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Ellen DeGeneres Says Gay in Emotional Farewell Monologue

Ellen DeGeneres

Watch DeGeneres dance with her audience one last time.


The Ellen Show has come to an end. The eponymous talk show of lesbian comedian Ellen DeGeneres broadcast its last episode Thursday after 19 seasons.

In her opening monologue, DeGeneres detailed the difficulty she had in selling the show to stations following her coming out several years prior.

"Twenty 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," she explained. "Here we are, 20 years later, celebrating this amazing journey together."

DeGeneres told the audience how she had to follow certain rules at the very beginning, including not being allowed to say "gay."

"I was not allowed to say 'gay.' I said it at home a lot. Like, you know, 'What are we having for our gay breakfast' or 'Pass the gay salt? Has anyone seen the gay remote?' Things like that, but we couldn't say 'gay,'" she said, adding, "I couldn't say 'we' because that implied that I was with someone, 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."

In her monologue, DeGeneres also quipped about why the show was hard to get sold in the first place.

"Twenty-five years ago, they canceled my sitcom because they didn't want a lesbian to be in prime time once a week, and I said OK, then I'll be on daytime every day. How about that?"

In a recent interview with The Advocate, DeGeneres explained, "No one was hiring me for those years, and when the offer to do a talk show popped up, I wasn't immediately thrilled about doing a talk show, to be honest. Yet I jumped at the opportunity because I wanted to work."

The show has won more than 60 Emmy awards and celebrated a total of 3,280 episodes.

Last year, DeGeneres announced she would close The Ellen Show, saying the show was "just not a challenge anymore." The news came on the heels of a Buzzfeed report that detailed allegations of racism and a toxic work environment on the set of the show. She later apologized and fired three producers as a result of the incident.

On Thursday, the comedian ended her monologue by telling her audience she was grateful to have been able to change people's lives because of her platform.

"What a beautiful, beautiful journey that we have been on together, and if this show has made you smile, if it has lifted you up when you're in a period of some type of pain, some type of sadness, anything that you're going through, then I have done my job," DeGeneres said, beginning to tear up.

Watch her show's final monologue below.

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