Ellen DeGeneres may best be most known for delivering laugh-out-loud antics on her popular daytime show, but her inspiring charitable giving is what put her in the spotlight on Wednesday at the People’s Choice Awards in Los Angeles.
The funny gal received the fourth annual award for Favorite Humanitarian for using The Ellen DeGeneres Show as a platform to raise awareness of issues dear to her. Some of her most impressive—and generous—fundraising efforts include: $12.5 million for breast cancer research, more than $10 million for Hurricane Katrina relief, $1.7 million in donations to schools, $21.6 million given to charity, and $35 million to inspiring home viewers. For DeGeneres’s win, Walgreens also donated $100,000 to her chosen beneficiary, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Would I call myself the Mother Theresa of talk shows? The Dalai Lama of daytime? No. But I’m sure someone out there has,” DeGeneres delivered deadpan to a laughing audience. In all seriousness, the humble comedian went on to urge more kindness in the world: “I just think kindness is something that we should all have.”
Despite the moving introduction made by friend and fellow comedian Melissa McCarthy and DeGeneres’s own heartfelt acceptance speech, it wouldn’t have been an Ellen moment without her signature flair. “What makes me happy is making other people happy,” she started earnestly before treating the audience to a photo "gift" of a shirtless Chris Hemsworth (who just so happened to be in the audience, enjoying the jab as his impressive physique was displayed on the big screen).
Well played, Ellen, well played. Watch the full acceptance speech below.
The lovable star also took home a People's Choice Award for Favorite Daytime TV Host, officially tying her for the most People’s Choice wins in history.