COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The final episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” aired Thursday at 3 p.m. on NBC4 after a nearly 20-year run.
A short montage put together by the show’s creators looks back at the big moments for DeGeneres over the past two decades. It begins with a clip of the host’s tearful “thank you” to the audience after the very first taping and advances through the success of the show and DeGeneres’s personal triumphs.
“Whatever you believe, we are born, we are all individual, we are all unique and we are supposed to be that exact person and as long as you stay true to exactly who you are you will be rewarded in ways that you can’t imagine,” DeGeneres says in the video.
From numerous Daytime Emmy wins to hosting the Oscars twice, receiving special awards, giving millions of dollars to viewers and charities, getting married and being honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the video encapsulates how the show and world have changed over the past 19 seasons of “Ellen.”
What is not documented in the nearly six-minute video, is the show’s recent controversy over “toxic workplace” claims that led to a staff shake-up and a lengthy apology from DeGeneres to her audience at the beginning of the 18th season.
“I learned that things happen here that never should have happened,” she said. “I take that very seriously. And I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected.”
Just over a year ago DeGeneres revealed to The Hollywood Reporter she was ending her daytime talk show.
“When you’re a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged — and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore,” said DeGeneres.
Back in April, DeGeneres took to social media to announce the show’s final recording and reminisced about all that has happened since the early aughts.
“When we started this show in 2003, the iPhone didn’t exist,” DeGeneres wrote on Twitter. “Social media didn’t exist. Gay marriage wasn’t legal. We watched the world change, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. But whatever was happening, my goal was always for the show to be a place where we could all come together and laugh for an hour. Being invited into your lives has been the greatest privilege of my life and has brought me incredible joy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
In the show’s last week, Oprah Winfrey sat down with the comedian and confessed being backstage was “triggering” for the TV icon.
“I got a little emotional backstage because I saw your entire staff is back there,” Winfrey explained to DeGeneres. “And I said to everybody, ‘I know what this feels like with only a couple of days left,’ and just was really applauding your team for making this show what it’s been for 19 years. Obviously, you’re the face out front, but it’s everybody back there that actually makes it work. I was just really tearing up saying, ‘Guys, what a great job you’ve done.'”
Stars that appeared on the series finale included the show’s first guest, Jennifer Aniston, along with Jennifer Lawrence, Mila Kunis, Bruno Mars, Billie Eilish and Pink.
Encore episodes of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” will air on NBC4, until the new fall season arrives.