Jimmy Fallon, canceled a week of shows after the death of his mother Gloria last Saturday, returned to the the Tonight Show Monday night. He marked his mother’s passing with a teary-eyed tribute to the woman he calls “the best audience.” It’s a truth about performing that echoes the hearfelt condolences Stephen Colbert offered on Twitter on Sunday:
Mom is the first audience and the best. Remembering Jimmy Fallon and his family in our prayers today.— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) November 5, 2017
Fallon ended the segment with a mission statement, explaining both what he’s trying to do with his determinedly apolitical Tonight Show and the way his mother’s memory continues to inspire him:
We’re going to continue to work really hard to bring some light and some laughter into the world. … Mom, I’ll never stop trying to make you laugh. I love you.
There’s politics, and there’s comedy, and then there’s just being human. This clip is about the last of those.