More good news for Tracy Morgan: after his triumphant return to Saturday Night Live last weekend, the comedian is going back on tour after his near-fatal car accident in June of last year on the New Jersey Turnpike, which killed Morgan's co-passenger and friend, comedian Jimmy Mack. On Tuesday, the 46-year old comedian tweeted that he was hitting the road again soon enough for Morgan's new comedy tour "Tracy Morgan: Picking Up The Pieces," which will start on Feb. 5 in Indiana. Judging by the title and his public attitude towards his accident, what else could this tour be about than healing? And that's a great thing.
Morgan has been through hell, and it looks like he is coming back, which is why the news that he's so soon returning to comedy is so encouraging. During his monologue on Saturday Night Live on Oct. 17, Morgan wise-cracked about the brain damage he could have suffered: "People are wondering, 'Can he speak? Does he have 100 percent mental capacity?' The truth is, I never did. I might even be a few points higher," he said on the stage, before recreating a scene from 30 Rock. He was joined onstage by his sitcom family: Tina Fey, Jack McBrayer, Jane Krakowski and Alec Baldwin. But he got tender, thanking everyone for their support, and even saying that one of the first calls he made after the tragic accident was to SNL's Lorne Michaels: "Lorne, when I get back on my feet, I want to come home," he said.
Morgan commented recently that returning to comedy was like riding a bike: "You don't forget where the pedals are." But it's brave to pour your experience trying to heal into a comedy show, though audiences are receptive. Remember when Tig Notaro came onstage for what is that now-legendary set at the Largo in Los Angeles in June 2012, talking about her experience with breast cancer (and the death of her mother, and her breakup, and...)? Louis CK was in the audience, and helped publicize it: Notaro's confessional set launched her into a whirlwind of success, but, more importantly, it helped her connect with and comfort millions of people.
Of course, Morgan has already had a long career, and proves that he is ready to move forward. Using grief and difficulties for comedy is surely a way for Morgan to heal, but hopefully his "Picking Up The Pieces" tour will help him connect even more with his fans, and help them in their own struggles. The tour follows his first return to stand-up earlier this week at the Comedy Cellar.