(NEW YORK) — Tracy Morgan made his triumphant return to The View on Tuesday, and the funnyman explained how his near-death experience — a 2014 truck accident that killed his friend and writer James “Jimmy Mack” McNair dead — made him funnier.
Morgan claims he’s now standing on the shoulders of the ghosts of comedy legends that have passed before him — who made him funnier. “I think I had a talk with Richard,” Morgan said of the late Richard Pryor. “I think Richard said, ‘Go get ’em.'”
“Yep. You can’t stay here,” Whoopi Goldberg agreed of the heavenly conversation.
“You know, George Carlin, Lucille Ball,” Morgan continued. “And as long as I do stand-up in the spirit of the … comedy gods that came before me, I’m protected.”
As for the other celebrities he met in the hereafter, Morgan joked: “I seen Biggie Smalls. He looked good. He lost weight…Elvis Presley still look like crap: he still can’t leave that fried food alone! Old Dirty Bastard has ten more kids already!”
On a more serious note, Morgan explains his return to Saturday Night Live after his accident — an appearance for which he was nominated for an Emmy — helped inspire him to get back to doing stand-up. “The young cast members were giving their best. And it just brought me to tears. And when I left Lorne Michaels’ office I went to the [Comedy] Cellar and grabbed a mic — that’s how inspiring it was. I did five minutes…And that was the first time I touched a mic since that night [of the accident].”
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