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Ellen DeGeneres thanked the audience of her long-running talk show in her opening monologue of the final episode.
The 64-year-old comedienne began hosting 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' on ABC back in 2003 and joked that she and her fans were finally going "on a break" after 19 years together.
Speaking during the show's finale on Thursday (26.05.22), she said: “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!"
The former sketch show star - who has been married to Portia DeRossi 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.
She added: "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. 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. 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!"
"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 - as well as 'bad guy' hitmaker Billie Eilish and 'Rockstar' singer Pink.