During Sunday’s Golden Globes ceremony, Ellen DeGeneres was honored with the second-ever Carol Burnett Award. The award — which was given to Burnett in its inaugural year — is the small-screen equivalent to the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and is given to someone who has made outstanding contributions to the television medium.
DeGeneres has made a name for herself as a stand-up comedian, returning to the stage in 2018 with her Netflix special Relatable; her incredibly successful daytime program The Ellen DeGeneres Show; her humanitarian work; and of course her groundbreaking sitcom Ellen, which ran from 1994 to 1998.
“She is a pioneer who has captivated audiences for nearly 25 years with her undeniable charm and wit,” HFPA president Lorenzo Soria said in a statement at the time of the award’s announcement. “In addition to her television success, she’s an advocate and philanthropist, lending her voice to those who don’t have one, and spreading kindness and joy through the power of her platform. We look forward to celebrating her achievements at this year’s ceremony.”
During the ceremony, Kate McKinnon presented the award to DeGeneres, who quickly delivered her signature humor before getting genuine and recalling her days spent watching Burnett: “I felt like I knew her… 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.”
DeGeneres gave nods to some of her other comedic influences, from Lucille Ball and Mary Tyler Moore to Dick Van Dyke, among others. “All I’ve ever wanted to do is make people feel good and laugh,” DeGeneres said. “There’s no greater feeling than when someone tells me that I’ve made their day better with my show.”