“I’m lucky I get to see smiling faces looking at me from all over the world...,” she said, referring to the people who were part of the episode via video conference. “But it’s not the same energy as having that exchange when they’re here. So I am praying that next season I have an audience all season long that can celebrate with me and say goodbye.”
Then Winfrey revealed one thing she didn’t miss at all from her daytime-talk days: Doing makeovers.
“I just thought, there’s not another way I can ask somebody, ‘What mascara are you wearing?’ There’s not another way I can say, ‘What color is that eye shadow you’re using?’ There wasn’t another way I could do that and be honest, authentic with myself,” she said.
That was the beginning of the end for Winfrey, whose talk show aired its final episode in January 2011, capping a 25-year run.
DeGeneres said she wanted to give her staff and crew a year to prepare for the end of her talk show.
“I wanted to give them enough time to know,” she said. “I didn’t want to do it the last year I was here. I wanted to give them a year to celebrate with me and stay with me.”
Moments later, after a commercial break, DeGeneres felt compelled to comment on Oprah’s mascara, calling it the “prettiest color” and breaking the reflective mood. Always a comic, that Ellen. But Oprah got in a final bit of wisdom.
“Just like you have shared yourself, the expression of your talent, in a way that has made people feel so much better about themselves all these years, that is what you’ve done, Ellen,” Winfrey said.
“It’s so much more than the show. ... Every single person in your audience who has been touched by you, by your laughter, by your jokes, by your kindness, by your sharing, by your being, that’s your legacy. And that’s why this is such a profound day.”
DeGeneres seemed moved. “I love you so much, Oprah,” she said. “I am, as I say all the time, I am so honored to call you a friend. You are the wisest person I know and I just adore you.”
Then she pitched Winfrey’s new book and upcoming Apple TV+ series with Prince Harry and moved the show along.
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