With his starring role in TBS’ new fall series “The Last O.G.,” Tracy Morgan is returning to TV after a traffic collision in 2014 derailed his career and his life.
The only thing he has to say about returning? “Thank God,” he told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer tour on Thursday. “That’s all I’ve got to say.”
As for working on the set of the show, which marks his first starring role since the fatal collision, Morgan added that the production crew, along with many of his cast members, made sure he didn’t exert himself, forcing him to take breaks on set.
“I have production and I have my crew and they make sure I sit down,” he said. “They don’t ask me. They just say, ‘sit down for a while.’ I’m good! I’m taken care of. I love them with my heart.”
“The Last O.G.” is a show about second chances, Morgan says. It follows his character, Tray, as he gets back to Brooklyn after a 15-year stint in jail, only to find the world has changed around him. His neighborhood is gentrified, his girlfriend Shay (Tiffany Haddish) has married a white man and the two are raising twins Tray didn’t know existed.
Tray stays in a halfway house in order to get back on his feet, taken under the wing of Cedric the Entertainer’s character.
While he didn’t mention his crash directly, Morgan said during the Q&A session that the show is heavily themed around transition and change, not just for his character but for all the characters — and actors — involved.
“The hardest thing in life is going through transition,” he said.
The June 2014, which killed his friend James McNair, took place on the New Jersey Turnpike when a Walmart truck driven by Kevin Roper struck a vehicle carrying Morgan and others. Morgan was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. he was in a coma and then spent a year going through rehabilitation. He said in later interviews that he had to relearn how to walk and do other basic tasks.
He made his first public appearance in 2015 in an interview with Matt Lauer and then jumped back into his career. He made a surprise appearance at the Emmy’s that year and hosted an episode of “Saturday Night Live,” which poked fun at the incident.
In May 2017, his first stand-up special hit Netflix.
After all he’s been through, and as the panel was wrapping up Kevin Reilly, the president of TBS and TNT, said “welcome back, Tray.”
Morgan replied, “thank you.”