On Monday, the comedian returned to his late night NBC show for the first time since Gloria died Nov. 4.
“It’s good to be back, guys,” he began. “As some of you know my mother, Gloria, passed away recently. I canceled our shows last week to be with my family and make arrangements. She was the best audience, she was the one I was always trying to make laugh, and she was such a fan of the show and everything I did.”
He continued, “When we were little, my mom would walk us to this store, me and my sister, and she would squeeze my hand three times and say, ‘I love you,’ and I would squeeze back, ‘I love you, too.'”
Fallon paused for a few seconds to gather his composure as he began to remember his mother, “And… last week I was in the hospital and I grabbed her and squeezed I love you. I just knew we were in trouble, you know? I feel so grateful to be able to do this every single night and I’m very appreciative of all the support from all of you that my family received over the past week.”
He added, “We’re going to continue to work really hard to bring some light and some laughter into the world. Thank you for watching, thank you for helping me and my family recover from this loss. Mom, I’ll never stop trying to make you laugh. I love you.”
On Nov. 3, Jimmy canceled the taping of his show due to a “private Fallon family matter.” At the time, a source revealed to PEOPLE that Gloria, who was 68, was sick and that Jimmy, 43, had gone to the hospital to be with her.
“Jimmy comes from a very close-knit family,” said the source. “And together with the rest of his loved ones they are by her side right now.”
WATCH: Jimmy Fallon on Mother Gloria’s Death: ‘I Lost My Biggest Fan’
The following day, a Fallon family spokesperson confirmed Gloria had died.
“Jimmy Fallon’s mother, Gloria, died peacefully on Saturday,” the spokesperson told PEOPLE in a statement. “Jimmy was at his mother’s bedside, along with her loved ones, when she passed away at NYU Langone Medical Center in NYC. Our prayers go out to Jimmy and his family as they go through this tough time.”
“Today I lost my biggest fan,” Jimmy told PEOPLE in a statement.
Episodes of the Tonight Show were canceled for the rest of the week, with reruns airing instead.
“On behalf of everyone at NBC, we extend our deepest condolences to Jimmy and all his family at this time of enormous loss,” said the network in a statement. “Our hearts go out to Jimmy and everyone else whose lives were so touched by Gloria Fallon’s love, kindness and support.”
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon airs weeknights (11:35 p.m. ET) on NBC.