Saying he wants to get back to comedy but that "right now my goal is just to heal and get better, because I'm not a hundred percent yet," Tracy Morgan spoke with Matt Lauer and "Today" in his first interview Monday since sustaining a traumatic brain injury in a June 2014 crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that killed his friend, James McNair.
In the intensely emotional interview -- Morgan, 46, didn't hold back tears when speaking of McNair, whom he called "Jimmy Mack" -- he said that since the crash "I've been down, I have my family, you know, I have my wife, Megan [Wollover] -- we were about to be married -- and my daughter, my son, so they keep my spirits up."
Morgan was injured in the late-night crash on June 7, 2014. While returning from a show in Delaware, the limousine he was in was struck from behind by a Walmart tractor trailer. In addition to the head injury, Morgan's lawyer, Benedict Morelli -- who also appeared on "Today" with Morgan -- said the comedian had suffered a broken nose, ribs and leg. Morgan reached an undisclosed settlement with Walmart last week and Morelli said Walmart's CEO, Doug McMillon, had reached out to Morgan to make arrangements to personally apologize for the accident. Both plan to speak later this week, Morelli said.
When Lauer asked Morgan when he had last seen his friend McNair -- who was 62 at the time of his death -- the comedian started to cry, then said: "The last time I saw Jimmy, Jimmy wrote a joke for me. It was a Donald Sterling joke. . . . And we went there and we did the show and I did the joke and everybody got applause breaks. And I looked to the side and I see Jimmy standing there, laughing. And that was the last time I've seen him alive." Lauer then asked Morgan when he found out that McNair had died in the crash. "Two weeks later after I came out of the coma," he said. "My lady told me, 'We put Jimmy to rest.' . . . I just came out of the coma."
Asked about his injuries and healing process, Morgan made note of scars on his forehead:
"As you can see the scars on my head, there are times where I have my good days and my bad days, where I forget things. There are times when I have the headaches and the nosebleeds and I won't even let my lady know because I don't want her to be worried about it. But I have my good days and my bad days."