The Ellen DeGeneres Show bows out | The ups and downs of an icon

After 19 seasons and more than 4000 guests later, The Ellen DeGeneres Show will air its very last episode on Thursday. A moment that promises to be rich in emotions (prepare your handkerchiefs), and which should create quite a void in many salons. A look back at a media phenomenon that has seen the Hollywood elite pass by, with its ups and downs, and what we will remember. In four times.

Posted at 7:00 a.m.

Silvia Galipeau

Silvia Galipeau
The Press

The good moves

Where to start ? In nearly 20 years, Ellen DeGeneres, with her clean pants and plenty of jackets, not to mention her awkward dance moves, has danced with Michelle Obama, cooked with Bradley Cooper, shopped for groceries with Oprah. She also fed Adele grass and sang Christmas songs with Britney. In short, parades, in always relaxed contexts, the biggest stars of the United States. But that’s not all. Injured, she squarely hosted her show from her hospital bed. And if we often laughed a lot, we also cried heartily, in this daily newspaper as generous as it is entertaining, and as a bonus diversified, followed by more than 1 million viewers on NBC. Especially when she received, remember, a survivor of the homophobic killings in Orlando. “She fascinates me! “, launches the humorist Marie-Lyne Joncas, who watches almost religiously each episode. “When I was young, my dream was to be her. I would like to be the Ellen DeGeneres of Quebec. The comedian and host underlines both the style, the “nonchalance”, the “relaxed” side in addition to the generosity of Ellen DeGeneres, from whom she is openly inspired. “When I animate, there is a lot of her behind…”

Ellen through time

  • In January 2020, Ellen DeGeneres received the Carol Burnett Award for Excellence in Television at the Golden Globes ceremony.


    In January 2020, Ellen DeGeneres received the Carol Burnett Award for Excellence in Television at the Golden Globes ceremony.

  • Ellen DeGeneres received the award for best talk show in 2007 at the Emmy Awards.


    Ellen DeGeneres received the award for best talk show in 2007 at the Emmy Awards.

  • In 2014, Ellen DeGeneres' selfie at the Oscars was the most shared photo on Twitter at the time.


    In 2014, the selfie of Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars was the most shared photo on Twitter at the time.

  • Hillary Clinton and Ellen DeGeneres in October 2016


    Hillary Clinton and Ellen DeGeneres in October 2016

  • The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, with Ellen DeGeneres in 2016


    The 44and United States President Barack Obama with Ellen DeGeneres in 2016


Le grand coup


Barack Obama décerne la médaille de la Liberté à Ellen DeGeneres en 2016.

Mais au-delà de tout cela, et pour plusieurs observateurs, le plus grand legs d’Ellen DeGeneres est ailleurs. Ou plutôt avant. C’est son existence même qu’on retient. Ou plutôt son existence publique. « C’est le premier modèle lesbien grand public en Amérique du Nord ! », rappelle la chroniqueuse culturelle Eugénie Lépine-Blondeau, qui a carrément adressé une lettre d’amour à Ellen DeGeneres il y a quelques années sur les ondes de l’émission On dira ce qu’on voudra, à ICI Première. Son coming out « crucial » annoncé en une du Time Magazine en 1997 (« Yep, I’m gay », une sortie du placard inédite qui lui a valu son lot d’insultes, en plus de lui faire perdre peu de temps après sa sitcom, Ellen) – un « coup énorme » – a eu un effet « incommensurable » au sein de la communauté LGBTQ+, dit-elle. « Moi, quand j’ai compris l’existence d’Ellen DeGeneres, à l’adolescence […]I remember feeling relieved that she exists, that she shows up, and that she is not afraid to talk about it. […] And the reason I swore never to hide as a lesbian woman is because of her. It’s certain. There are other models that inspire me. […] But in terms of my identity, the number one role model was Ellen. “For good reason:” For almost 20 years, she has brought together people from all walks of life with this slogan: Be kind. She always had this intention of inclusion, this openness, and for me, it is exceptional. »

D’ailleurs, quand le président Barack Obama lui a décerné la médaille de la Liberté en 2016, Eugénie Lépine-Blondeau en a pleuré. « Je braillais ma vie, vraiment. Il a rappelé tout son parcours, et c’était vraiment émouvant. » Même son de cloche de la part de la journaliste et chroniqueuse Judith Lussier, pour qui Ellen DeGeneres est un « modèle extraordinaire qui a beaucoup fait avancer les droits LGBTQ+ ». « Elle est entrée dans le foyer des gens et ç’a été exceptionnel. […] Seeing a lesbian woman express herself like that in the media, it sure gave me confidence to be myself and to celebrate who I am. »

The departure in a climate of controversy


In October 2019, Ellen DeGeneres was pictured alongside 43and United States President George W. Bush at a football game.

Nevertheless, Ellen DeGeneres does not have a spotless career. Or let’s say that his capital of sympathy has noticeably “eroded” over the past few years. And all the observers interviewed noted it. We remember that in 2020, his show lost more than 1 million viewers in six months, following allegations, reported by Buzzfeed, of 36 ex-employees concerning the “toxic climate”, harassment, racism and the microaggressions on his set. The investigation, conducted by Warner Media, also resulted in the dismissal of three executive producers. That’s called falling down for an apostle of so-called kindness. “It’s always a little disappointing when someone we love disappoints us, especially when it’s someone who defends minorities, and who is one herself”, analyzes Sandrine Galand, expert in pop culture and author of pop feminism, for whom the scandal echoes the Pascale Nadeau affair here.

But for the researcher, this story, to which is added “another scandal”, namely this famous “friendship” between Ellen DeGeneres and George W. Bush (another blow to her popularity), in fact reveals something else, which is especially “intersectionality”: “Elle DeGeneres is not just a lesbian woman, she concludes. She is mostly white, famous and wealthy. It is above all a rich “identity”, so to speak, more than a queer “identity”. “Identity which would be, according to her (and without minimizing the “enormous” impact that she had on the LGBTQ + community), at the origin of her success, and her longevity, with the more “traditional” fringe American. Besides, she is not too worried about her future. “She’ll get over it!” »

The final


The host during the filming of an episode of the final season of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“When we started this show in 2003, the iPhone didn’t exist. Social networks did not exist. Gay marriage was not legal. We’ve watched the world change, sometimes for the better, sometimes not,” the 64-year-old host, one of the most popular (and rich!) comedians on the planet, recently wrote on her Twitter feed (in the 10 most followed in the world, in front of Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez and CNN), as a thank you to its (more or less) faithful spectators. “My goal has always been to make a show where we could all get together and laugh for an hour. Inviting me into your lives has been the greatest privilege of my life, and has brought me incredible joy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. During the last days and on this final set, which has been the subject of much speculation, we expect to see the very first guests (2003) of the show (a bit like David Letterman, another television icon, in its own finale in 2015), namely Jennifer Aniston and P! nk (to whom we owe the music of the credits), in addition to the usual accomplices. We think of Oprah Winfrey, Kate McKinnon, Justin Timberlake, Zac Efron, Billie Eilish, Bruno Mars and many others. Not to mention all the surprises, as funny as they are touching, the show’s business card whose slogan is Be kind (be nice !). A show that has won so many Emmy awards that we have stopped counting, even if it has lost its feathers in the last two years.

The final episode airs Thursday on CTV at 3 p.m.

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