Such a blessing and a treat even just to see photographs of Ardie Fuqua alive and smiling again, almost 13 months after a fatal crash on the New Jersey Turnpike killed comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair and almost killed Fuqua and Tracy Morgan.

Fuqua might not have the boundless energy comedy fans and friends are used to, but he has exhibited such strength just to make it this far — regardless of whether he’s anywhere close to actually getting back onstage to perform.

Morgan made his first public statement on the TODAY show a month ago, days after he, Fuqua and Morgan’s assistant reached a settlement with Walmart. It was a Walmart tractor-trailer driver who slammed into the SUV the comedians were riding in on the Jersey Turnpike in June 2014.

Fuqua has yet to make a public statement. He spoke privately with comedians Tuesday night at The Comedy Cellar and posed for some photographs before returning to his home in New Jersey.

It’s just nice to see Fuqua again. I think we all can agree on that.

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And here’s an update Wednesday from Jeffrey Ross, who wrote via Instagram: “We all poured out of the club to get a glimpse of him.”

“Ardie’s injuries were massive and nearly killed him. All year we wondered if he’d ever be the same guy we knew. And I can tell you that he isn’t the same guy. He’s better. He’s magic. He’s hope. He’s experienced. He’s got gravitas. His positive spirit lifted all of ours. Skinny Ardie rolled up in a brand new red Caddy looking fatter and funnier than he’s ever been. A spontaneous hug and photo party took place on the street. People started coming over from all directions just to touch him. Everybody around Macdougal Street missed Ardie’s voice, humor, and infectious energy. I saw some scars and I can’t imagine his pain – but seeing him alive and smiling again made me feel powerful. Ardie’s reappearance reminded me that anything is possible in this life. He is the new Pope of Greenwich Village. The Pope isn’t quite ready to jump on stage yet but I bet he will be soon AND THAT WILL BE BIG. 😊”

(Photos via Wil Sylvince)