The Show Must Go On: Jimmy Fallon Returns To 'The Tonight Show' Following Death Of Mom
Jimmy Fallon has returned to "The Tonight Show" after a week-long hiatus from hosting the show to deal with the loss of his mother. The host resumed his hosting duties on the NBC talk show on Monday, Nov. 13, for the first time since his mother, Gloria, breathed her last on Nov. 4.
Shortly after Gloria's death, NBC released a statement offering its "deepest condolences to Jimmy and all his family at this time of enormous loss."
"Our hearts go out to Jimmy and everyone else whose lives were so touched by Gloria Fallon's love, kindness and support," the network added.
Gloria passed away at the age of 68 at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City surrounded by her loved ones, including Fallon. Gloria is survived by husband James W. Fallon, daughter Gloria, son Jimmy and four grandchildren. Fallon had cancelled all of last week's scheduled shows and replaced them with re-runs in order to spend time with his family.
"She was the best audience. She was the one I was always trying to make laugh. She was such a fan of the show, and everything I did," a teary-eyed Fallon said during Monday night's broadcast.
The host also recalled a story about how his mother would grab a hold of his hand when she walked him and his sister to the store when they were kids. Fallon said his mother would squeeze his hand thrice before telling him, I love you," to which he would reply, "I love you too."
Fallon tried to hold back the tears as he continued by saying that last week when he was in the hospital by her side, he clenched her hand and squeezed it tight before saying, "I love you."
The host also expressed his gratitude to be able to host the show every night and thanked everyone for the love and support he and his family has been showered with over the last week.
Fallon, 43, told viewers that he would continue to work hard in order to bring more "light and laughter into this world and ended his emotional tribute by making a promise to his late mother that he will always continue making her laugh.
Jeff Daniels of the Netflix series "Godless" and "Mudbound" star Mary J. Blige appeared as guests on Monday's episode along with Taylor Swift, who celebrated selling a million copies of her sixth studio album, Reputation, by belting out a number from the popstar's latest release.
Watch Fallon's tribute to his mother in the video below: