Kobe Bryant: The times Ellen DeGeneres actually showed emotion on air
As Ellen DeGeneres faces down a barrage of accusations surrounding her behavior to the staff and crew on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, it’s easy to forget all of the great things she’s done for guests and fans alike.
Whether it’s paying tribute to a fallen star or surprising a family in need, there’s a reason DeGeneres’s show earned a reputation for promoting kindness – even if the host doesn’t always let her emotions shine through. Let’s look at all the times Ellen DeGeneres showed true emotion while on the air.
Ellen’s tribute to Kobe Bryant
When the world lost basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his thirteen-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash this year, it was hard for anyone to find the words to match such a tragedy – including veteran talk show hosts.
On her show that day, Ellen featured a collage of some of the best moments of Kobe Bryant from her show, and her monologue included being thankful for every living day she, and her viewers, get to experience.
Ellen sent her best wishes and thanks to the deceased star for the happiness he brought to so many throughout the years, and appeared to have a tough time fighting off tears through much of the episode.
Ellen’s birthday surprise
Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi are known for going above and beyond in the gift department. This took on a whole new meaning when Ellen’s wife, Portia de Rossi, gave Ellen the gift of a lifetime.
In 2018 for Ellen’s sixtieth birthday, Portia surprised an unsuspecting Ellen who was informed in the middle of her show of someone else wanting to come and wish her a happy birthday. Despite having lost her voice, Portia sits and reveals her significant gift for Ellen, one that’ll satisfy Ellen’s need to keep helping the world.
Portia gifted Ellen her own section of the world’s most famous gorilla preservation foundations located in Rwanda – on account of Ellen’s extreme love for Dian Fossey and all the work she performed to help save the gorillas. Ellen spent the rest of the segment praising her wife and wiping back the tears in a wonderful, vulnerable moment.
Ashton Kutcher shocks Ellen
Ashton Kutcher is known for making an impression – and Ellen’s studio went wild when the actor made a spontaneous appearance to speak with DeGeneres in 2018. Outside of being neighbors, DeGeneres and Kutcher are good friends who share a love for making contributions to those in need.
After some small-talk, an anxious Ellen encourages Kutcher to get to his point. Kutcher reminds Ellen of his love for investing in tech companies, and explains his new partnership with a money sharing platform called Ripple – a company he describes as wanting to share the wealth with those doing good in the world.
Kutcher gets emotional, reminding Ellen she always thinks about herself, never asking for anything in return. Kutcher recalls Ellen’s birthday gift from her wife Portia –“The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund” – and reveals he got Ripple to donate $4 million to help her cause.
Ellen sits with wide eyes and appears at a complete loss for words. Stunned into a moment of silence, Ellen doesn’t know how to react, leaving viewers to finally see the host outdone at her own charitable games. It’s truly a wholesome moment, proving stunned silence can be stronger than any words.
Ellen gets emotional with grieving mother
It’s not uncommon for Ellen to invite guests and fans of the show to watch a live taping, fully unaware they will be invited down to receive a surprise from the host. Often these fortunate people are going through very difficult times. This was no exception for Jacqui Saldana – a blog writer and mother who lost her three-year-old son months earlier.
While Ellen explains to Jacqui she’s read Jacqui’s blog and discovered the loss of her son, both became choked-up, and even the loquacious Ellen stumbles through her speech while trying to keep it together.
Ellen devastated over a dog
In the very early days of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Ellen set a tone for her audience, reminding them it’s okay to be vulnerable. When Ellen first walked out for this particular taping, fans were too busy cheering to notice how upset Ellen appeared, unable to fight back tears before taking a seat.
Ellen describes the time and attachment she gave to a puppy before deciding to give the animal away to her hairdresser’s family, with two young children desperately seeking a companion. The family would send Ellen pictures each day of the dog, and the joy it brought their kids.
The trouble came when Ellen spoke to the rescue organization from which she got the dog, and revealed she gave it to a caring family. The organization informed the host she had signed a paper stating if she didn’t keep the dog, it had to be returned to them, and be taken away from the family who was now bonded to the animal.
Barely able to continue speaking, Ellen has a complete breakdown, admitting to her audience she was only trying to do a good thing and felt totally responsible for her mistake. Engulfed in tears, Ellen begs the shelter to return the dog and apologizes for her mistake – this may be the most emotional moment we’ve seen over seventeen years.