Tracy Morgan reveals he seriously thought about taking his life after he woke up from a coma after his near-fatal highway accident, but a classic TV theme helped him through it.
Check out an excerpt from his interview with Rolling Stone where he opens up about dealing with the tragedy:
In the wake of Morgan’s injuries, it felt like his worst fears were coming true. “I said, ‘If my funny ever went away, I’d die,'” he says on a Monday evening in his New Jersey home, a few days before the Michigan show. “And I thought I was going to die for a long time. My thoughts – I was in a very dark place. I was sitting right here, contemplating suicide. I couldn’t walk.” He’s in an easy chair facing a TV in his living room, near a cylindrical tank where his giant Pacific octopus lurks, waiting for its next meal of lobster.
Morgan insisted on leaving the hospital early and continuing his rehabilitation at home. “You go to hospitals to fucking die,” he says. “If I got to go, I wanted to be in the house with my family.” For the first couple of weeks, he stayed in the second-floor bedroom, unable to navigate the stairs. “My wife heard all the screaming,” he says, calling Megan over from the kitchen, where she and her mother are playing with Maven, who is dressed head-to-toe in Disney gear. “She changed all the bedsheets when I shit on myself. She knows.”
Once Morgan made it downstairs, he started watching TV reports of his accident, over and over, like a living ghost. He plays one now via his Apple TV. His features stay impassive as the twisted metal of his van appears on the screen and a newscaster says, “Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan is in critical condition after a deadly car crash on the turnpike over the weekend.” Morgan calmly watches the whole thing yet again, interjecting the occasional factual correction.
The death of Jimmy Mack, who mentored Morgan early in his career, hit him hard. He felt responsible, had trouble understanding why he survived and his friend didn’t. He made tearful phone calls to friends. “He was very, very emotional,” says Michaels. “He wanted to tell all the people he loved that he loved them.”
Morgan struggled with feelings of guilt, reminding himself that everyone in the car was there because of him. “Emotionally, it’s hard for me to deal with,” he says. “I asked everybody to be there that night. I have to live with that. But I had to forgive myself. I know Jimmy would want it like that.”
He cues up a song he’d play to soothe himself in his dark moments – which happens to be the smooth-jazz theme from Taxi – and begins to weep. “I remember the days,” he murmurs. “I remember them days. Jesus.”
Morgan has zero desire to recover his memories of that night. “The past is nothing but a forest filled with horrors,” he says, gravely. Because it is Tracy Morgan saying these words, I can’t help but laugh. He grins a little, and starts repeating the phrase, putting some spin on it, pushing it fully around the corner to comedy. “Nothing but a forest full of horrors,” he intones.
You can read the rest of Tracy’s interview here.