After more than 3,000 episodes, 19 seasons, a handful of toxic workplace allegations, and a devastating interview with Dakota Johnson, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has finally come to an end.
Closing a historic chapter in daytime television history, host Ellen DeGeneres bid a tearful farewell to her audience on Thursday with a final episode, featuring guest appearances from Pink, Billie Eilish and the first-ever guest from the show, Jennifer Aniston.
In her final opening monologue, a moving DeGeneres reflected on the early days of the talk show, as her friends, family and wife, Portia de Rossi, watched from the crowd.
“I walked out of here 19 years ago and said it was the start of a relationship. And today is not the end of a relationship, it’s more of a small pause. You can see other talk shows now. I might see another audience once in a while,” she said at the start of the episode, which was filmed last month.
Addressing the revolutionary nature of having a lesbian host a nationally broadcast talk show, DeGeneres recalled that initially “very few stations wanted to buy the show.”
“Nobody thought it would work. Not because it was a different kind of show, but because I was different,” she said, noting that she couldn’t say “gay” during the program’s early days.
“Of course, I couldn’t say woman. This is because it was not legal for homosexuals to marry. And now I say woman all the time,” she continued, as de Rossi beamed from the audience. “Twenty-five years ago they canceled my sitcom because they didn’t want a lesbian on prime time once a week. So I said, ‘OK, I’ll be daytime every day. , what about that?’
DeGeneres went on to celebrate the “beautiful, beautiful journey” that has brought smiles to millions and “changed people’s lives,” calling the show “the greatest experience I’ve ever had beyond my wildest imagination”.
She closed the segment by asking Stephen “tWitch” Boss to “dance with me one last time.”
The dancing continued with Aniston, who appeared on the show 20 times throughout its run. Given her experience saying goodbye to a beloved TV show, the “Friends” alum offered some goodbye wisdom on how she handled the final moments of her own series.
“Well, I got divorced and went to therapy and then did a movie called ‘The Break-Up,'” she said. “I just leaned on the end.”
Next up are Eilish and Pink, who both shared sweet memories with DeGeneres about their appearances over the years.
“You started this show the year after I was born,” Eilish recalled. “It was constantly at home. Every day. I walked into the kitchen and my mother was looking at you.
Pink, meanwhile, delivered a moving performance of her hit “What About Us,” as the show’s newest musical act.
In the final moments of the episode, which mirrored the start of the series, DeGeneres once again appeared on stage to thank her team, before delivering a final message to her viewers.
“If I’ve done anything in the past 19 years, I hope I’ve inspired you to be yourself — your true, authentic self,” DeGeneres 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 show you who they are and that’s the greatest gift anyone can ever give you. By opening your heart and your mind, you are going to be much more compassionate, and compassion is what makes the world a better place.
“Thank you so much for taking this journey with me,” she concluded, before walking to the back of the stage and sitting on the couch in front of a television. “I feel the love and I send it back to you.”
After taking one last look at the camera, DeGeneres then turned off the TV with the stage doors closing behind her, to the cheers of the crowd.
The Huffington Gt