Tracy Morgan broke his silence on the car crash which nearly claimed his life nearly a year ago in an emotional live TV interview on the Today Show. Tearful at times, the former ’30 Rock’ star spoke about his recovery, offered thanks and gratitude to family and medical staff and paid tribute to his late mentor and friend James McNair who died in the accident.

Tracy Morgan
Photo: Tracy Morgan
Credit: PR Photos

The 46-year-old comedian spoke with NBC Today Show co-anchor Matt Lauer in a live television interview and was frequently moved to tears as he spoke. It marked his first television appearance of any kind since the accident on the New Jersey Turnpike in which a Walmart truck slammed into the limousine that Morgan and several others were traveling in, including James McNair, better known as Jimmy Mac, who died in the accident. Walmart settled a lawsuit a few days prior to Morgan’s live appearance for an undisclosed sum of money.

Clutching the handle of his cane and sitting alongside his lawyer, Benedict Morelli, his first words to the viewing audience were, “I can’t believe I’m here. I can’t believe I’m in front of you. I can’t believe I’m just here, and just seeing the tragedy that happened. It touches me.”

Asked what the past year has been like for him, Morgan said he had been “up and down.” He went on to speak of how he didn’t remember the accident and that he had been told what happened and told of the death of his friend. He said, “When I got home it really hit me. Every day I would just watch the accident on YouTube and one day I came across his funeral on YouTube and I lost it for about a week.’

Explaining his rationale, Morgan said, ““I had to know what happened to my friend, I had to pay my respects. That was my way.”

Morgan also spoke highly of both his family and his friends and credited them for helping him in the past year. He mentioned Tina Fey, his fellow ’30 Rock’ star and others by name, and also spoke of the supportiveness of his fiance and his children all of whom he said were helping to keep his spirits up. He also offered his thanks to hospital staff and emergency responders at the scene of the crash as well as bystanders who had helped him.

Morgan said of the Walmart settlement, “The case is settled, but the pain is always going to be there.”

When Matt Lauer asked him about whether or not he would perform again, Morgan said, “I love comedy. I’ll never stop loving her. I love comedy and I can’t wait to get back to her. But right now my goal is just to heal and get better. I’m not 100 percent yet. I’m not. And when I’m there, you’ll know it. I’ll get back to making you laugh, I promise you.”

Watch the full video of Tracy Morgan’s live interview below.