Swift was in New York City after performing on “Saturday Night Live” for the first time since 2009 when she was asked to appear on “The Tonight Show” for Jimmy Fallon’s first show back after his mother died last week. For an entertainer who’s made about two public appearances in the last 18 months, it was a big-time move on Swift’s part to do this on short notice.
A visibly shaken Fallon delivered a brief tribute to his mother before introducing Swift. Fallon’s tribute to his mother was a brief story about his mother always squeezing his hand three times as her way of saying, “I love you.”
While performing her piano ballad, “New Year’s Day,” Swift sang the line, “Squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi,” which led one of the show’s producers to take to Twitter to explain how Swift ended up on the show after not being scheduled.
“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,” Mike DiCenzo explained.
DiCenzo also said most of the crew gasped after hearing that line in the song, “I nearly gasped. Tears. 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 also recounted that the hug between the two was the real deal, “100% real emotion. Whatever you think of Taylor, she did something beautiful for Jimmy and our show today, and we’re forever grateful.”
Here’s the full thread of tweets from DiCenzo, Swift’s tweets are highlighted in the red box: