Tearful Ellen DeGeneres Ends Show After 19 Years

The Hollywood Reporter reports:

In her final hour on NBC as daytime host, Ellen DeGeneres used her platform to reflect on the journey of bringing The Ellen DeGeneres Show to daytime and the noticeable changes in visibility and acceptance of gays in Hollywood across two decades.

Guests Jennifer Aniston, the very first person to guest on the Ellen Show when it debuted, Billie Ellish — who was only a one-year-old when the show aired its first episode — and P!nk, who wrote the talk show’s theme song, appeared across the hour to celebrate DeGeneres final go as daytime host.

But before that, the comedian walked out to a standing ovation after a flashback clip of the Ellen Show stage doors opening on the host for her very first episode — a moment that she would call back to in the show’s final minutes.

CNN reports:

DeGeneres opened the last hour of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” by discussing the progress that had been made since the series premiered in 2003, noting that she “couldn’t say ‘gay’ on the show” when it started or make a reference to her wife, Portia de Rossi, because gay marriage wasn’t legal.

“Now I say ‘wife’ all the time,” she said.  Noting that there was resistance to the show and that few gave it a chance of surviving, DeGeneres promised that she wouldn’t be gone for long. “Today is not the end of a relationship, it’s more of a little break,” she said. “You can see other talk shows now.”

People reports:

When the hour came to an end, there was a stillness in the studio. DeGeneres looked into the camera and holding back tears, thanked everyone for their love along with her hope that she had brought some joy into everyone’s lives as well.

Even as the cameras were turned off, the standing ovation continued for several minutes. DeGeneres came back over to address the crowd and the staff all began filing out from backstage to gather around.

Through tears she explained that it hadn’t been easy to return to the show after weathering allegations of a toxic workplace in 2020, but she believed in its positive message and the crew had become her family.