People Who Were Never The Same After Being On The Ellen DeGeneres Show

"Be kind to one another" — it's the phrase Ellen DeGeneres famously uses to end every episode of her award-winning talk show. But perhaps she should occasionally add in, "No big deal, but I have the power to change people's lives."

Ever since The Ellen DeGeneres Show first aired in 2003, pretty much anything and everything the titular host touches seems to turn to gold. From DeGeneres' best-selling books to her home decor collection and from her pet care line to her critically-acclaimed Netflix stand-up special, the multi-talented comedian has made quite a name for herself. Oh, and she also boasts an estimated net worth of $490 million.

But as her popular catchphrase implies, DeGeneres is extremely, well, generous and seems more than happy to share the satisfaction of success with her talk show colleagues and guests alike. "We've had just about everybody on the show that I can possibly imagine," she once told Good Housekeeping. "But there are always new, interesting people coming up." Sometimes those "interesting people" are normal folks on the verge of becoming celebs, all thanks to the host herelf. Don't believe us? Let's check out those who were never the same after being on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Stephen 'tWitch' Boss danced his way to being Ellen DeGeneres' DJ

Before Stephen "tWitch" Boss appeared as a guest DJ on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show in 2013, he'd already danced his way straight into the comedian's heart. The multi-talent met his future boss three years earlier during So You Think You Can Dance's All Star Season 7 finale, when DeGeneres — known for busting out her own dance moves — became his surprise partner after contestant Alex Wong stepped out of their routine due to an injury.

"It doesn't matter if you've never had a dance lesson in your life, which I haven't," DeGeneres quipped following her impressive appearance, urging everyone to dance. "Maybe you couldn't tell." Soon enough, the SYTYCD alum had viewers questioning: so you think you can DJ The Ellen DeGeneres Show? After his debut, Boss quickly became DeGeneres' go-to guy and snagged a recurring gig on her Emmy-winning series between 2014 and 2018. Reportedly earning half a million dollars during his tenure (via Celebrity Net Worth), Boss vastly increased his paycheck when he began co-hosting Ellen's Game of Games in 2017, banking a $1 million salary and making the man a multi-millionaire. 

Speaking with Medium around that time, Boss said of his professional trajectory, "Now, with these shows, there's not really a lack of knowledge to what a dance career can do." As DeGeneres once said during a taping, "Twitch, you want to know my favorite thing that we've added? It's you." Aww!

Jeannie Klisiewicz went from Ellen DeGeneres' fan to her show's field reporter

After Jeannie Klisiewicz graduated from college with an elementary education degree, she had trouble finding a job and spent her days watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show, per the Chicago Tribune.

"I wrote in ... a few million million or trillion times and was hoping to win something or have something happen," Klisiewicz later revealed on the show, explaining how she'd received a surprise on-air call from DeGeneres in 2008, while sitting on her parents' porch on an ordinary day. DeGeneres told the audience a year later, "She had entered every contest from the beginning of the show for six years." Klisiewicz never won anything, so DeGeneres asked her back in 2008, "What do you need?" Klisiewicz replied, "I need a job. I mean, I'll, like, clean your bathrooms."

Explaining that she "liked her so much" after chatting on the phone, DeGeneres told fans in 2009, "We just hired her [as a receptionist] on the spot." However, loving her "adorable" personality, DeGeneres soon had Klisiewicz work as a field reporter and eventually gave her her own segment, Life's First Evers with Jeannie. "This is not what I expected for my life," Klisiewicz told the Chicago Tribune in 2018. "I thought I would be a teacher, and that would have been a wonderful life. This was never the journey that I had planned, and the fact that ... it is my story is overwhelming in the best of ways."

Jerry Harris rallied his way to the red carpet

While Jerry Harris is usually the one providing pep talks to other cheerleaders on Netflix's popular docuseries, Cheer, Ellen DeGeneres was the one cheering on the breakout star's career in January 2020. When the television personality first stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show with a few teammates, the titular host immediately seemed to know he was a star. And where else do we see all the stars? On a red carpet, of course! 

