On Nov. 4, “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon lost his beloved mother, Gloria Fallon. Tapings of his show were cancelled for the following week, but on Nov. 13, Fallon returned to work. The famous funny man was decidedly more somber as he paid tribute to his late mom on the show.
“She was the best audience,” Fallon said. “She was the one I was always trying to make laugh. And she was such a fan of the show and everything I did.”
The entertainer struggled to retain his composure as he relayed an anecdote about how he and his mom used to squeeze each other’s hands three times to indicate “I love you.” He revealed that as his mother lay in a hospital bed, he once again used the old gesture to express his love, knowing he would likely lose his mother soon.
He also thanked his fans for the support they have shown to him and his family during this difficult time.
“Mom, I’ll never stop trying to make you laugh. I love you,” he said, as he mimed squeezing her hand three times.
The clip ended with a photo of Gloria Fallon, along with the following words displayed across the screen: “In Loving Memory of Gloria Fallon, January 5, 1949-November 4, 2017.”
Later, “The Tonight Show” producer Mike DiCenzo took to Twitter to note that there was another special touch in that night’s episode intended to honor Gloria:
One last note: our show was right on time today, but we edited out a minute to leave room for Jimmy high-fiving audience members during the end credits. It was Gloria's favorite part of the show.
— Mike DiCenzo (@mikedicenzo) November 14, 2017
“One last note: our show was right on time today, but we edited out a minute to leave room for Jimmy high-fiving audience members during the end credits. It was Gloria’s favorite part of the show,” DiCenzo wrote.
Watch Jimmy Fallon talk about what his mother meant to him in the emotional clip below:
We’re wishing all the best to Fallon and his family as they grieve this tremendous loss.