and multiple broken bones. The 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live alum shed tears during the interview talking about his year of ups and downs.

"I can't believe I'm here," the 46-year-old, who clutched a cane during his interview, told Matt Lauer.

Morgan, who appeared with his lawyer, Benedict Morelli, during the interview, said he remembers nothing about the accident. When he woke up from a coma two weeks later, "Megan [Wollover], my fiancée, was right there. My son was right there… That's basically what I remember."

That's when he learned from Wollover that McNair had perished and the news kicked him in the gut.

Tracy Morgan appeared on the 'Today' show Monday along with his lawyer. (Today)
Tracy Morgan appeared on the 'Today' show Monday along with his lawyer. (Today)

"When I got home, it really hit me," he said. "Every day I would watch the accident [aftermath] on YouTube. One day I came across [McNair's] funeral on YouTube. I lost it for about a week."

Morgan called McNair "a close friend of mine, a comrade in comedy," and described him as "a loving man," a "warm man," and "a good man." He noted, "It just hurts me to see that he's gone."

As for his injuries, Morgan pointed out scars on his head and noted that he has had lingering effects. "There are times when I have my good days and my bad days where I forget things," he said. "There are times when I got headaches and nose bleeds. I don't even let my lady know because I don't want her to be worried about it." However, he added, "Bones heal. The loss of my friend will never heal."

During the interview, Morgan revealed that Wollover and their young daughter typically travel with him to shows but they didn't that night because the baby was teething. And he went on to thank everyone who assisted with the accident that night as well as his doctors and nurses who were essential to his recovery.

This was Morgan's first public appearance since the June 7 six-vehicle crash during which his limo bus was rear-ended by a Walmart tractor-trailer on the New Jersey Turnpike. He broke his leg, nose, and multiple ribs during the crash and spent weeks in an in-patient rehab facility. In November, Morelli revealed that the funnyman also suffered a "severe brain injury."

Last week, Morgan reached a settlement with the superstore, which he and two other surviving passengers, Ardie Fuqua and Jeffrey Millea, sued for negligence.

"They took full responsibility," Morgan told Lauer. "I'm really happy they looked out for Jimmy McNair's family. I’m glad my friend can rest in peace now."

Kevin Roper, the driver of the Walmart truck, was charged with vehicular homicide and assault by auto after investigators alleged that he was speeding and had not slept for more than 24 hours at the time of the accident. Criminal charges against him are pending.

Morgan has been photographed only a handful of times over the last year, typically when he ventured out of his New Jersey home for doctor appointments. He didn't attend the premiere of his film Top Five last fall or the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary show, during which his 30 Rock co-stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin paid tribute to him. However, he's not giving up on his career, he said Monday.

"I love comedy. I'll never stop loving her," Morgan said. "Right now my goal is just to heal and get better 'cause I’m not 100 percent yet. I'm not. When I’m there, you'll know it. I'll get back to making you laugh, I promise you."

After Morgan's interview aired, he shared his first post on Twitter since the accident: