Viewers saw a side of Tracy Morgan that few have ever seen before — emotional, somber, grateful to be alive — on the Today show this morning, where the actor and comedian gave his first interview since the car crash that nearly took his life. "I can't believe I'm here. I can't believe I'm in front of you," he told Matt Lauer at the beginning of the interview.
The comedian admitted that he's been "low" since the deadly crash, but is grateful his fiancé, Megan Wollover, and their infant daughter weren't traveling with him that fateful night, as they usually do. "My daughter was 10 months old — she wouldn't have made it, and Megan wouldn't have made it," he said. "That's really the thing that tears me up."
Morgan couldn't hold back the tears when talking about his close friend James "Jimmy Mack" McNair, who was killed in the crash. "He was a close friend of mine, a comrade in comedy. And he was a loving man, and he was a warm man. He was a good man. It just hurts me to see that he's gone."
Accompanied by his lawyer, Benedict Morelli, Morgan confirmed that his lawsuit against Wal-Mart, the mega-retailer whose truck hit Morgan's limo last June, had been settled and that "Wal-Mart stepped up to the plate in a tremendous way and they took full responsibility."
While the amount of Morgan's settlement hasn't been revealed, last week, the Associated Press reported that McNair's family received $10 million from Wal-Mart. "I'm just really happy they looked out for Jimmy Mack's family," Morgan said. "I know my friend can rest in peace now 'cause they took responsibility for that." He added, however, that "the case is settled but the pain is always going to be there for Jimmy Mack."
Despite the support of his family — Morgan said that he and Wollover would be married soon — the 30 Rock star has been struggling with grief over the death of his friend since the moment he came out of a coma, days after the crash.
When he found footage of the accident and McNair's funeral online, Morgan said, he "lost it for about a week" and watched it "every day." Morgan explained, "I had to know what happened to my friend, and I had to pay my respects, and [watching the footage] was my way."
As of now, Morgan — who looks healthy and thriving — is grateful to be alive and focused on the future. "My goal is just to heal and get better," Morgan said. "I'm not 100 percent yet. When I'm there you'll know it. I'll get back to making you laugh. I promise you."
Watch a clip of the emotional interview below.
(Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Spike TV)