Ellen DeGeneres Says She Was ‘Crying Every Day’ Over Talk Show Ending

Ellen DeGeneres
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The last episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show airs Thursday, May 26 after 19 seasons. Before it concludes, Ellen DeGeneres is sharing how she feels about the end.

DeGeneres sought advice from Oprah Winfrey about what to expect at the end of this era, she told The Hollywood Reporter one week before the finale airs. She said this ending feels like a new beginning and that reality hasn’t really sunk in.

“[Winfrey] said I won’t really feel it until September, when I’d normally go back [into production],” DeGeneres shared. Winfrey also advised her fellow daytime talk show host to commit to taking time off, which she regrets not doing after Oprah ended.

“I knew going in that this season was going to be my last season, so I really tried to take everything in. And it’s funny because the last couple of months I was more emotional than I was in the last week or two,” DeGeneres said. “I got really emotional about two months out, but that last week I wasn’t because I really just wanted to enjoy it. I was working with [former monk] Jay Shetty a lot, too, on being present and I was, I was very present for all of it.”

“There was a time a couple of months out where I was crying every day,” she continued. “I was really emotional, even though it was my choice, and it’s the right choice. I knew it was time to end this chapter and to do something different, but still it was really emotional.”

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Beloved daytime talk show airs its last episode on Thursday, May 26.

The host went on: “But I did not want the last two weeks to be about that. I’d meditate every day on my intention and how much I wanted to be present and enjoy it and I wanted that for the audience, too. I wanted people to be reminded of what we brought to television with the music and the games and everything. It was more of a variety show than anything, and I wanted the last two weeks to be pure fun because I struggle with anxiety and depression and I know how important it is to have an escape.

We’re reminded every single day of what’s going on in the world, from a sick family member to wars and fires and global warming. There are so many different things that make you sad.”

The host also discussed the toxic workplace allegations the show faced in 2020, sharing that she has accepted the reality of the experience. It adds to her previous resolve that it was time for the talk show to end.

“It’s for sure the right time. The world is in a crazy place. Like you said, it’s very charged. And you know, I was going to stop three years ago and they talked me into staying a little longer and I did and it’s fine,” DeGeneres said. “There was a lot that happened during that time that was unfortunate but it is what it is — you go through stuff in life and you just keep learning and growing. That’s how I have to look at it. But it’s definitely time to stop. And the producers, we’ll all stay in touch.”

“I have to just trust that whatever happened during that time, which was obviously very, very difficult, happened for a reason,” she added of the show’s tumultuous last few years. “I think that I learned a lot, and there were some things that came up that I was shocked and surprised by. It was eye opening, but I just trust that that had to happen.”

Jennifer Aniston and Pink will be Ellen‘s last guests in the May 26 episode, bringing the series full circle. Aniston was the talk show’s first-ever guest in 2003, and Pink wrote the show’s Emmy-winning theme song. After a respite, DeGeneres will continue working on Ellen Digital Ventures and her A Very Good Production company. Up next for her is continuing work on the documentary about her wildlife preservation campus in Rwanda, which she will travel to in a few weeks for filming purposes.

DeGeneres and her team taped the last episodes of Ellen at the end of April. At the time, she expressed her gratitude to fans, saying, “Being invited into your lives has been the greatest privilege of my life and has brought me incredible joy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Series Finale, Thursday, May 26, check your local listings