Jimmy Fallon Returns to 'Tonight Show' With Tearful Tribute to Late Mother

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"She was the best audience, she was the one I was always trying to make laugh", he said.

The chat show host said he was greatly appreciative of the support he and his family received during such a hard time.

While singing "New Year's Day", Swift delivered a lyric which paraphrases Fallon's tender story - "Squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi".

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"Last week I was in the hospital and I grabbed her hand and squeezed "I love you" and I just knew we were in trouble", he said.

Following the news of Gloria Fallon's death, a family spokesperson issued the following statement, "Jimmy Fallon's mother, Gloria, died peacefully on Saturday".

Watch Jimmy Fallon's tribute above.

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Jimmy - whose comeback show also featured a surprise performance from Taylor Swift - said: "Mom, I'll never stop trying to make you laugh".

The singer, 27, performed her new single "New Year's Day" while playing the piano following the late night host's monologue.

Of the emotional performance, he said, "I almost gasped".

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Tonight Show writer and producer Mike DiCenzo took to Twitter for some background on Swift's performance and the emotions she wrought. "Tears. I think everyone in the audience started sobbing", he wrote. It was a lovely coincidence in a handsome performance. "She would squeeze my hand three times and say, 'I love you.' And I would squeeze back, 'I love you, too, '" he said. "'Hold on to your memories, they will hold on to you, ' Taylor sang".

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