On Friday, Gilbert, 44, was honored by her fellow co-hosts on the CBS talk show in an emotional farewell, filled with special guests and tearful moments.
At the top of the episode, dubbed “Sara’s Final Show,” Gilbert, seated besides her co-hosts — Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood, Eve, and Carrie Ann Inaba — for the last time, joked, “Thank god there is alcohol here.”
As Inaba, 51, explained to the audience that Gilbert was the brains behind the show, which premiered in 2010, a montage showed her best moments during her nine years on the panel.
The highlights included the Oct. 18, 2010, series premiere; the show’s daytime Emmy victories in 2016 and 2018; Gilbert’s pregnancy announcement on-air in 2014; and her revelation in April that she was be departing the series.
Gilbert watched the montage with tears in her eyes and earned a standing ovation and huge applause from her co-hosts and the audience.
Beginning with Underwood, 55, the hosts went around the table to give their goodbye speeches to Gilbert.
“I remember the day that I was interviewing, I went into a meeting and they said ‘well do you have time to meet Julie Chen and Sara Gilbert?’ and I said, ‘the girl from Roseanne?'” Underwood recalled, with tears rolling down her face.
“I said ‘yeah, yeah,’ and you could tell I was uncomfortable and nervous, but what I loved about that meeting was I felt like I was talking a little too long, and I said, ‘Whatever you do, keep this going for other people.'” Underwood continued. “You care about so many people, you created something that gave a lot of people a lot of work but you opened a lot of us into your lives. You didn’t know us from Adam. To be with you to see the courtship, the love, to be invited to your wedding as your wacky black cousin. I never thought in my life I would make a friend like you.
Underwood then called Gilbert “a great mother, wife, and companion,” and thanked her for challenging her over the years.
“Everyone needs a good friend that knows there are more in you than you understand, and you bring that out in people. You are truly an example for others to follow, you are a good woman.”
Inanba, who joined the series in January, was next.
“I’m going to speak from my heart,” she began. “I was intimidated by you. But what I found sitting across from you, I always get to look right into your eyes, and what I learned is that you have the most beautiful and compassionate heart. I don’t think you always share it with everybody, but I feel so blessed that I could to sit this close for these past few months and share and feel the warmth of your heart.”
The Dancing with the Stars judge then thanked Gilbert for the party she threw last night for the women, and went on to commend the actress for her integrity.
“What I love most about you is that that I learned so much how to have integrity for myself,” Inaba continued. “There is no way to look into your eyes and come to this table and not be my fullest self, because you expect nothing less from any of us. I appreciate you, because it is what you do. That is what you said at this table, and I am thinking you from the bottom of my heart, for creating this space, for all of us, and everyone at heart, where we can be out best selfs. Cheers to you.”
Eve, who joined the show in 2017, cried as she delivered her goodbye to Gilbert.
“It’s crazy because I didn’t think I would get this emotional,” she said. “I said this before, but I feel like I am very honored and lucky that you have opened up and have let me see this other part of you. Because it is so sweet, and it is so loving, and it is so encompassing. You make me feel like I can be more honest, you have helped me be more honest. I feel smarter sitting next to you, I do. Thank you so much, I feel very honored and happy I can call you a friend. I will miss you, everyday.”
Before it was Osbourne’s turn to honor Gilbert, a montage showed the friendship that the two women have shared throughout the years.
“Coming everyday and seeing Sara, she can read me, I can read her,” Osbourne said through tears. “If there’s anything on my mind I tell Sara. Now I won’t have Sara here. While my husband has been sick, Sara has gone out of her way to find him little things that he knows he’ll like and buy for him. He considers her a friend, too.”
“It’s like a sister, she’s like a sister I never had,” she continued. “I can tell her things, and she gives me good advice, and I know if I tell her things it won’t go anywhere else. It’s like this sacred thing. Its like not having ur sister with you anymore, it’s going to be hard. She’s here and still a producer on the show, and I know all the times when I’m not here, I’m sure Sara will sit in with me.”
As Osbourne and Gilbert shared a hug, the Roseanne actress told the four ladies, “You know I am always here for you, and I will always be there for all of you.”
The show commemorated more of Gilbert’s best moments, including her memorable fashion choices, followed by a game called “The Era of Sara,” where the co-hosts quizzed Gilbert on moments that occurred during her run on the show.
After the fun and games ended, it was Gilbert’s time to thank her co-hosts with an emotional speech to each of them.
“Sheryl, I just want to say I respect you so much,” Gilbert began to Underwood. “You are so kind and warm hearted, and for people that don’t know at home, Sheryl is the kind of person that gives her shoes away to the audience after the show. You’ve overcome so much adversity in your life. You have been so brave to share it, you have become such a successful human being. Not just career, but what you’ve become and where you’ve gotten to. You inspire me everyday and I thank you for sharing this table with me.”
Gilbert moved onto Inaba, and explained that she felt the two had an “instant connection” and “instant sisterhood” upon meeting.
“You are so warm and kindhearted and so extremely generous. I said to you, last night, you are a risk-taker, and you felt like you weren’t, but you’ve traveled in that direction. From the outside I see you as so free, and someone who is not afraid to show who they are and say what’s on their mind, and to me that’s the biggest risk of all. You really show yourself.”
“Eve, it’s funny because what I wanted to say to you is that there are some similarities to what you said to me,” Gilbert began to the rapper. “I think you guard your heart and you have such a beautiful spirit and I want to people to see that more, and I think they are.”
Gilbert commended Eve for coming so far in life from her “dark situations,” and ended her note by calling the rapper “a gift to people.”
After beginning to choke up, Gilbert said farewell to Osbourne. “Sharon, you know, I went to put my thoughts together, and I thought, what do I say? It was that cliche of not having words.”
Gilbert explained that she had wanted Osbourne on the show from the beginning, and after Osbourne said yes, she confided in her regarding her fears of leading the talk show.
“She said, ‘Just be yourself,’ and you gave me permission to do that over the years, and we’ve been there with each other, for each other,” Gilbert said. “I have to figure out how to not see you everyday. I love you, and I know this is not goodbye, and I know we are going to be in each other’s lives, and I’ll make sure of that.
Near the end of the show, Gilbert’s wife, musician Linda Perry, came on stage, and shared sweet words about her partner of five years.
“Well, I want everybody to know that this is a true, very inspiring, human being right here that is trying to advance herself and everybody around her,” Perry said. Then, Sawyer, Gilbert’s 12-year-old daughter, came onto the stage.
Sawyer surprised her mom with a song, titled “Mama,” which she sang for the entire audience as Gilbert watched with tears in her eyes.
To close out the show, the producers, co-hosts, Perry, and Sawyer joined Gilbert onstage with a cake. After thanking CBS, as well as the producers and crew of the show, Gilbert ended on one final note to the viewers that watched her for nine years.
“Thank you for letting me belong, and thank you for listening,” she said.
Gilbert announced she was leaving the show in April, explaining that she wanted to focus on her career as an actress and producer.
“I’m nervous. This is hard to do and something that I have been struggling with for a while and going back and forth. But I’ve decided that it’s time for me to leave the show at the end of the season,” she said.
Her co-hosts teared up beside her as she revealed her departure, and explained how important the show has been to her for all these years.
Gilbert helped create The Talk and has served as a co-host and executive producer on the daytime series since its premiere in October 2010. In 2016, she won a Daytime Emmy when the show was named outstanding entertainment talk show.
The Talk airs weekdays at 2 p.m. ET on CBS.