Sean Hayes — In a spontaneous game of “The Battle of the Gays,” DeGeneres and the “Will & Grace” star one-upped each other with digs about the other’s career. It began with Hayes calling DeGeneres “Helen,” while applauding that her talk show has been on-air for 15 years. “I’ve also done other things in the past,” she smiled. Segueing into talking about “Will & Grace,” she asked, “How long was it [on-air] the first time around… before y’all got canceled?” He picked up his mug and, looking pensive, answered, “I think it was longer than your sitcom was.” But DeGeneres won the round, adding, “Yeah, that’s right. I had to come out first for y’all do that sitcom.”
Dakota Johnson – When DeGeneres asked the “Fifty Shades of Grey” actress why she wasn’t invited to her celeb-studded 30th birthday party, Johnson said, “Actually no. That’s not the truth, Ellen. You were invited… Last time I was on the show last year, you gave me a bunch of s— about not inviting you, but I didn’t even know you wanted to be invited. I didn’t even know you liked me!” Caught off guard, DeGeneres insisted, “Of course I like you,” followed by some rather awkward silence. It only got worse when DeGeneres asked about comedian Tig Notaro performing at the party. Johnson responded, “She’s my favorite comedian…other than you!”
Michelle Obama — The former first lady proved she has a great sense of humor when she appeared on “Ellen” and gifted here with a bottle of Metamucil, saying, “something to keep you flowing.” Before the Obamas moved out of the White House, DeGeneres took her to CVS, to show her how to survive a normal lifestyle. There, Obama was challenged by the comedian’s behavior, which included opening packages, eating food without paying for it, announcing to the store that Obama had “a rash” and singing through a megaphone to a sleeping baby. Finally, Obama said, “Ya know, you’re really annoying. It’s like taking a 3-year-old to the store.”
Katy Perry – DeGeneres had another memory lapse when she forgot that the “Smile” singer had been married to actor Russell Brand. Perry looked surprised when the host asked, “Were you [married]?” Perry whispered, “His name was Russell Brand. Remember, you gave me some wedding gifts on this show?” Perry smiled into the camera and mimed scissors as if she was cutting the exchange. On the flip side, Perry is one of the few celebrities who has defended DeGeneres in recent weeks. “I think we all have witnessed the light and continual fight for equality that she has brought on the world through her platform for decades. Sending you love and a hug, friend Ellen,” Perry tweeted.
Justin Timberlake – In a 2016 appearance on “Ellen,” Timberlake joked about her tequila-influenced flub of the lyrics to his song, “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” She, apparently, loves that song, and after having a little too much of Timberlake’s brand of tequila with friends, she was recorded singing and dancing to it, but messing up the lyrics in the process. Timberlake said she sang the line, “Just electric, just electric, just electric” when, he said, “It pretty clearly says ‘just imagine.’” Appearing to be a little embarrassed, DeGeneres asked the audience to back her up. “I don’t think anyone raised their hand,” he grinned.
Hasan Minhaj — Within a minute of sitting down with DeGeneres, the stand-up comedian and political commentator best known for his Netflix show “Patriot Act” corrected her pronunciation of his name. “At Starbucks, I just go by Timothée Chalamet,” he said.
Blake Shelton — When “The Voice” judge appeared on “Ellen,” she told the story of how she gave Jennifer Lopez a clock with a photo of her and A-Rod kissing on it, so she could remind him “the clock is ticking, time is passing,” as an incentive for them to get engaged. And a week later he proposed. Well, DeGeneres gave Shelton a similar clock with him and Gwen Stefani on it. But it turned out that she didn’t give it to him after all. “I walked backstage and somebody back there was, like, ‘Hey, thanks for being on the show. Can I have that?’ and they took it.” He joked that, whoever her next guest is, the show will just “replace the picture and do the same crap to them.”
Giada De Laurentiis – In a cooking segment on “Ellen,” the Food Network’s popular chef was trying to show DeGeneres and Nicole Kidman how to make arancini balls — an Italian snack of risotto coated in flour, bread crumbs and then fried — and innuendos started to fly. When DeGeneres questioned how to roll it into a ball, De Laurentiis replied, “Haven’t you made any… kind of… balls… before?” stuttering as she realized how it sounded as she was saying it. DeGeneres grinned and shook her head no, causing the audience to burst into laughter. The host’s culinary skills didn’t get much better, which De Laurentiis pointed out. Looking at the mixture in DeGeneres’ hand, she said, “That looks like dog food now.”
