Ellen DeGeneres is ending her daytime talk show after nearly two decades

Ellen DeGeneres ended her nearly two-decade-long daytime talk show on Thursday with a celebrity lovefest and a forceful affirmation of her achievement as a gay woman who dares to be herself.

DeGeneres and her guests Jennifer Aniston, Billie Eilish and Pink shared memories and affection as “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” concluded its Emmy-winning streak of more than 3,200 episodes that began in September 2003.

“Twenty years ago when we were trying to sell the show, nobody thought it would work. Not because it was a different kind of show, but because I was different,” DeGeneres told about the refusal of television channels.

When the syndicated show aired, she was restricted from saying the word “gay” or even the pronoun “we,” DeGeneres said, because the latter would imply she had a partner. She did not specify who imposed the ban.

TV show host Ellen Degeneres appears at the Season 13 Bi-Coastal Premiere of ‘The Ellen Degeneres Show’ at Rockefeller Center on September 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

“Of course, I couldn’t say wife, and that’s because it wasn’t legal for gay people to marry — and now I say ‘wife’ all the time,” DeGeneres added, with a twist. defiantly, as actress Portia de Rossi looked on from the studio audience. They got married in 2008.

The host, who has made a name for herself for encouraging her audience to join her in impromptu dances, shared some final moves with her sidekick and DJ, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, to the tune “Best of My Love “.

The dancer-choreographer hailed DeGeneres as someone who inspires others because she has “the courage to step out and be authentic to yourself.”

Aniston, who as the first guest on the show’s first episode gave DeGeneres a “Welcome” doormat, arrived with another that read, “Thanks for the memories.” DeGeneres noted that the “Friends” star has been on the show a total of 20 times.

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“You’re welcome,” Aniston teased, then turned serious.

“I love and appreciate you so much and what you have given to the world over the past 19 years. The contribution is endless,” she said. She featured a career retrospective video that also touted DeGeneres’ philanthropic efforts, which reportedly include more than $400 million in donations to charities and “deserving viewers.”

“I love you,” Eilish beamed to DeGeneres during their chat. “I love you so much, it’s silly,” said Pink, who performed “What About Us.”

DeGeneres’ daytime reign got a serious bump in 2020, when the show was alleged to be a toxic workplace and three producers walked out amid claims. Live this fall, DeGeneres apologized for “things that shouldn’t have happened”, but defended herself as the same genuine – albeit imperfect – person on and off camera.

The talk show represented a second major TV act for DeGeneres. In 1997, she made a indelible mark when she became a lesbian and brought her character on the ABC sitcom “Ellen” with her. The series was canceled the following year.

“Twenty-five years ago they canceled my sitcom because they didn’t want a lesbian to be on prime time once a week. And I said, ‘OK, so I’ll be daytime. every day,'” DeGeneres said. Thursday.

The comedian, actress and producer says she will take the time to consider her next career move, but first she and de Rossi take a trip to Rwanda. DeGeneres ended her daytime show with a call to her audience, a call she said was worth repeating.

“If I’ve done anything in the past 19 years, I hope I’ve inspired you to be yourself, your true authentic self. And if anyone is brave enough to tell you who they are , be brave enough to support it, even if you don’t understand,” DeGeneres said. “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.”

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