Taylor Swift surprised Jimmy Fallon on the "Tonight Show" show with a performance for his first show back since his mother passed away last week. Fallon canceled all of last week's tapings following the death of his mother, Gloria.
He returned Monday night, still visibly shaken from his loss. Holding back tears, Fallon at one point recalled a childhood memory of his mom squeezing his hand three times to say "I love you."
"Tonight Show" writer and producer Mike DiCenzo took to Twitter for some background on Swift’s performance. He wrote, “She was not scheduled to do our show today. But we wanted something special for this first show back, so we asked her on a complete whim, since she had been in town doing SNL. She said yes with zero hesitation."
While singing "New Year's Day,” Taylor delivered a lyric which paraphrases Fallon’s tender story -- "Squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi."
DeCenzo and the "Tonight Show" crew were in tears. He shared, "I think everyone in the audience started sobbing. I could see Jimmy silhouetted at his desk dabbing his eyes with a tissue. We all lost it. It was a beautiful coincidence in a beautiful performance."
He added that Fallon and Swift’s hug at the end was "100% real emotion. Whatever you think of Taylor, she did something beautiful for Jimmy and our show today, and we're forever grateful."