Comedian Tracy Morgan's storied history with Dover Downs Hotel & Casino begins a new chapter Friday. Morgan will share this moment with a sold-out audience of 1,600 people.
Comedian Tracy Morgan’s storied history with Dover Downs Hotel & Casino begins a new chapter Oct. 14. Morgan will share this moment with a sold-out audience of 1,600 people.
The gig, part of his “Pick Up the Pieces” tour, will be Morgan’s return to Dover Downs since a car wreck June 7, 2014. The accident took place the morning after he performed at the casino.
“It is quite special to have Tracy back. We are honored and thrilled,” said Pete Bradley, Dover Downs vice president and general manager of casino operations.
In 2014 Morgan’s limo was struck by a truck driver on the New Jersey Turnpike. The New York native was hospitalized and placed in critical condition. His comedian friend James McNair was killed. Bradley was devastated by the news, especially since Morgan had just brought the house down the night before in a sold-out show at Dover Downs.
“It was such a phenomenal show that night,” he said. “Tracy and his entire team were so warm and nice and a pleasure to work with. To hear the news the following morning was upsetting to all of us.”
Celebrities sent prayers and goodwill to Morgan via social media, including fellow comedian Chris Rock.
“Even in critical condition Tracy Morgan is funnier than you,” Rock posted. "Pray for Tracy."
Comic Shawn Wayans also supported his friend.
“I wish him the best and I hope he’s healing now,” Wayans said in an interview before his own Dover Downs show in January 2015.
Following the wreck, there were reports Morgan suffered brain trauma and might not be able to perform again. But when Tracy’s team reached out to Dover Downs about whether they wanted him for the 2016 season, it wasn’t a hard choice.
“It was a very easy decision to say yes,” Bradley said. “We had no concerns at all as we know Tracy is a consummate professional. When he decided he was ready to tour again, we knew he would be ready to perform his usual great show.”
In late 2015 Morgan returned to the stage at the Comedy Cellar in New York. This year he began a tour that included a stop at The Playhouse on Rodney Square in Wilmington in March.
Morgan’s resilience in getting back on stage has a lot to do with his fighting spirit.
“Nothing lasts forever. Tough times don’t last. Tough people do,” Morgan said before his 2014 show at Dover Downs. He couldn’t be reached for comment about his return to Dover this weekend.
Bradley is expecting a magical performance.
“Our last show [with Morgan] was phenomenal and we know this one will be as well,” he said.