Kate McKinnon Honors Ellen DeGeneres in Emotional Speech

Ellen DeGeneres has accomplished more than just about anyone else in show business. She’s found success in television, film, stand-up comedy, and advertising. One of the greatest honors of DeGeneres’ career was what Kate McKinnon said at the 2020 Golden Globes.

Ellen DeGeneres and Kate McKinnon at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards | Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal Media, LLC via Getty Images

How Kate McKinnon struggled

CNN reports DeGeneres attended the 2020 Golden Globes. There, she was given The Carol Burnett Award. Kate McKinnon introduced the television icon.

According to Glamour, McKinnon recalled “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?’”

McKinnon elaborated “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.”

How Ellen DeGeneres inspired Kate McKinnon

Kate McKinnon, Gillian Anderson, and Ellen DeGeneres | Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moët and Chandon

She continued “The only thing that made it less scary was seeing Ellen on TV…Of course, attitudes change but only because brave people like Ellen jump into the fire to make them change.”

McKinnon cited DeGeneres as an inspiration, saying “And if I hadn’t seen her on TV, I would’ve thought, ‘I can never be on TV, they don’t let LGBTQ people on TV,’ and more than that, I would’ve gone on thinking that I was an alien and that I maybe didn’t even have a right to be here, so thank you, Ellen, for giving me a shot ”

Refinery 29 said the usually chipper McKinnon had tears in her eyes. She said “Thank you Ellen for giving me a shot at a good life.” Even during a serious moment like this, McKinnon injected some of her trademark humor into the proceedings, adding “And thank you for the sweater with the baby goat on it.”

What Ellen DeGeneres always wanted

Ellen DeGeneres at the press room at the 77th Golden Globes Awards | David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

According to Refinery29, when DeGeneres went on stage, she commented “Kate, you’re incredible. I hate being asked to do things like this, so thank you for flying here, thank you for writing this, thank you for your words. I love you.”

CNN said when DeGeneres accepted the award, she revealed what she always wanted. She said “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.” 

DeGeneres continued “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.” She added “I’m so, so grateful to be a part of it.”