Ellen DeGeneres' Final Episode Will Feature Her First-Ever Guest, Jennifer Aniston

It’s become somewhat of a tradition on talk shows to have a host’s first-ever guest return to help send them off, and now Ellen DeGeneres is set to continue the tradition by inviting Jennifer Aniston back for her farewell, per People.

David Letterman said hello and goodbye to his late-night career by booking Bill Murray on his first and last shows. Conan O’Brien had an easier time pulling off the feat during his short “Tonight Show” stint when he bookended his run with Will Ferrell (who had also been a guest on his final “Late Night” show).

When Aniston dropped by for the first-ever episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” things were very different in the world. For one thing, she was still starring on NBC’s ratings juggernaut sitcom “Friends,” back when there was still such a thing as ratings juggernauts.

Aniston already appeared in the premiere episode of this season, after it was announced that the show’s 19th season would be its last. She wore all black to commemorate DeGeneres’ farewell season, and broke into tears thinking of saying goodbye.

“What the hell? This is not supposed to be emotional, God dang it! Not yet,” she said back in September 2021. “it’s not even over.” Now, however, it will be, so we can probably expect even more emotions.

Aniston will be joined by P!nk and Billie Eilish for the final episode. P!nk is another appropriate choice as she wrote the show’s Emmy-winning theme song Eilish, who has become a favorite guest of the show in more recent years, wasn’t yet two years old when Aniston made her first of what will be 20 appearances as a guest by the time of the May 26 finale.

Prior to the powerhouse trio of women who will help Ellen end her 19 seasons on the air, DeGeneres will welcome a slew of huge stars in the coming weeks. These include Oprah Winfrey, Justin Timberlake, Zac Efron, Kate McKinnon, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mila Kunis, Bruno Mars, Sean Combs, Luke Bryan, Kerry Washington, and Brad Paisley.

But it’s not just huge Hollywood celebrities who will be dropping by. Over the years, DeGeneres has made a few celebrities of her own on the show, with none as popular as Sophia Grace and Rosie, who first dropped by as tots to perform a cover of Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” back in 2011. The pair are slated to make a return before the show’s end, as well.

DeGeneres revealed last month that she had already taped this final episode, so don’t expect a lot of topical news coverage. “When we started this show in 2003, the iPhone didn’t exist. Social Media didn’t exist. Gay marriage wasn’t legal. We watched the world change, sometimes for the better, sometimes not,” she tweeted.

“But whatever was happening, my goal was always for the show to be a place where we could all come together and laugh for an hour. 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 announcement to end the show came after a series of toxic workplace allegations, but DeGeneres insisted at the time that these allegations had nothing to do with her decision to leave, which had been in place since she signed a three-year extension in Season 16.

“If I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in May 2021. So, it’s not why I’m stopping but it was hard because I was sitting at home, it was summer, and I see a story that people have to chew gum before they talk to me and I’m like, ‘Okay, this is hilarious.'”

“Then I see another story of some other ridiculous thing and then it just didn’t stop,” she continued. “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.”

While she acknowledged there was an internal investigation and said “some bad people” needed to be rooted out, DeGeneres also said the culture right now “is one where you can’t learn and grow.” Three of the show’s executives were fired following the investigation.

“I check in now as much as I can through Zoom to different departments and I make sure people know that if there’s ever a question or ever anything, they can come to me and I don’t know why that was never considered before,” said Ellen.

“I’m not a scary person. I’m really easy to talk to. So, we’ve all learned from things that we didn’t realize — or I didn’t realize — were happening. I just want people to trust and know that I am who I appear to be.”

“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” airs weekdays in syndication.

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