Ellen DeGeneres, right, is embraced by Jennifer Aniston during the final taping of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."
Ellen DeGeneres bid goodbye to her daytime talk show as the final episode aired on Thursday (26 May).
“I walked out here 19 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,” DeGeneres joked, as she started off her three-minute monologue.
“Twenty years ago, when we were trying to sell the show, no one thought that this would work,” she said.
“Not because it was a different kind of show, but because I was different. Very few stations wanted to buy the show, and here we are 20 years later, celebrating this amazing journey together.”
DeGeneres ended her monologue by calling The Ellen DeGeneres Show “the greatest experience” she’s ever had and asking DJ tWitch to “dance one last time with me”.
During the final episode, DeGeneres invited returning guests Jeniffer Aniston, Billie Eilish, and P!nk to reflect on the past conversations and experiences they have had on the show.
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 the "Friends” star has been on the show a total of 20 times.
"You're welcome,” Aniston said, teasingly, then turned serious.
"I love you, and I so appreciate you and what you have given to the world over the last 19 years. The contribution is endless," she said. She introduced a career retrospective video that also touted DeGeneres' philanthropic efforts, said to include more than $400 million in donations to charities and "deserving viewers.”
"I love you," a beaming Eilish told DeGeneres during their chat. "I love you so much, it’s dumb,” said Pink, who performed "What About Us."
DeGeneres' daytime reign hit a serious bump in 2020, when the show was alleged to be a toxic workplace and three producers exited amid the claims. On the air that fall, DeGeneres apologized for "things that shouldn’t have happened,” but defended herself as being the same genuine person - if an imperfect one - on- and off-camera.
The talk show represented a second major TV act for DeGeneres. In 1997, she made an indelible mark when she came out as lesbian and brought her character on the ABC sitcom "Ellen” with her. The series was axed the next year.
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