“Today is the last day that Barack Obama will be our president,” the tearful host said. “I want to personally thank him for changing my life. I am a legally married woman because of him and so is my wife. His courage and compassion created equality for everyone. He moved us forward and made more happen in the last eight years than I ever dreamed possible.”
DeGeneres then showed a montage of all of the President and First Lady Michelle Obama’s appearances on her show, which included plenty of dance moves, a push-up contest with Michelle, and DeGeneres stealing one of the family’s dogs, Bo.
There were also touching moments – like when a young girl who dreamed of being president received the official presidential seal from Barack and the day the president publicly endorsed same-sex marriage.
In a clip from that day, DeGeneres shared her heartfelt reaction to the news, saying, “What an amazing day for our country. President Obama just came out in support same-sex marriage. There have been moments in history when someone had the courage to stand up for what they believe in and that one action changes everything. And I hope that this is one of those times.”
Actor Tony Goldwyn served as a celebrity guest on Thursday’s show, and talked about similarly stepping down from the presidency – albeit on TV’s Scandal.
“I don’t know exactly when I’m going to leave office. We pick up on election night and find out what happened and all sorts of madness ensues,” Goldwyn, who plays President Fitzgerald Grant, said. “I don’t know how long my ‘lame duck’ period’s going to last, but I am now a lame duck… I guess I’ll start a foundation or something. Doesn’t that sound entertaining?”
Wednesday night was a big night for DeGeneres, who received her 20th People’s Choice Award at the show. The positive host spoke with ET’s Carly Steele backstage at the show to talk about her historic win.
"I love what I do. I love making people happy, and I love making people laugh, and have a good time," she told ET. "And we have a great group of writers, and great producers, and we just work hard every single day to make it new and exciting."
Watch the entire clip above, and for more DeGeneres’ People’s Choice Awards success, watch the clip below!