Ellen DeGeneres got some big birthday surprises from some famous friends.
The daytime host celebrated turning 60-years-old with a special birthday episode and lots of special guests, including Jamie, Chance the Rapper, Jimmy Kimmel and more.
To start the show, DeGeneres talked to the audience about celebrating her milestone birthday Friday night with her wife Portia De Rossi, drinking wine and playing “boggle.”
In a surprise, Sofia Vergara popped out from behind the stage to wish DeGeneres a happy birthday before running off to bring out a present. She came back riding a motorized scooter complete with a basket on the front for DeGeneres to put her “old people accessories.”
De Rossi also came out to surprise DeGeneres, despite losing her voice. “Actually, this is your birthday gift: a sexy voice,” she joked.
In fact, De Rossi had another, much bigger gift for her wife. “It’s your 60th birthday and this gift had to be really special and it had to represent who you are and what you really care about,” De Rossi said. “Not just now, but what you’ve always cared about. What you were influenced by and what has made you the amazing person that you are today.”
She continued, explaining that DeGeneres’ dream interview with anyone alive or dead would be with Dian Fossey, the animal activist who studied gorillas in Rwanda and was murdered in 1985.
“Her story is also carried on through the work of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund,” De Rossi said. “The Fossey Fund exists to ensure the survival and thriving of wild gorillas, in close partnership with the government of Rwanda. But unfortunately, today there are only 880 mountain gorillas alive on earth. Thus, the work of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund remains vitally important to ensuring their future.”
Then De Rossi unveiled her gift. “So, for your birthday, Ellen, I am bringing you and your hero, Dian, together by building The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund,” she said. “Ellen, you will carry on Dian’s legacy by giving them a permanent home in Rwanda. Now, you will join Dian as a protector and champion of these amazing animals, the mountain gorillas. Happy birthday!”
De Rossi also announced that she was setting up a foundation called The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund that will allow DeGeneres to help with all kinds of wildlife work and activism.
“It’s the best gift,” DeGeneres said. “I’ve always said – and when we got married, Portia’s line was ‘it’s good to be loved; it’s profound to be understood.’ And, she understands me because that is the best gift that anybody could have given me so… I love you.”
DeGeneres also got birthday surprises from Jimmy Kimmel, who came into the studio wearing ice skates and a figure skating outfit, Jamie Foxx and Chance the Rapper.
The host pointed out that Foxx also recently celebrated his birthday. “I turned 25 times two,” he joked while popping open a bottle of champagne.