Jimmy Fallon returned to The Tonight Show last night after a week of canceled shows following the death of his mother, Gloria Fallon. In a heartwarming segment, Fallon thanked his audience for their support during his rough time and paid an emotional tribute to his mother by telling a story about her from his past:
It's tough to lose a parent, but it's rough to imagine how stressful it is to lose a parent and return to your job then a week later with a national audience there to witness it all. Fallon held himself together fairly well during the short tribute, although it was pretty obvious he was hurting, as he reminisced while fighting back tears. Thankfully, it sounds like The Tonight Show's viewer base helped to comfort Fallon in his nights away, so it's good to know he has great and caring fans.
Quite possibly some of the greatest fans on television, as it wasn't even just Jimmy Fallon that was getting online sympathy from The Tonight Show audience members. Fallon's sister, who is also named Gloria Fallon, popped onto Twitter following a long absence specifically to thank those who sent their love following her mom's passing on November 4th:
A producer for The Tonight Show, Mike DiCenzo, shared stories behind some of the other heartwarming moments. Taylor Swift, who made a special appearance on the series at the request of the show, was not originally scheduled to appear, and had been in town for Saturday Night Live, She stopped in to perform out of the goodness of her heart for Jimmy Fallon and sang her song "New Year"s Day," which features a line about squeezing a hand three times. DiCenzo said everyone on set and in the audience picked up on it, making things all the more emotional. The producer also noted that the show was edited to include Fallon high-fiving audience members in the end credits, which was his mother's favorite part of the show.
The Tonight Show airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC. For more on Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show, check out the host in happier times busting a move with the kids from Stranger Things. The fall season is winding down, but there are still plenty of shows to find that are worth watching on our fall premiere guide. Have a look at that, or head on over to our cancellation guide to see what shows weren't able to escape 2017.