Wendy Williams — The two daytime talk show queens had a bit of a clash in 2013 when Williams first appeared on “Ellen,” when the comedian called her mean and asked if she had ever gotten in trouble by speaking badly about other celebs. DeGeneres then invited her to a game of Heads Up, in which Williams is shown the name of someone and has to describe them in hopes of DeGeneres figuring out who it is. When Justin Bieber’s name popped up, Williams’ clue included, “Some people say that he looks like you.” DeGeneres looked puzzled. Williams defended herself, asking the crowd, “I’ve heard that! You’ve never heard that?!” DeGeneres laughed it off.
Justin Bieber — DeGeneres put the “Yummy” singer on the spot when she interrogated him about a paparazzi photo that showed him naked on the balcony of a Bora Bora hotel, with a female seen sitting inside. She asked him who the girl was, and he said she was just a friend and they weren’t dating. DeGeneres pressed, “You just brought a friend to Bora Bora? And you’re just naked with your friend?” Bieber covered his face with his hands, saying, “Why are you putting me on the spot like this?” But she relented, “Wow. I have friends, I’ve never seen them naked like that. And they don’t bring me to Bora Bora.” Bieber responded, “Stop. You’re making me blush, dude.”
Taylor Swift — The “Cardigan” singer’s love life is frequently the topic of the tabloids, and DeGeneres pretty much jumped on that bandwagon during one stop Swift made on the show. DeGeneres asked who her 2012 song “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was about. When Swift declined to answer, the host put up a series of photos of Swift with different guys, handed her a bell and said if the guy was someone she dated, ring the bell. Photos of Swift with everyone from John Mayer to Danny DeVito popped up, prompting Swift to beg that DeGeneres stop. “This makes me feel so bad about myself,” she said. “Every time I come up here, you put like a different dude up there on the screen, and it just really makes me question what I stand for as a human being.”
Mark Ruffalo — A photo of DeGeneres attending a football game with former president George W. Bush and her defense of their friendship started a firestorm on social media. “Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean I’m not going to be friends with them,” she said. But Mark Ruffalo (and Susan Sarandon) took exception to her justification. “Sorry, until George W. Bush is brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War, (including American-lead torture, Iraqi deaths & displacement, and the deep scars—emotional & otherwise—inflicted on our military that served his folly), we can’t even begin to talk about kindness,” Ruffalo tweeted.
Piers Morgan — Another photo got DeGeneres in hot water, this one was of the talk show host wishing Katy Perry happy birthday by tweeting a picture of herself appearing to ogle Perry’s breasts. The caption to the photo read, “Happy birthday, @KatyPerry! It’s time to bring out the big balloons!” Many, including Morgan, accused her of making a sexist joke. “If a man made this joke, Ellen would lead the cries of ‘SEXIST PIG!’” Morgan wrote.
Kathy Griffin – The outspoken comedian got defensive when DeGeneres decided against paying tribute to Joan Rivers after her death because she thought Rivers’ humor was mean-spirited. Griffin, in turn, called DeGeneres an untalented hack. In her book, “Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins: My A-Z Index,” Griffin wrote, “I’m almost positive a certain beloved daytime talk show host once had me kicked out of a backstage dressing room at the Emmy Awards. I can’t prove it, but this person, who has short blonde hair, has a mean streak that all of Hollywood knows about.”
NikkieTutorials – The makeup artist, YouTube celebrity and beauty influencer said on the Dutch talk show “De Wereld Draait Door” that her experience as a guest on “The Ellen Show” was not a pleasant one. She said she was “greeted by an angry intern who was a bit overworked,” adding, “I was expecting a Disney show but got ‘Teletubbies After Dark.’” She went on to say, “Every guest at ‘Ellen’s’ had a private toilet, but I didn’t. I was not allowed to use the nearest toilet because it was reserved for the Jonas Brothers.”
Brad Garrett – As rumblings of a toxic workplace environment behind-the-scenes on “The Ellen Show” surfaced and after DeGeneres made a public apology, the “Everybody Loves Raymond” actor spoke out about his experience as a guest on her show. “Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow,” Garrett tweeted. “Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge.”
Lea Thompson – The “Back to the Future” actress backed Garrett’s assessment of the environment at the talk show and that DeGeneres herself was the cause of it. Responding to Garrett’s tweet, Thompson replied simply, “True story. It is.”
Kevin T. Porter — Comedian Kevin T. Porter put his money where his mouth is when it comes to disdain he has for DeGeneres. He tweeted, “Right now we all need a little kindness. You know, like Ellen Degeneres always talks about! She’s also notoriously one of the meanest people alive Respond to this with the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean & I’ll match every one w/ $2 to @LAFoodBank.”