Last night Tracy Morgan returned to performing on television for the first time since the car accident that took him out of the game for over a year. It was a highly anticipated episode with everyone wondering- would Tracy be his old self? Tracy crushed with an episode that included great renditions of his familiar crowd pleasing characters, a monologue that included laughs, and sentimental moments, and probably offended some, plus a reunion sketch that thrilled Morgan’s fans.
But the entire night was stolen by Larry David’s rendition of Bernie Sanders, in cold open that recreated the CNN Democratic Debates. With Alec Baldwin returning to play Jim Webb, newcomer Jon Rudnitsky as moderator Anderson Cooper, Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton, Taran Killam as Martin O’Malley, and Kyle Mooney playing Kyle Chafee, it was a great opening sketch, but Larry David’s perfect surprise appearance late in the sketch as Senator Bernie Sanders brought down the house. It was so good, it just might win Sanders a few votes.
Morgan’s monologue opened with Morgan greeting the crowd using a speech impediment, acting as if he had a mental impairment as a result of his injuries. While we spotted a few people on Twitter who fell for the joke, most of us have seen Tracy’s interview on the Today show and his performance at the Emmys and knew he was messing around. Not everyone was amused by the joke, but considering what Morgan’s been through this year, it’s not likely anyone will give him too hard of a time. But Morgan quickly answered the question on everyone’s mind- did retain 100% of his mental capacity after all of the injuries he sustained. “The truth is, I never did,” he joked. “I might even be a few points higher now.” The monologue was both funny and emotional, as Morgan talked about the accident, and said that a couple of months ago he called Lorne Michaels, who he called his co-Obi Wan Kenobi. He said “Lorne, when I get back on my feet, I want to come home. And here I am!” Morgan used the monologue to set up a sketch that reunited him with his old 30 Rock friends, Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer.
Morgan also brought back his two most famous characters, Brian Fellow and Astronaut Jones. Yes, he had to compete with a scene stealing camel, but that doesn’t mean all Morgan fans weren’t thrilled with the return of his super lip glossed Fellows, or his too hip for the moon Jones. Jones took up the storyline from the in-theaters popular movie “The Martian” with a pink clad Demi Lovato providing the alien encounter for the episode. We’re only disappointed that we didn’t get a Kristin Wiig cameo, with the SNL alum playing her “Martian” counterpart.
Tina Fey’s return to Weekend Update provided another evening highlight. With a commentary on the loss of naked photos in Playboy. We get the idea Fey isn’t a fan of Hugh Hefner who she calls a “100 year old sex monster.” Anyone who didn’t find Fey’s “arm butts” to be sexy probably won’t be fans of her new website, Moms I’d Like to Be Friends With– MILTBFW.org, but we’re all in.