The comedian enlisted the 30 Rock star for a prank that saw the latter lie onstage the while Kimmel urged viewers to go on Facebook and Twitter and inform those not watching the telecast: "OMG Tracy Morgan just passed out on stage at the Emmys. Turn ABC on now."
"Just lie there for about 10 minutes or so," the funnyman told him. "And when people tune in they will see this on the stage."
Morgan did as he was asked, though not before handing Kimmel a set of nunchucks hidden in his tuxedo. And needless to say, the viewers did their part.
The hoax blew up online, not only trending high on Google but "OMG Tracy Morgan" became a hot topic on Twitter with more than 54,000 tweets posted shortly after Kimmel's request, according to Topsy Free Analytics. No doubt it was also helped along by posts from Jimmy's fellow comics like Stephen Colbert and Joel McHale who have massive followings as well.
Facebook data shows meanwhile that mentions of Morgan went up by 127,300 percent at around 6:13 p.m. PT—that's the approximate time Kimmel asked people to post to their pages. In Facebook parlance, a mention applies to status updates, posts on friends' walls and comments within a post.
Morgan subsequently remained motionless on stage during the next award that was given out by presenters Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere before he was carried out. And by the baffled look on the actresses' faces, apparently they weren't in on the joke.
Kimmel, of course, knows a thing or two about making a video go viral, having been the brains behind "I'm F—king Matt Damon" and "I'm F—king Ben Affleck" for starters and routinely incorporating YouTube videos and Skype into bits for Jimmy Kimmel Live.
—Additional reporting by Holly Passalaqua