Jan 5, 2020
Ellen DeGeneres Golden Globe Acceptance Speech Transcript & Kate McKinnon Tribute Transcript
Ellen DeGeneres was presented the Carol Burnett Award honoring her achievements in television at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 5, 2020. Kate McKinnon delivered a heartfelt tribute speech in presenting Ellen the award. Read the full transcript of Kate McKinnon’s tribute speech and Ellen Degeneres’ acceptance speech.
Kate McKinnon Tribute Speech Transcript
Kate McKinnon: (00:07)
Hello. How are you guys? The Carol Burnett Award is given to someone who, like its namesake, Carol Burnett, has given us decades of laughter, tears and a new sense of what’s possible. So, I would like to read a list of things that tonight’s recipient, Ellen DeGeneres, has personally given me. Some of these are spiritual, and some of them are pieces of clothing I’d like to keep after doing impressions of her on her talk show: A roadmap for a way to be funny that is grounded in an expression of joy. Two pairs of Stan Smith sneakers. That’s one of the clothes one. A desire to bring everyone together by laughing about the things that we have in common. My best collared shirts. A sense of self.
Kate McKinnon: (01:07)
I have to explain that one more. In 1997, when Ellen’s sitcom was at the height of its popularity, I was in my mother’s basement lifting weights in front of the mirror and thinking, “Am I gay?” And, I was, and I still am. But that’s a very scary thing to suddenly know about yourself. It’s sort of like doing 23andMe and discovering that you have alien DNA. And the only thing that made it less scary was seeing Ellen on TV. She risked her entire life, and her entire career, in order to tell the truth, and she suffered greatly for it. Of course, attitudes change, but only because brave people like Ellen jump into the fire to make them change. And if I hadn’t seen her on TV, I would have thought I could never be on TV. They don’t let LGBTQ people on TV. And more than that, I would have gone on thinking that I was an alien, and that I maybe didn’t even have a right to be here.
Kate McKinnon: (02:13)
So, thank you Ellen, for giving me a shot at a good life. And thank you, also, for the sweater with the picture of the baby goat on it.
Ellen DeGeneres Acceptance Speech Transcript
Ellen DeGeneres: (00:00)
Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you so much. Woo! Thank you so much. You never know where life takes you, huh? Before I say anything, Australia, I love you. My heart goes out to everyone who is suffering in Australia, all the animals that we’ve lost. Kate, you’re incredible and thank you so much. I know how hard… I hate being asked to do things like this, so thank you for doing this. Thank you for flying here, thank you for writing something, thank you for the amazing the words that you said. Thank you so much, I love you. I love you.
Ellen DeGeneres: (00:47)
Thank you so much to the Hollywood Foreign Press. I feel humbled and honored to receive this. The first person after Carol Burnett is quite an honor, so thank you so much. It’s a prestigious award, and what I like most about it is that I knew, coming in, I would win because… I mean, there’s nothing worse than sitting there, like most of you, waiting and wondering if you’re going to win and politely acting like, “I’m going to listen to everybody’s speeches,” like it’s nice, and it’s not. Because people just go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and you’re like, “Ah.” I’m not going to do that. I’m going to be quick.
Ellen DeGeneres: (01:26)
Although, I don’t have to because it’s a special award and they don’t play me off. I mean, I don’t have to end at all because it’s a special award. They said they were going to give me a sign at 25 minutes, but that’s for my reference, just to see where I was, but I could go on. I’m not, I’m going to keep it quick. I was born in New Orleans in 1958, January 26th. Dr. Swanson delivered me at 8:43 in the morning. A rainy, rainy, and not… I mean, Louisiana heavy rain. My parents drove me home in a Buick. I think it was a Buick, it could have been a Ford or a Chrysler. It was a Buick. I think it was a Buick.
Ellen DeGeneres: (02:15)
The point is, they brought me home in a car and before I knew, it I had a successful sitcom and I came out, and then I lost that sitcom. And then, I got another sitcom and I lost that sitcom too. And then, I got to do something that I’d never been able to do before and that is make my own whiskey. And after that, I got a talk show and I was able to be myself, and it was 17 years ago. And I feel like you’ve all really gotten to know me over the past 17 years. I am an open book, and I couldn’t have done it without my husband, Mark. Mark, you are my rock. Thank you for supporting me through this crazy journey. I know it wasn’t easy for you or the kids. Rupert and Fiona, go to bed, I love you. That’s funny because they’re in college now. The point is, you all know me and obviously you know me or else he wouldn’t have laughed at all that.
Ellen DeGeneres: (03:28)
I feel like we all think we know someone, there’s a connection when we watch someone on TV for as long as we are on TV, and that’s what it was like for me with Carol Burnett. I felt like I knew her, I felt like she showed us who she was every week, she was larger than life. We counted on her to make us feel good, and she delivered, every single week. She never let us down, she was hilarious in all the sketches that she did, and when she did the Q and A with the audience, she was just genuine and personal. And I always felt like she was speaking to me when, at the end of the show, every time she pulled her ear, I knew she was saying, “It’s okay, I’m gay too.” Television inspired and influenced everything that I am today. Lucille ball, Mary Tyler Moore, Marlo Thomas, Dick van Dyke, Bob Newhart, Mannix, there’s a little bit of all of them in me. That doesn’t sound right, but you know what I’m saying.
Ellen DeGeneres: (04:48)
All I’ve ever wanted to do is make people feel good and laugh, and there is no greater feeling than when someone tells me that I’ve made their day better with my show, or that I’ve helped them get through a sickness or a hard time in their lives. But the real power of television, for me, is not that people watch my show, but people watch my show and then they’re inspired to go out and do the same thing in their own lives. They make people laugh or be kind or help someone that’s less fortunate than themselves, and that is the power of television, and I’m so, so grateful to be a part of it. Thank you so much, everybody.