'Tonight Show' Producer Recounts Taylor Swift's Tear-Jerking Tribute to Jimmy Fallon's Mom: 'We All Lost It'

Last night's emotional performance of "New Year's Day" from Taylor Swift on The Tonight Show was a tear-jerker for more than one reason. The singer was not scheduled to appear on last night's episode (Nov. 13), but given that it was Jimmy Fallon's first night back on the job following the passing of his mother Gloria Fallon, writer/producer Mike DiCenzo explained, "We 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."

Of course, after Fallon's emotional description of a memory with his mother squeezing his hand three times to say "I love you," it was already hard to not be in tears. 

Following the show, DiCenzo tweeted a lengthy thread depicting all the small details that went into creating the show, emphasizing key pieces that may have slipped past the viewers. DiCenzo praises Fallon's courage for returning to the show with such poise, and points out the emotion shared by the crew as Fallon's mother was the show's biggest fan. Aside from the spoken tribute, the show was edited in order to allow for more visual time of Fallon high-fiving the crowd -- Gloria's favorite part of the show. 

In a moment seemingly made for the movies, Swift sang a line that matched Fallon's prior story: "You squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi." DiCenzo, along with the rest of the crew, had yet to hear the track since it had been released only a few days prior on Nov. 10. "I nearly gasped. Tears. I think everyone in the audience started sobbing," he explained. "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."

Get every detail from the emotional thread (and try not to tear up) below. 



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