What Ellen DeGeneres Is Doing Now That Her Longtime Talk Show Has Ended

The Ellen DeGeneres Show
(Image credit: A Very Good Production)

The Ellen DeGeneres Show just came to an end after 19 seasons, with a number of the host’s friends congratulating her on the achievement and many fans wondering what she’s going to be doing next. Ellen DeGeneres spent nearly two decades interviewing celebrities, dancing and pulling pranks, and that followed even more years in front of the camera and on stage as a stand-up comedian. However, it looks like her first big project following her talk show doesn’t have much to do with cameras — or even people — at all.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi are in Rwanda for the June 7 opening ceremony of the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. The talk show host has been fascinated by primatologist Dian Fossey since she was 12 years old, and her passion inspired De Rossi to help fund the DFGF’s new campus in honor of her wife’s 60th birthday four years ago. DeGeneres spoke with THR about the impact the campus has made already, even before its official opening:

When Portia gave me this gift, there were 800 gorillas, and today there are around 1,100. So it’s really made a difference, bringing awareness. [My own firsthand experiences gorilla trekking] reaffirmed everything that I had always wanted to do when I was a kid. Being next to them is life-changing.

The campus opened to the public in February of this year, offering immersive and educational experiences, such as watching gorillas in the 360-degree Irmelin DiCaprio Theater (an auction was held to name the buildings, with Leonardo DiCaprio purchasing the theater in his mother’s name, and a computer lab to be named after his father, George). Portia De Rossi said she was inspired by Ellen DeGeneres’ passion for Dian Fossey’s work, and thought it would be the perfect gift, both for the milestone birthday and post-show project:

It stuck with me, because over the years Ellen has met the most amazing people on earth, really, yet the person who had the greatest impact on her was someone she never met, Dian Fossey. I didn’t want to get her another watch. I knew the show was ending, and I wanted her to be engaged in something else she loved, plus I wanted her to remember what was important to her when she was a kid.

Portia De Rossi seems to only have her wife’s happiness in mind, as her other hope for her spouse post-talk show was for her to start doing stand-up comedy again because she’s so good at it and it brings her joy.

The plans to spend more time in Africa once the show ended have been in the works for a while. In fact, in the same interview last May that Ellen DeGeneres announced the end of her talk show, she told THR that she was hoping to get more involved with her passion for animals and conservation:

I’m opening up my campus in Rwanda next year, and I want to be more involved with conservation and everything that matters to me as far as the environment and animals.

The opening ceremony for her campus to help save Rwanda’s gorillas is certainly an exciting way for Ellen DeGeneres to kick off her post-talk show life, and likely a welcome break from a long career in front of the camera. Lots of fans still hope she doesn’t stay away from the camera for too long though. To see what shows are coming soon to TV and streaming, check out our 2022 TV schedule.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.