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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 continued by highlighting how far the world has come in terms of LGBT+ visibility.
“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 gay breakfast?’ Or ‘pass the gay salt’, ‘has anyone seen the gay remote?’ – things like that,” she added.
“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,” she continued.
“Twenty-five years ago, they cancelled 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 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.