After 19 years of gifts, games and, yes, fun, Ellen Degeneres ended his long-running talk show on Thursday. She began the latest installment of her by assuring viewers that their relationship would not end indefinitely. “It’s more of a little break,” DeGeneres said. “You can watch other talk shows now, and you might see another audience from time to time.”
DeGeneres dedicated her last monologue to talking about the social progress we’ve seen since Elena released in September 2003. “Twenty years ago, when we were trying to sell the program, no one thought this would work. Not because it was a different show, but because I was different,” DeGeneres said. “When we started the show, I couldn’t say ‘gay.’ I wasn’t allowed to say ‘gay’. I say it a lot at home, you know, ‘What are we going to have for our gay breakfast?’ or ‘Pass me the gay salt’, ‘Has anyone seen the gay remote control?’, but we couldn’t say ‘gay’. He couldn’t say ‘we’ because that would imply he was with someone. I sure couldn’t say ‘wife’, and that’s because it wasn’t legal for gay people to get married.”
“Now I say ‘wife’ all the time,” he continued, as the camera panned to his wife of almost 15 years, Portia de Rossi.
“Twenty-five years ago they canceled my sitcom because they didn’t want a lesbian to be in prime time once a week,” DeGeneres recalled. “So I said, ‘Okay, I’ll be in daylight every day. How about that?’” He then joined his longtime DJ, tWitch, aka Stephen Boss, for one last dance of “Best of My Love”.
A trio of performers joined DeGeneres for her final episode, which was filmed in late April. Jennifer Aniston, first Elena guest, dropped by to give DeGeneres advice on how to wrap up an iconic series. “I got divorced and went to therapy,” Aniston said of breaking up Friends after 10 seasons. I made a movie called The breaking. I just leaned toward the end.” billie eilish he acknowledged that the program was a regular presence in his home. “You started this program the year after I was born,” she said. “This was in my house constantly. Every day. I would walk into the kitchen and my mom would be watching you.” After Pink, who wrote ElenaThe theme song for , he performed his 2017 hit “What About Us” after chatting with the host.
the end of Elena was first announced last year, about 10 months after a BuzzFeed News article in which former show employees accused the show of allegedly having a “toxic work culture.” DeGeneres acknowledged the allegations as “devastating” but said he felt the moment was “orchestrated” and “felt very misogynistic.” Following the article’s publication, DeGeneres announced the departure of three of the show’s producers, though an attorney for one called the BuzzFeed article “deeply flawed” and claimed his client was “being scapegoated.” .
At the end of her final hour on daytime television, DeGeneres reflected on her show’s outward philosophy of kindness. “If I have done anything in the last 19 years, I hope I have inspired you to be yourself, your true authentic self,” he said. “And if someone is brave enough to tell you who they are, be brave enough to support them, even if you don’t understand. They are showing you who they are, and that is the greatest gift anyone can give you. By opening your heart and mind, you will be much more compassionate, and compassion is what makes the world a better place. Thank you so much for being on this journey with me. I feel the love and I return it to you.”