It’s become a common routine on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon for the host to introduce his unsuspecting guests to their idols. But on Thursday night, it was Fallon’s turn to gush over a celebrity.
Fallon and his former Saturday Night Live castmate Tina Fey surprised fans at Mean Girls: The Musical in a special segment. While the show attendees stood in front of a poster and gushed over Fey, she and Fallon hid out in a back room listening in. At the opportune moment, both popped out — leading to tears and hugs.
“Tina Fey, you are extremely special to me,” said one woman, “and you are such a strong, empowering woman, who really shows me and all the other young women and men that you can truly achieve anything that you want to do.”
Fey, 47, was so excited to greet her fans at one point she even tripped and fell to the ground, with Fallon, 43, joining her of course.
It was once the duo was back in the Tonight Show studio, however, that the tears really started rolling. Surprising Fey, Fallon stood up and took his turn in front of the Playbill poster, fighting back his emotions from the start.
“I’ll just take a breath,” said a choked-up Fallon, before joking, “I’m on hormone pills.”
Continued the star to Fey, “If you’re lucky throughout your life, you get to meet and spend time with a few people who really change you for the better. For me, you’re one of those people.”
“I met you when I was 23, I believe you were 45,” he joked, before continuing, “And I was lucky enough to work with you and grow with you and learn from you. A lot of people in this world have dreams or goals or ideas, but not everybody goes out and fights to make them happen but you’re someone who did. You didn’t get served this, you didn’t get given this as a gift. I know firsthand, you worked so hard and found a voice and found your way, and you made your own dreams come true, and most importantly you made other people feel like they can do the same thing.”
After joking again about the pairs’ ages, Fallon told Fey, “Today, I have two daughters and my hope for them is that they grow up to be leaders like you, and that they’ll be as fearless and confident in their strengths as you are.’”
He concluded, simply, “I love you.”