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Ellen DeGeneres is the Beacon of Light We All Need Right Now

With an endless spectrum of talents — including talk show host, LGBTQ icon and birthday party hostess with the mostest — there is very little that comedian Ellen DeGeneres cannot do. Bringing smiles to people every day with her extremely successful talk show, Ellen, the motto “Big laughs, big heart” rings true through every segment of the 16 season program. Ellen can do for us everything that the garbage-can-fire-of-a-world that we currently seem to live in cannot.


1. Celebrity Segments

Ellen’s celebrity interviews are some of the most entertaining out there. Her unique and hilarious way of getting celebrities to feel at ease creates some really high-quality content, like when Kristen Bell had her incredible sloth meltdown, or when Sarah Paulson opened up about meeting Rihanna and how she acted in the extremely relatable and awkward way that we all would. Ellen can take even the most mundane of errands and make them into hysterical two-part segments — see grocery shopping with Oprah. Ellen gets past the chit-chat and gets these celebrities to open up in the funny and awkward ways we can all relate to.


2. Her Nonsensical Games and Pranks

Ellen’s games and pranks just get more wild and absurd as the seasons go on — from watching the Stranger Things kids play “One Eyed Monster” to watching audience members suspended and dropped at the whim of their husband’s trivia knowledge in “You Bet Your Wife” (many of her games involve the startling and sudden dropping of people). Here are some of her most memorable gaming moments. And of course, Ellen loves giving her guests some good scares, one of her most recent targets being Kris Jenner. You can watch a highlight reel of some of the best scares here.


3. The Cute Kids We’re Introduced To

Who doesn’t enjoy watching a small five-year-old boy who can run geography knowledge laps around them? Or the ever continuing saga of Macey Hensley, the little girl who loves her U.S. history, was sent to see Hamilton and met President Obama through Ellen. And who can forget Sophia Grace and Rosie’s stunning rendition of Nicki Minaj’s “Superbass” (or when Nicki performed with them?). There is no shortage of adorable and absurdly talented kids on Ellen’s show.


4. She’s Always Giving Back

While of course known for her comedy, Ellen also provides some of the most heartwarming acts of charity on her show. One of my favorite stories comes from a woman, Diana Aquino, who moved to America from the Dominican Republic and learned to speak English by watching Ellen’s show. Ellen then surprised Aquino; not only did she gift her a dictionary with some of her most important definitions, but she then provided her with a $10,000 check from Shutterfly to help Aquino pursue her education. You can read about other times that Ellen used her show for good here.


5. Her Social Activism

Ellen is a celebrity who has made strides in social justice, using her position and power for good. In addition to the countless guests she has helped on her show, one of the more touching segments comes from Ellen receiving her birthday gift from her wife: the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund in the mountains of Rwanda. The clip and Ellen’s reaction really emphasize the priority that Ellen places on giving back to all of those who need it. Not only in the name of charity and environmentalism, Ellen has also obviously made waves in the LGBT community. While it may seem like less of a big deal to us now that Ellen is happily married to her wife, Portia de Rossi, when Ellen came out on her sitcom in 1997, it became the first prime-time sitcom to feature an openly gay character.


6. Escape From the Terrors of the World

Just as I was doing when I had the idea to write this article, there is no better place to hide from the scary parts of the world than with Ellen. It’s one of the YouTube rabbit holes that you can feel good about falling down. If you just need a couple minutes — or a whole afternoon (no judgment) — to forget about that midterm or things going on in the world around you, whatever it is, there’s a whole world of clips and segments to watch and feel good about. Whether you need a good laugh or just a good cry at how nice the world can be sometimes, there is a mountain of Ellen videos you can watch to get you there.   


Signing off just as Ellen does at the end of every show:

Katie Semack

Wisconsin '21

Katie grew up in New York City and is a senior at University of Wisconsin- Madison studying Political Science and Communications. Her favorite pastimes include doing yoga, watching Golden Girls with her puppy, Gatsby, and empowering other women. 
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