Tracy Morgan is a national treasure. If it wasn’t always obvious, we were given a reminder last October when the longtime "Saturday Night Live" veteran returned to its hallowed stage for an appearance that many might not have ever expected to see again. A little over a year before then, Morgan had been involved in a horrific car cash, which took the life of one of his friends and left him terribly injured. But, in returning to “SNL” after a long recovery, it was clear that you can knock a man down, but you can’t take away his funny.
Did you find there was a learning curve getting back into doing comedy?
I just had to wipe the rust off; my comedic instincts were still there [and] my timing was still there. I felt sharper, mentally, emotionally, spiritually — all of the things that go into being funny. It was like, I went to heaven, and I sharpened my sword with the kings of comedy. It was awesome.
Are you doing new material?
I’m not concerned with new material. Funny is still new. That was the gift that God gave me — the funny.
The gift that God gave me wasn’t the material, the gift that God gave me was the funny. Material is the world that we live in and you have to inject your funny into it.
Speaking of that, the world isn’t a very funny place this week. Do you have any thoughts on that?
I leave it all in God’s hands. It’s a sad thing and the country’s grieving like 9/11, but this is all part of the plan. It has to be.
You don’t do political stuff too much, but is it that something you touch on stage now?
No, I leave that to the politicians. I stay funny. There’s nothing funny about what just happened in the country. I let the politicians deal with it. They started all this mess.
You just did a film with Ed Helms — what was that like? Are you finished filming?
We just finished it and it was beautiful. Ed Helms and the director, Dito [Montiel], those are my brothers in comedy. Everyone in that film was awesome. I hope you enjoy it, and laugh … and cry. I hope you have the emotions Jimmy Valvano said: laughing and cry, all in one day, that’s a hell of a day.
When talking about things we can all relate to, what types of things do you mean?
Pain, the laughter, the actions, everyday life, the struggle … the struggle with life. The human character. I talk about the human condition.
Have you changed the way you approach life?
No, [I keep] injecting my humor into it. I never take it for granted, and any opportunity I have to make [people] laugh, I’ll continue.
Do you feel like you’ve been given a second chance?
Yeah, God did. The doctors gave me less than 2 percent chance of living, but God gave me a second chance to live.
Have you always been spiritual?
Always, my dad instilled it in me. I see no reason not to be.
If you go:
August 12 at 8 p.m.
Cape Cod Melody Tent
21 W. Main St., Hyannis
August 13 at 8 p.m.
South Shore Music Circus
130 Sohier St., Cohasset