After 19 seasons, thousands of celebrity interviews, hundreds of pranks, countless dance breaks and nearly two decades, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has officially come to an end.
The emotional series finale of the daytime talk series premiered Thursday afternoon, following 2020’s wave of public scrutiny and reports of a toxic work environment on set. Reflecting on how much has changed over the past 19 years in her last opening monologue, a tearful DeGeneres called the show “the greatest experience I’ve ever had beyond my wildest imagination.”
“When we started the show, I couldn’t say ‘gay’ on the show,” DeGeneres said. “I couldn’t say ‘we’ because that implied that I was with someone. I sure couldn’t say ‘wife,’ and that’s because it wasn’t legal for gay people to get married, and now I say wife all the time.” (The trailblazing comedian married actor Portia de Rossi in 2008.)
“Twenty-five years ago, they canceled my sitcom because they didn’t want a lesbian to be on primetime once a week,” she continued. “And I said, ‘OK, then I’ll be on daytime every day. How about that?’”