Jake’s Take: Happy 15th Birthday, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”

Ellen Show Season 15

(Photo property of A Very Good Production, Telepictures Productions, E.W. Scripps Company, and WAD Productions)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Today, The Ellen DeGeneres Show is celebrating its 15th anniversary season!

Since September 2003, comedienne Ellen DeGeneres has provided audiences worldwide with constant hours of laughter and dancing. Here are several moments from show history that has made this 59-time Emmy-winning talk show a television phenomenon.

Ellen’s first phone conversation with Gladys

Over the years, there has been a colorful cast of characters that have made The Ellen DeGeneres Show special. One of them was Austin, Texas native Gladys Hardy. Fans got a kick out of every time Gladys spoke with Ellen over the phone. Her first conversation made Ellen belly laugh and audiences everywhere smile.  For seven seasons, Ellen and Gladys had memorable conversations that helped build the foundation of Ellen’s human interest segments.

Teaming up with Brad Pitt to help out New Orleans

For his first appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2008, Brad Pitt appeared via satellite in New Orleans. The Oscar-winning actor and producer talked with Ellen from New Orleans’ lower ninth ward where they were working on Hurricane Katrina’s recovery effort. Mr. Pitt revealed that the show and its audience raised $1.2 million for the Make It Right Foundation and that in a year’s time, the foundation would have built over 100 homes.


(Photo property of “The O Magazine)

Oprah shocks Ellen

Back in 2009, the talk show host campaigned hard to share the cover of O Magazine with its founder: her friend and media icon, Oprah Winfrey. Oprah skyped into the show from her Chicago office. Oprah genially surprised Ellen by inviting her to be on the cover of O Magazine.

A Dance-Off with J.Lo

Global superstar Jennifer Lopez has made countless appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. But one of her memorable appearances happened on May 10, 2011. Ellen and Jennifer had a “Dance Off.” Each of the women had to perform dance styles, while the other person had to guess the correct answer. Between the former American Idol judge and current World of Dance judge’s sexy Hawaiian and belly dancing to Ellen’s hysterical one-woman waltz, this segment had so many moments that made us LOL.

Sophia Grace & Rosie sing “Super Bass” with Nicki Minaj

Over the course of the show’s previous 14 seasons, the talk show host introduced us to several memorable young performers. Out of the countless kids that appeared on her show, many viewers will always remember Sophia Grace and Rosie. Almost six years ago, this cousin duo made their Ellen debut and performed “Super Bass.” With four magic words, Ellen changed their lives forever as she surprised Sophia Grace and Rosie with Nicki Minaj.


PSY teaches Ellen and Britney "Gangman Style"

(Photo property of Telepictures Productions)

When Britney met PSY

In 2012, former The X Factor USA judges Simon Cowell and Britney Spears visited Ellen to promote the now defunct FOX singing competition. Ellen had a special surprise up her sleeve for the “Piece of Me” pop star. She invited to the show to teach both her and Britney how to perform the “Gangnam Style” dance.

“Never Have I Ever” with Madonna & Justin Bieber

“Never Have I Ever” has become of the show’s signature segments. On March 19, 2015, Ellen had two of the prominent pop music on her couch: The Queen of Pop (Madonna) and Justin Bieber. The trio played a memorable round of this game that had Madonna questioned the “Sorry” singer’s past with phone sex, while Ellen had to tell Justin to turn his paddle around when she brought up if the singer was ever “kicked out of a bar.”


(Photo property of A Very Good Production, Telepictures Productions, E.W. Scripps Company, and WAD Productions)

Macey meets President Obama

One of Ellen’s rising superstars, presidential expert Macey Hensley, has charmed audiences with her facts on United States Presidents since her 2015 first appearance. When President Obama made one of his last appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Ellen gave my fellow Kansan the opportunity of a lifetime—an audience with a sitting US President. Macey talked with President Obama about their mutual admiration with Teddy Roosevelt, if aliens are real, and revealed that President Obama lost track of Bo and Sunny’s dog bowls.

Brian + Jackson’s Friendship

There are several times that the Ellen DeGeneres Show has moved its audience to tears. Longtime friends and Tulane University alumni Brian and Jackson’s powerful friendship spoke volumes not only to viewers and the Emmy-winning talk show host but to NFL superstar Drew Brees, who surprised the duo at various times during the 2015-16 season. On May 23, Brian and Jackson made their first face-to-face conversation with Ellen. The New Orleans Saints quarterback surprised the trio in the studio, and both Ellen and Drew had a few more surprises up their sleeves.                           

Summit Academy Charter School’s Senior Scholarship Surprise

This past February, Ellen introduced audiences to two educators, Natasha and Sheryl, who are empowering their students at Brooklyn’s Summit Academy Charter School to reach their goals and graduate to college. In addition to giving the duo, a check for $25,000, Ellen invited the pair back along with the Summit Academy Charter School’s senior class.  The gift of education is so precious, and audience members moved to tears when she announced that all of the seniors received a four-year scholarship from Wal-Mart, which according was worth $4.6 million.

Ellen, thank you so much for everything that you have done over the past 14 seasons. On behalf of the entire world, we hope to be kind to one another, while you and your outstanding staff create memorable moments for the next few seasons.

I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this article. They belong to A Very Good Production, Telepictures Productions, E.W. Scripps Company, and WAD Productions.


  1. […] loved that he brought his mother up to the Grammys stage to accept his award. Former Grammys host Ellen DeGeneres praised Lil Nas X for being “courageous” and a game-changer. She introduced the rapper […]

  2. […] talent caught nationwide attention. She appeared on various television programs such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the Meredith Vieira Show, and the second incarnation of The Queen Latifah […]

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar