During his first appearance on the Stern Show since the 2014 traffic accident that almost killed him, Tracy Morgan told Howard that if not for the current cast of "Saturday Night Live" he may have never returned to stand-up comedy.
"Forget stand-up, I thought about suicide," Morgan said while describing the depression he went through following the crash. "I was that damaged in the hospital."
Tracy explained that he struggled just trying to say simple words, so it didn't seem possible for him to get back on stage and start telling jokes. But, in addition to his wife telling him to take his "big gut" and go do some stand-up, Tracy revealed that he was motivated to become funny again while guest hosting "SNL." The opportunity came after Tracy asked Lorne Michaels if he would allow him to come back for a live show.
"Without blinking he said, 'The door is always open,'" Tracy recalled. He was booked soon after and during the first few days leading up to his appearance, Tracy said he became impressed by how hard everyone at the show was working.
"They inspired me so much," he told Howard. "I will for always be indebted to that cast for inspiring me to go back and be funny." So inspirational that he decided to go out to the Comedy Cellar and grab the mic for the first time since his accident.
"It was like a new life, and I did five minutes," he said.
Just a few weeks before his "SNL" return, Tracy made a surprise appearance at the 2015 Emmys and told Howard how he and Tina Fey shared an emotional moment backstage—the secret was so well kept, not even his good friend knew he was going to be there that night.
"She had her back to me and I said, 'T!' And she turned around and lost it," Tracy recalled. He told her to stop crying and promised that he would see her just as soon as she got done presenting. When it came time for Tracy to go out on stage, he said he caught a glimpse of Tina sitting in the front row, crying tears of joy.
"She was happy that the comedy was still there," Tracy said. "That's my sister I never had."
Check out more videos from Tracy's appearance (below).
For tickets and info for Tracy Morgan's "Picking up the Pieces" tour, click here.