AceShowbiz - Ellen DeGeneres thanked the audience of her long-running talk show in her opening monologue of the final episode. The 64-year-old comedienne, who began hosting "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on ABC back in 2003, joked that she and her fans were finally going "on a break" after 19 years together.
"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," Ellen said during the show's finale on Thursday, May 26. "You can see other talk shows now. I may see another audience once in a while!"
The former sketch show star, who has been married to Portia De Rossi since 2008, went on to explain that almost two decades ago, it was a struggle to sell the concept because she was "different" and reflected on everything that has changed culturally since the show debuted.
"20 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," she added. "Very few stations wanted to buy the show and here we are 20 years later, celebrating this amazing journey together."
"When we started this show I couldn't say 'gay' on the show. … I couldn't say 'we,' because that implied that I was with someone," she continued. "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!"
Thanking her fans, Ellen added, "Thank you so much for this platform. I hope that what I've been able to do in the last 19 years has made you happy. … And I hope I've been able to inspire you to make other people happy and do good in the world. To feel like you’ve had a purpose."
Ellen was joined on the final show by former "Friends" star Jennifer Aniston, who was the first guest on the first episode of the show way back in 2003. Other guests included "bad guy" hitmaker Billie Eilish and "Rockstar" singer Pink.