In honor of Ellen Degeneres’s show, The Ellen Degeneres Show, coming to an end after 19 years on May 26, we are chronicling its farewell season each week. These are the Last Days of Ellen.
My beautiful Ellenistas, our day has come. Today, the final episode of Ellen Degeneres’s daytime talk show aired. I was never quite sure if it was The Ellen Show or The Ellen Degeneres Show, but that actually does not matter now. It is dead, may it rest in power.
“20 years ago, when we were trying to sell the show, no one thought that this would work. Not because it was a different kind of show, but because I was different,” Ellen said in her final monologue after walking out to the most adoring audience this side of a cult.
“25 years ago, they canceled my sitcom because they didn’t want a lesbian to be in primetime once a week. I said, ‘Okay, then I’ll be on daytime every day. How about that?’” she joked, which I have to admit is a good one. I laughed.
I have some horrible news for you all. Somehow, in this last week, my heart has softened a bit for Ellen. Now I have never spent 19 years doing anything (other than existing, I guess), but I imagine that closing such a long chapter of your life would be emotionally taxing. I still think she has some of the worst energy on television, but endings make me sad — even if the thing that is ending is a show that I’ve been hate-watching for the last three months. What can I say? I’m an empath.
What sent me over the edge was not her final dance — more of a slow gyration to “Best of My Love” — but her tribute to tWitch, the dancer turned “fake DJ” who has been by Ellen’s side for a decade.
“He’s never going to be out of my life, he’s always going to be part of my life,” Ellen said tearfully. Then she presented him with a framed photo of them walking off the stage together, and for some reason I was tearing up. Then tWitch started to actually cry and I started to actually cry and oh my god what has happened to me?
“I love you, and I love the family that we’ve gained,” tWitch told his boss through tears.
I don’t know, man. Ellen is a lot of things — spineless, rude, and cloying are all adjectives that come to mind — but it does seem like if you are one of the people who she likes, you will ride for her forever. Obviously that will never be you or me (too poor), and it’s absurd to have a soft spot for someone just because other people seem to like them. But seeing Ellen actually get emotional in her last few episodes has revealed her to be a real person deep, deep down, and if anything that is kind of nice. I’m sure her best friend George W. Bush would agree.
Previously on The Last Days of Ellen: Ellen Speaks