Comedian Tracy Morgan is lucky to be alive and he knows it. After surviving a massive auto accident with a Walmart tractor trailer on June 7, 2014, in New Jersey, Morgan has healed and come home to the stage, where his career began.
When he emerged for the first of two shows at the Paramount in Huntington on Saturday night, Morgan received a standing ovation.
“That’s a lot of love right there, for real,” he said. “You make me feel like the Desmond Tutu of show business.”
Throughout his 60-minute set, Morgan poked fun about his life-changing experience.
“Y’all know I got hit by a Walmart truck,” he said. “It could have been worse. I could have gotten hit by a dirty furniture truck driven by a guy named Rico with no insurance.”
Amid his cartoonish facial expression and exaggerated vocabulary, Morgan exuded a familial warmth that tugged on people’s heartstrings.
“From my wheelchair, I watched my little daughter take her first steps and she inspired me to take mine,” he said about his recovery.
When he awoke from his coma, Morgan said, his whole family was elated to see him alive, but his grandmother came down on him.
“I said, ‘Grandma, I’m alive!’ She said, ‘Great, maybe now you’ll get your GED!’ ” Morgan said. “I told her, ‘But grandma, I made it. I was on “30 Rock.” ’ She said, ‘If you had your GED, you’d be on “60 Rock”!’ ”
Recently married, Morgan talked about his second wife, who is 18 years younger than him.
“Yo, this marriage’s gotta work. I can’t pay no more alimony,” he said. “If it don’t, I’ve got to get hit by a second Walmart truck, a Doritos truck and FedEx plane at the same time.”
Fans who came to see him in concert were seeking more than just a laugh.
“I was worried about him,” says Justin Camirand, 27, of Westbury. “I’m glad to see that he’s back on his feet.”
Although he’s raw and raunchy, Morgan won everybody over with his signature charm.
“I love his honesty and bluntness,” says Denise Miller, 45, of Garden City. “He just comes out and says it like it is. That’s my type of guy!”