Ellen DeGeneres couldn't keep from holding back tears while reflecting her tenure in daytime. On the final episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the comic and talk show host had a mini retrospect of the shows past on Thursday at the opening of the show before chatting it up with final guests Jennifer Aniston (who was the very first guest of the show when it started), Pink, and Billie Eilish.
DeGeneres, who is ending her self-titled talk show after 19 years on air told the audience she wasn't ending things but taking a little time off. DeGeneres told the studio:
Welcome to our very last show. I walked out here nineteen years ago and I said this is the start of a relationship. And today is not the end of a relationship, it’s more of a little break. You can see other talk shows now. I may see another audience once in a while. Twenty years ago when we tried to sell this show no one thought this would work, not because it was a different kind of show. It was because I was different. Very few stations wanted to buy the show and here we are twenty years later, celebrating this amazing journey together.
DeGeneres went on to discuss how she wasn't allowed to say the world "gay" on the show or couldn't allude to having a wife since it wasn't legal back then for gay people to be married. She then marveled how times have change and the freedom she received while being in daytime. According to DeGeneres:
When we started this show I couldn’t say ‘gay’ on the show. I was not allowed to say ‘gay.’ I said it at home a lot. ‘What are we having for our gay breakfast?’ Or ‘pass the gay salt.’ [Or] ‘Has anyone seen the gay remote?’ — things like that. I couldn’t say we, because that implied that I was with someone. Sure couldn’t say wife, that’s because it wasn’t legal for gay people to get married. And now I say wife all the time. Twenty five years ago they canceled my sitcom because they didn’t want a lesbian to be in primetime once a week. So I said ‘Ok, I’ll be in daytime every day, how ’bout that?’
DeGeneres went on to express how the show has changed her life and those of others and explained how the talk show was one of best experiences she had. DeGeneres stated:
What a beautiful, beautiful journey that we have been together. If this show has made you smile, if it has lifted you up when you’re in a period of some type of pain, some type of sadness, anything you are going through, then I have done my job. Because of this platform we have been able to change people’s lives. This show has forever changed my life. It is the greatest experience I have ever had, beyond my wildest imagination.
Watch a snippet of the final episode below.