12:21pm PT by Kate Stanhope
Tracy Morgan Talks TBS Comedy and Post-Accident Life: "I'm a Better Man Now"
It's been four years since Tracy Morgan's last series regular role, but a lot has changed since the 30 Rock grad graced the small screen on a regular basis.
Morgan was famously several injured in a fatal 2014 multi-car crash that took the life of his friend and fellow comedian James "Jimmy Mack" McNair.
After an intense recovery process, Morgan returns to TV with the new TBS comedy The Last O.G., which also stars notable names like Cedric the Entertainer as well as rising stars like Tiffany Haddish, who comes fresh off a breakout role in the hit film Girls Trip. ("My bank account don't show movie star yet," Haddish said with a laugh about her rising profile. "They say nine months, it's like a baby. I'm waiting for the delivery.")
When asked Thursday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour why he opted not to do a solo star vehicle, Morgan became contemplative about his post-accident life and career.
"Maybe I'm just a better man now since the accident. Maybe I'm just a better man. It ain't about me, it's bigger than me. I'm fortunate to have these folks around me," Morgan said. "We just lucked up and got who we wanted with the folks that could do it. I'm just a better man now. I know it ain't about me. It's bigger than me and I thank God for that."
In the comedy, Morgan stars as Tray, an ex-con who is released from prison after 15 years only to find that world has drastically changed since he went inside. In addition to his newly gentrified Brooklyn neighborhood, he is shocked to learn he is father to twins with his former girlfriend (Haddish), who has since moved on and married a successful white man. In order to provide for them, and himself, Tray must once again lean on skills he honed in the clink to get by.
"This isn't a black show," Morgan said when asked about the show's appeal. "This is a show about humanity. This is a show about second chances. This is a show about redemption."
When asked about his own second chance, Morgan simply said "thank God," and discussed how the cast and crew of The Last O.G. have helped him on set. "They don't ask me, they make me sit down for a little while," he said. "I'm good, I'm taking care. And thank you for thinking about that. I'm taking care."
While Morgan endured a lengthy recovery process following his accident, he said it was ultimately for the best in the closing moments of the panel.
"I had to get hit by the truck," Morgan said at the end of the panel. "If I didn't get hit by that truck, I wouldn't be making the impact on the world I'm making right now.
The Last O.G. premieres Oct. 24th on TBS.