After 19 seasons, The Ellen DeGeneres Show has officially ended with the final episode airing Thursday. To mark the occasion, actress and DeGeneres’ close friend Jennifer Aniston came on as a guest in a full-circle moment: the former Friends star was the first celebrity to ever appear on the show in its debut episode almost 20 years ago.
“Oh, where does 19 years go?” Aniston, who has sat in the chair beside DeGeneres 20 times now, asked. “I don’t understand.”
DeGeneres then asked how Aniston dealt with the ending of Friends in 2004 after its 10-year run with Aniston surprisingly using the question to make a joke about her high-profile divorce from her husband Brad Pitt, which was announced in 2005 after five years of marriage.
“Well, I got a divorce and went into therapy,” Aniston quipped. “Oh! And then I did a movie called The Break-Up.”
She continued, “I just kinda leaned into the end. I just was like, ‘You know what, guys? Let’s make this a completely new chapter. Let’s just end everything and start new.”
“It worked great,” she added, making the live audience laugh, before adding that she doesn’t want DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi to follow the same path.
Despite initially not being on the best of terms with Pitt following their split — he infamously quickly (or had already, depending on what timeline you believe) moved on with his Mr and Mrs Smith co-star Angelina Jolie — Aniston is close to both her ex-husbands today, Pitt and actor Justin Theroux.
In 2018, she told ELLE she considers her marriages “very successful,” adding, “When they came to an end, it was a choice that was made because we chose to be happy, and sometimes happiness didn’t exist within that arrangement anymore.”
Speaking specifically about Pitt last year, whose public interactions with Aniston always go viral to this day, Aniston said, “Brad and I are buddies,” on an episode of The Howard Stern Show. “Like, we’re friends and we speak.”
Theroux has spoken about his former wife and cherishing their bond, too. “Like it or not, we didn’t have that dramatic split, and we love each other,” he told Esquire in April 2021. “I’m sincere when I say that I cherish our friendship. We can not be together and still bring each other joy and friendship. Also, she makes me laugh very, very hard.”