Tracy Morgan’s made an emotional, hilarious, triumphant return to ‘Howard Stern’

After being critically injured in a devastating multi-car crash in June of 2014 that killed his friend and mentor James McNair (“Jimmy Mack”), few expected Tracy Morgan to return with the kind of vigor he's demonstrated in his return to the spotlight, including an SNL hosting stint last October. Today, Morgan returned to another past haunt: The Howard Stern Show, where during an 80-minute sit-down with the host he movingly chronicled his fight to live and his painful recovery physically, mentally and spiritually…while also showcasing his still-vital talents as a go-for-broke, blissfully unfiltered comedian.

I've heard Morgan on Stern a number of times, and I would argue he's one of the show's greatest recurring guests. But this time around the former 30 Rock star exhibited a piercing humanity we haven't quite seen this extensively from him before; the trauma he suffered has obviously changed him on a profound level, and the tears flowed freely as he expressed both his sadness at losing Mack and his heartfelt gratitude for the love and support his friends, family and the general public have shown during the most difficult chapter of his life.

Early on after the accident, the prognosis for Morgan didn't sound good, so it's pretty amazing just over two years later to hear him in such fine, even superior, form. He remains supremely funny and astonishingly quick-witted, but with the added insight and humanity that comes from suffering such a horrific, life-altering event. While Stern's staff normally posts only snippets of his interviews to the show's official Soundcloud page for non-subscribers, in this case they made an exception, and given the multi-faceted, riveting nature of today's sit-down it's easy to see why. 

Here it is in full: