Ellen DeGeneres tells talk show audience she’s leaving – ‘The greatest experience of my life’

·2 min read

Ellen DeGeneres will bid a fond — and upbeat — farewell to her talk show audience Thursday, a day after revealing she’s bringing “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to a close after its upcoming 19th season.

“The past 18 years, you have to know, has changed my life,” DeGeneres said in Thursday’s monologue, released online late Wednesday.

“You all have changed my life and I am forever grateful to all of you for watching, for laughing, for dancing … sometimes crying. This show has been the greatest experience of my life, and I owe it all to you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

DeGeneres, who launched her show in September 2003, said she knew when she signed a three-year contract extension in 2019 that she would be calling it quits after the 2022 season.

“Nineteen is a great number. First of all, the 19th amendment gave women the right to vote. This may be controversial, but I believe women should be allowed to vote. I said it. I said it. Also, on the periodic table, 19 is the atomic number for potassium,” she told her virtual audience.

“You may wonder why I’ve decided to end after 19 seasons. The truth is, I always trust my instincts. My instinct told me it’s time. As a comedian, I’ve always understood the importance of…timing. In all seriousness, I truly have felt like next season was the right time to end this amazing chapter.”

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter Wednesday, DeGeneres said last summer’s scandal, during which current and former employees alleged behind-the-scenes bullying, sexual harassment and mistreatment, had nothing to do with her decision to end the show.

“It broke my heart when I learned that people here had anything other than a fantastic experience — that people were hurt in any way,” she said.

“I’m not a scary person. I’m really easy to talk to. So, we’ve all learned from things that we didn’t realize — or I didn’t realize — were happening. I just want people to trust and know that I am who I appear to be.”

Season 19 of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is set to premiere in September and run through the spring.

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