Jimmy Fallon Makes Emotional Return to 'The Tonight Show' Studio With Virtual Visit From Andrew Cuomo

Jimmy Fallon

The host returned to an audience-free studio and celebrated the start of a return to 'normalcy.'

Jimmy Fallon is back in the studio! After months of hosting The Tonight Show from home, Fallon returned to 30 Rockefeller Center to tape his show on a real soundstage, and was joined by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in his exciting return.

For his big first show back in studio, Fallon welcomed Cuomo and Charlize Theron as his guests -- who still joined him remotely via video chat. However, before he spoke with either of them, Fallon addressed his return with an emotional, heartfelt explanation of why it was important for him to come back.

"I'm here to show you there is a light at the end of the tunnel if we all do our part to keep each other safe," Fallon said, sitting on a stool in his largely empty studio. He was joined only by the production crew -- who were all wearing masks and PPE and standing several feet apart from one another -- as well as the members of his show's band, The Roots.

"I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but normalcy, any type of normalcy, feels great," Fallon continued, getting a bit choked up as he addressed viewers. "So hopefully we can put a smile on your face for an hour every night and let you sit back and relax while we try to bring you a little bit of normal."

"The show will be a little bit different than what you're used to," Fallon explained. "There is no audience, the guests will be streaming from home, but I think, in some ways, we are getting used different. So we are here for you and slowly and safely getting back to work and back to whatever normal is. Welcome again to The Tonight Show, and thanks for watching."

After his monologue, and a fun musical number addressing how things are starting to get back to normal (but definitely are not normal just yet), Fallon welcomed Theron as his first guest before he was later joined by Cuomo.

Cuomo's interview seemed particularly important for Fallon, as he credited Cuomo's leadership for getting New York back to some semblance of the way things used to be -- at least enough for Fallon to finally leave his house.

Cuomo returned the compliment, telling Fallon, "Welcome back! New York is really open now that you're doing your show again."

The pair talked about New York's efforts to combat the virus, and how -- through hard work and public health initiatives -- the state managed to bring down their infection and mortality rates by leaps and bounds.

However, Fallon couldn't help but ask about the governor's love life, telling Cuomo that an unnamed friend of his wanted to know "what phase of dating" he's in amid the pandemic.

"Zero. I'm at phase zero on dating," Cuomo said with a laugh. "There's no duration on phase zero the is no automatic time to go to phase one you could stay at phase zero for months! I think New York City will be fully re-opened before I get out of phase zero on dating."

The Tonight Show, now back in studio, airs weeknights at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.