Ellen DeGeneres has bid farewell to her audience.
On Wednesday, hours after the controversial comedian told The Hollywood Reporter that she was ending her talk show after this current 19th season, DeGeneres broke this same news to her viewers.
She recorded (and then released) her monologue for Thursday’s show a day early, revealing on stage just what she had decided to do with her professional life.
“Today I’m announcing that next season, season 19 is going to be my last season,” Ellen said to open the speech.
“The past 18 years … has changed my life. You all have changed my life.
“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.”
Ellen, of course, entered what she has now confirmed will be her final season under a storm of scandal.
She was accused last year of bullying her staff and ignoring the horrible ways in which producers treated those who worked under her.
She was also accused of talking down to guests and generally being a phony, the opposite of the overly nice and cheery persona she switched on once the cameras were rolling.
Her ratings, not to mention her reputation, have taken an enorrmous hit as a result.
“When you’re a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged,” Ellen told The Hollywood Reporter of why she was canceling her own series, seemingly ignoring the fact that this seems to be the most challenging situation possible for her.
“And as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore,” she added.
Finally making the choice to end her program, the host told her audience yesterday that she “thought a lot about this decision,” including discussing the huge move with wife Portia de Rossi.
“I sat with it for a while. I meditated on it. I talked to Portia. I talked to myself. A few times I was talking to myself and Portia thought I was talking to her,” Ellen quipped.
“One time I was talking to Portia but she thought I was talking to myself because of the other times when I was talking to myself and she thought I was talking to her.
“One time I was talking to Alexa and Siri answered, and another time I was talking to the TV and I accidentally texted my eye doctor.
“The point is, I need to take a break from talking.”
Back in September, on her Season 18 premiere, DeGeneres apologized for her behavior and said she was prepared to start a new chapter.
Now, well… she’s ready to start another chapter apparently.
“Two years ago, I signed a deal for three more years. I always knew in my heart that season 19 would be my last,” she claimed on air, before later adding:
“The truth is I always trust my instincts. My instinct told me it’s time. As a comedienne, I’ve always understood the importance of … timing.
“In all seriousness I truly felt like next season was the right time to end this amazing chapter.”
Looking back, DeGeneres continued:
“In 1997, I knew it was time to come out on my sitcom and live my truth. Back then I had a vivid dream that a bird flew out of a cage and set itself free because it needed to get out of that cage.
“Recently I had a dream that a bird, a beautiful bird with bright red feathers, came to my window and whispered, ‘You can still do stuff on Netflix.’
“And that was the sign I was looking for.”
Ellen concluded as follows:
“Eighteen years ago, on the very first show, I said that this was gonna be a relationship. And we’re gonna continue that relationship even when this show ends.
“But not in this house. ‘Cause you know I love to move.”
She promised that she will “have a fantastic final season” — one that has “a lot of surprises,” some “trips down memory lane” and where she gets “to say thank you to fans.
In her THR interview, DeGeneres acknowledged the aforementioned controversy, yet insisted all those issues were NOT reason for her decision to leave.
“It almost impacted the show. It was very hurtful to me. I mean, very. But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season,” she explained.
Ellen remained sort of in denial, however.
“And I wasn’t working, so I had no platform, and I didn’t want to address it on [Twitter] and I thought if I just don’t address it, it’s going to go away because it was all so stupid.”
Season 19 of The Ellen DeGeneres Show is scheduled to premiere on September 13.