“The whole place was crying”

Ellen DeGeneres shed more than a few tears before the last episode of her eponymous talk show.

But her last dance on Thursday, May 26, will be a particularly “emotional” one, an insider who was on tap told The Post.

In her remaining weeks after nearly two decades on the air, she received some final showdown with a parade of A-list guests including Oprah WinfreyJustin Timberlake, teens Kate McKinnon, Michelle Obama, Sean “Diddy Combs”, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kevin Hart, Chelsea Handler, and Michael B Jordan, among others.

But the show’s source said her tears were “happy” not torn by bitterness or remorse, despite the heavy cloud hanging over her since allegations of a “toxic” work environment have cast a shadow over her “Be Kind” brand. In 2020, DeGeneres faced a series of negative allegations in the workplace, for which she later apologized, but still shuffled the top-level contestants of the show’s 18th season.

“Her mood for the past two weeks has been crying hard, but a happy cry,” the source said. “All her crying was nothing but gratitude for what we accomplished together. It was heartbreaking that she would not meet her staff every day.”

The feeling is said to be mutual since the recording ended on April 28.

The source added, “All the employees were texting her.” “Everyone misses her.”

The final episode is “Very Classic Elaine” — featuring “talking guests, having fun, and laughing,” according to the insider, who gave details of Thursday’s final farewell, which will be booked with DeGeneres’ first-ever guest. September. 8, 2003 – ‘Friends’ star Jennifer Aniston, 53. “Even though it’s been 20 years, it just felt like they were talking to each other yesterday,” the insider said. “It was very sweet.”

The host will also appreciate “Bad Guy” singer Billie Eilish, 20, as a catalyst for the “next generation” of artists as DeGeneres, 64, herself “goes awry.” The 42-year-old gal-pal Pink will sing it with an “emotional” performance of “What About Us,” one of DeGeneres’ favorite songs.

“Pink has always been very, very close to Elaine. You know, they are both tough women who say what they say and are who they are and who they are,” according to the source. “Pink was one of those people who appreciated Eileen for exactly what she was and what she meant to LGBT people – to anyone who needs a voice and doesn’t have a voice.”

Recent studio audiences – which included DeGeneres’ wife, Portia de Rossi, and brother, Vance, who had previously made negative allegations about his “bulls-t” sister – also got a tribute clip about DeGeneres’ legacy, most notably as a gay icon, said he “was The whole place is crying.”

DeGeneres and Michelle Obama filmed a clip for Warner Bros. Lots of studios.
Michael Roseman/Warner Bros.

As DeGeneres bows, she appears to be preparing for life outside the studio. She and her wife recently slashed nearly $21 million for a Moorish-inspired home in Santa Barbara County, California. Earlier this month, they also sold a $13.9 million Monticello property that they had acquired in September 2021. While she did not reveal other career plans, the source said she would “continue to buy and build beautiful homes. And spend some real time with Portia.” .

DeGeneres sits down to chat with Sean "Didi" Combs in one of her last broadcasts.
DeGeneres sat down to chat with Sean “Diddy” Combs on one of her recent podcasts.
Michael Roseman/Warner Bros.

Not that she’s already retired.

“If you knew Eileen, she would come back and she would come back in a big way,” the insider said.

But her exit also marks a new era for others scrambling to dominate talk-television. Actress and former The View host Sherry Shepherd, 55, is gearing up for her own chat fest later this year that will replace former host Wendy Williams. Meanwhile, it was announced a year ago that the interview series named 40-year-old Kelly Clarkson would be moving to DeGeneres’ coveted Afternoons for its fourth season.

But Oscar-winning Jennifer Hudson is also in the spotlight, who this fall will be launching an eponymous Fox show — and she will do so from Warner Bros. studios and offices. A source revealed to The Post that DeGeneres’ old digs in Los Angeles are already being renovated into her new space, and said that several staff and crew will stay on her new project.

Hudson, 40, “I’m the Future” boldly declare In Warner Bros. Discovery premiered to advertisers last week.

Before then, though, many eyes were still on DeGeneres’ beleaguered director. A Los Angeles Times commentary on Friday listed a number of “missteps” — a live-action feud with Dakota Johnson, which featured her friendship with former President George W. Bush — and questioned DeGeneres’ “authenticity”, even calling it “more unknown than ever.” .”

But that assessment appears to be at odds with the more than 200 people who held on to her during her farewell in Season 19.

The source noted that long-serving crew members “have reduced crying” in response to the dimming of studio lights – “these burly guys are emotional, weeping and grateful to Ellen for providing them with the life that allowed them to send their kids to high school, college and our homes.” “It was amazing seeing that.”

in a tweet Published after its final registration late last monthDeGeneres said hosting the show was the “greatest privilege” of her life and hinted at the ultimate goal of the hour-long party, writing: “But whatever happens, my goal has always been for the show to be a place where we can all come together and laugh for an hour.” .

This, the show insider pointed out, was also the goal of her weeks-long exit.

“Ultimately, I think when you watch these last shows, you remember, ‘Oh, that’s what this show is for. They said this is who this woman was.

The booming celebration on the last day of recording overshadowed any potential alarm about the allegations regarding DeGeneres.

“The controversy that happened two years ago, there was absolutely no sense in that on that day,” the source told The Post. Nobody hated her. Nobody was miserable. Nobody.

“We finished as we began: just enjoying and bringing hope and joy to people.”

Ellen DeGeneres will sign after 19 seasons.
Ellen DeGeneres will sign after 19 seasons.
Michael Roseman/Warner Bros.

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