Sean Hayes: "You are a hero to me and to countless others. You have changed America. You have changed the world. We didn't have a voice till there was you. We didn't have visibility till there was you. And quite simply, we didn't have the level of hope that we have now till there was you."
Lily Tomlin picked up on the Mark Twain theme: "Ellen, this honor so befits you, so becomes you. Like Huck, you are a folk hero, too. And like Huck, who had the courage to confront the code of convention (racism), rather than betray a friend, you, Ellen, had the same courage to confront convention and not betray yourself or your sense of destiny, and the world would never be the same."
Jason Mraz picked up his guitar and sang an Ellen tribute song. On PBS, Ellen is a sacred cow. The rapid-fire lyrics included "You got a wingspan spanning the globe," and "You're a wise old owl when the cats meow" and "If this were India, then you'd be a sacred cow. And I'd bow down to you, so grateful to the gods for making you." (Have you ever read more stupid lyrics?)
In accepting the prize, DeGeneres joked, "I realize now with all the gay presenters and a lot of you tonight, this could have been on Bravo." Then she added, "Thanks to everyone at PBS. I am so happy to be a part of your final season."