Photo courtesy NBC
Jimmy Fallon returned to The Tonight Show on Monday, marking the first live episode since Nov. 2.
Fallon went on hiatus last week following the death of his mother, Gloria Fallon, who passed away on Nov. 3. "She was the best audience," Fallon said during Monday night's broadcast. "She was the one I was always trying to make laugh. She was such a fan of the show and everything I did."
The comedian was clearly emotional as he also recounted a childhood memory, recalling his mom squeezing his hand and then him doing the same for her as she was in the hospital.
"When we were little, my mom would walk us to the store, me and my sister, and we would hold hands," Fallon explained. "She would squeeze my hand three times and say 'I love you,' and I would squeeze back, 'I love you too.' And last week, I was in the hospital and I grabbed her hand and squeezed ... and I just knew we were in trouble."
After promising to "work really hard to bring some light and some laughter into the world," Fallon finished by vowing: "Mom, I'll never stop trying to make you laugh. I love you."
Later in the show, Taylor Swift also delivered a surprise performance, which turned out to be an unexpectedly emotional moment, as Swift inadvertently honored Fallon's mother. See that performance here.