"I'll never stop trying to make you laugh," 'Tonight Show' host says
US talk show host Jimmy Fallon paid tribute to his late mother on Monday night’s episode of The Tonight Show. Watch the clip below.
The comedian cancelled a week’s run of his nightly NBC chat show after his mother passed away “peacefully” on November 4. In a statement following her death, Jimmy Fallon wrote simply: “Today i lost my biggest fan.”
Last night (November 13), Fallon returned to the air – delivering an emotional speech in memory of Gloria Fallon, who he hailed “the best audience”.
Going on to recount a story from his childhood, Fallon said: “When we were little, my mum would walk us to the store – me and my sister – and we would hold hands. And she would squeeze my hand three times and say, ‘I love you,’ and I would squeeze back, ‘I love you too.’
“Last week I was in the hospital, at her side, and I grabbed her hand and I squeezed ‘I love you,’ and I just knew we were in trouble”.
After thanking fans for support, Fallon ended the speech by saying: “Mom, I’ll never stop trying to make you laugh.”
Fittingly, Taylor Swift delivered a stripped-back rendition of ‘Reputation’ track ‘New Years Day’. Show producer Mike DiCenzo later revealed on Twitter that Swift’s booking was a last minute decision.
“She was not scheduled to do our show today,” DiCenzo said. “But we wanted something special for this first show back, so we asked her on a complete whim, since she had been in town doing SNL. She said yes with zero hesitation.”
As part of a Twitter thread paying respect to Fallon’s mother, Dicenzo pointed out the poignancy of the track’s lyrics.
“Suddenly she sings the line, ‘Squeeze my hand 3 times in the back of the taxi,'” he said. “I nearly gasped. Tears. I think everyone in the audience started sobbing.”
The performance marked the first live airing of the closing track from ‘Reputation‘. See the performance above.