Ellen DeGeneres mixed humor and heart in her acceptance speech Sunday night at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards on NBC when she received The Carol Burnett Award, honoring excellence in television.
Ellen DeGeneres Speaks Out
Per the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s (HFPA) official web page, recipients are chosen based on their body of work and the lasting impact that their TV career achievements have had on audiences and the industry.
“It’s very different,” DeGeneres told reporters as to how this award differs from other accolades that have been bestowed upon her over the course of her career. Those honors include the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, multiple Teen Choice Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, and multiple Daytime Emmy Awards.
“Well, they’re all different,” she hastened to add, “but this is the Carol Burnett Award. It’s [a] lifetime achievement award for television. It’s crazy that I’ve gone in and out of television and the fact that I’d get something even connected to a name of someone I grew up admiring is obviously something very important to me.”
As significant as the award is to her, DeGeneres hopes that the honor sends a message to tomorrow’s artists, who may feel apprehensive, for whatever reason, about pursuing their passions.
“[This] says you can accomplish a lot,” she says, noting that she admires greatly Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) known for her impression of DeGeneres. (McKinnon presented DeGeneres with her award.) “I think Kate…is brilliant and I think she is strong and I think she is brave, so I look up to her.”
Asked who else she admires, DeGeneres replied, “I look up to so many people…these are the questions I should anticipate, right? I should think about this ahead of time. I didn’t think about [this].
“Can I get back to you?” the comedienne deadpanned to the reporter, who posed the question. “Leave your number.” One topic she doesn’t need to think about is how her journey has led her to a place where she can help others, love herself, and keep moving forward. “I meditate on [this] all the time,” DeGeneres says. “I’m really happy for the people who didn’t support me. I’m happy for the times that were the hardest times in my life because I feel like that’s what makes you.
“If everything’s easy, you don’t have anything to compare it to. So, I’m really grateful for all of the hard times, all of the things that didn’t work out the way I wanted them to work out. I feel bad for people that have everything working out all the time. That’s not how life works.”
Backstage, DeGeneres mentioned her fictional mate “Mark,” whom she referred to in her on-screen acceptance speech. “I’m just grateful for my journey and, of course, my husband Mark,” she quipped.
But make no mistake — DeGeneres wants people to know just how much this award means to her. “As much as I don’t seem emotional, I’m deeply moved by this,” she says. “I mean, I really am.” Ellen airs weekdays in syndication. Check local listings for air times and channels.