If you’re used to watching late-night TV shows, then most likely you’ve stumbled upon “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” once or twice. And for their recent Veteran’s Day episode in particular, the host knew how to put together a heartwarming and memorable ending.
That day, the audience was comprised mainly of veterans and their families, one of whom would be randomly selected in a draw to join Fallon on stage, where they would have to get their nerves together enough to play a game, “Audience Whisper Challenge,” with the host.
That of course meant one audience member would have to wear headphones playing loud music; Fallon would then read a card that the audience member couldn’t see, and they would have to guess the words by reading his lips.
It turned out to be India Horne’s lucky day when Fallon drew a ping pong ball with the number “418” on it—which was her seat number. Horne was a military vet she explained, after stumbling down the stairs and swallowing back a bout of stage nerves. Her husband was currently serving away from home—so he couldn’t make the show that day.
After Fallon explained the rules over twice—Horne was still a bit rattled—they were both on the same page, and Horne donned her headphones and started grooving to the tunes, while Fallon prepared to read his card. “I’m a little teapot,” he said before eventually hinting by mimicking a “handle” and “spout.” Fallon gave her that round, and then she passed the headphones to him.
And so it went, back and forth, until it was Horne’s turn again, and this time, Fallon was forced to play lip acrobatics when he mouthed the words, “Your husband is behind you,” which of course was the big surprise he had been planning the whole time!
And with Horne totally absorbed in the guessing game of reading Fallon’s lips, and with the racket of loud lyrics blaring in her ears, she failed to notice the tall, military fella in full uniform who had crept up right behind her chair, waiting for her to clue in … until Fallon turned over the card, she read it, and her jaw dropped.
The look on India’s face sums it all up. She was delightfully surprised to see her man in uniform standing there with her on the stage of The Tonight Show.
But the surprise didn’t end there, as Fallon had something more in store.
Not only was Horne given a reunion of a lifetime, but The Tonight Show, along with T-Mobile, teamed up to fully fund a cause the couple were supporting to renovate Maryland’s Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
To everybody’s delight, Fallon announced, “T-Mobile is going to take care of that. They’re going to cover all the costs. Redoing the family room.”
This amazing reunion is probably going to be an episode that will remain etched in their memory forever. And you can also bet that she won’t think twice about getting on that stage again next time.
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