Kate McKinnon gave a sweet send-off to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” as its two-decade run comes to a close by reading an imagined letter from her 13-year-old self to DeGeneres.
In a sneak preview of Monday episode, DeGeneres asked McKinnon to share her favorite memory from the show.
“My favorite memory from this show is maybe right now,” said McKinnon. “By way of thanking you, I wanted to read you a letter that I would’ve written to you when I was 13.”
“Dear Mrs. DeGeneres,” the “Saturday Night Live” cast member read in the voice she often uses for her adolescent characters. “My name is Kate. I’m from Long Island. It’s come to my attention that I am gay as hell. No one else is gay for 200,000 miles, so it’s nice to know that you exist. I bet if I ever met you I would act so weird, so I hope I never do,” she said, getting a big laugh from the audience.
“Thank you for being so funny and such an inspiration and making me feel less alone,” she went on. “P.S. My iguana isn’t eating. What do I do?”
Earlier in the clip, the two reminisced about when McKinnon first began portraying DeGeneres on “SNL” 10 years ago, when she joined the NBC sketch series.
“I didn’t know you, but I saw you doing me and I was flattered by it,” remembered DeGeneres.
Turning to the audience, McKinnon recalled the moment that DeGeneres got in touch after she debuted her impersonation. “Imagine me – I’m from Long Island, this is my idol – and then she calls me on the phone and I’m like, in the hallway at work, and I’m like, ‘Yes, Ms. DeGeneres, I’m a fan,’” she said in an exaggeratedly formal British accent.
McKinnon also recalled acting “so weird” when DeGeneres first invited her to come onto her show, prompting an image of the two of them dressed in identical outfits to appear on the screen behind them.
In addition to impersonating DeGeneres on “SNL” and “The Ellen Show”, McKinnon has paid tribute to the comedian-host multiple times. While presenting DeGeneres with the Carol Burnett Award at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards, she called her “the greatest comedian of all time” and thanked her for changing her life and “so many people’s lives.”
“The Ellen Show” comes to an end at the end of the month. Along with McKinnon, guests will include former First Lady Michelle Obama, Jennifer Garner, Channing Tatum, Serena Williams, Zac Efron, Adam Levine, Behati Prinsloo, Gwen Stefani, David Letterman, Diane Keaton, Kim Kardashian and Portia de Rossi.
You can watch the full video here. McKinnon’s letter reading begins at 6 minutes and 25 seconds.