In an Instagram clip shared the following month, Harris received some major news: "You're going to go to LA and be Ellen's correspondent on the red carpet at the Oscars. They're going to style you and everything." Just like anyone else would, Harris completely freaked out, and later admitted to DeGeneres on her show, "This is bigger than I could have ever imagined." In a case of mutual showbiz adoration, a number of celebrities gushed over Harris the moment they met him at the 2020 Academy Awards, as well. After Oscar-winner Brad Pitt approached Harris for an interview, the cheerleader excitedly divulged, "The whole place literally went quiet when I was talking to him."

Shortly following his Oscars appearance, Harris officially signed with Digital Brand Architects and the United Talent Agency in order to pursue additional showbiz opportunities, including TV spots, brand endorsements, and more (via The Hollywood Reporter). Go, Jerry, go!

Kalen Allen got himself in a pickle of sorts after appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

When college kid Kalen Allen uploaded his first YouTube video critiquing food, he had no idea it would gain him millions of followers and a job on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "I think you're hilarious. And when I saw that video, I said, 'I want to meet this guy,'" the talk show host admitted in 2018, when Allen made an on-air appearance that would change his life forever. She added, "We want to make a deal with you so you actually have a platform and help you make these videos."

Since then, Allen has hosted the web series OMKalen, while also covering New York Fashion Week and the MTV Video Music Awards for DeGeneres' show. Haing begun as a struggling college student trying to make it in entertainment, Allen is extremely grateful, telling DeGeneres in a follow-up appearance: "Because of you and because of this show, I have had some of the most amazing opportunities — things that I would have never imagined would have happened."

Allen would go on to star in Seth Rogen's An American Pickle, a 2020 flick about an immigrant factory worker who accidentally "falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for 100 years" (via Deadline). "With the platform that you have given me," Allen told DeGeneres in 2019, "I just hope that I can inspire others to live their most authentic selves every single day."

Andy Lassner earned his uncomfortable appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

The Ellen DeGeneres Show's executive producer, Andy Lassner, has found himself in many uncomfortable on-air situations. It seems the talk show host likes to keep him on his toes as she's sent a camera to document some of his more embarrassing experiences, such as navigating haunted houses (which he hates) and deep-diving into women-oriented topics on the web series, #Momsplaining with Kristen Bell. However, Lassner had his fair share of even more uncomfortable situations before securing his behind-the-scenes spot on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2006.

Lassner began struggling with alcoholism and drug abuse during his teens, but after he got clean and launched his television career on The Rosie O'Donnell Show in 1996, he found himself reverting back to his old ways. "I thought that alcohol and drugs were my only true friends," Lassner told Variety in 2019. "They made me feel better, and they didn't judge me." Lassner knew he needed a change and moved his family to the West Coast. However, he continued to battle addiction, which thankfully led to a successful rehab stint in Arizona and, eventually, a longtime gig at The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

"Andy is an amazing producer because he has one of the quickest minds I've ever seen," DeGeneres said of her producer to the publication. Indeed, Lassner, who is now over 20 years sober, has won well over a dozen Daytime Emmys for his work in television.

Brielle Milla started up science segments through The Ellen DeGeneres Show

The "brielle-iant" Brielle Milla first appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show at the age of three in 2015, after the talk show host came across a viral video of her identifying all of the elements on the periodic table. Her favorite one? Chlorine. "Because I love the smell of it in swimming pools," Milla told DeGeneres at the time. Apparently, Milla's amazing memory, which helps her recite all of the elements, presidents, and even bones in the human body, is something that comes quite easily to the little one. "My little brain just remembers," she continued

DeGeneres was so impressed by Milla's intelligence that the toddler gained fame and even more time on the show. Since Milla's initial appearance alongside her mother, DeGeneres gave her a recurring segment called She's Brielle-iant on her digital platform, where the adorable young girl teaches fans all about science. "Most people go to Google when they don't know what something means," DeGeneres quipped to viewers. "I consult a five-year-old."

After appearing multiple times on The Ellen DeGeneres Show — and even Little Big Shots alongside Steve Harvey — Milla has continued to share her love of science with the world on her YouTube channel, which rakes in thousands of views each week.

Grace Liu interpreted for Ellen DeGeneres' entertainers

The Ellen DeGeneres Show knows no borders, but unfortunately the talk show host only knows one language — English. So whenever she invites international guests onto her show, she needs a little help, and that's where interpreter Grace Liu has repeatedly come in after being invited to appear on the show in 2017. 

Though she doesn't necessarily have a starring role, the young Chinese interpreter has since sat alongside many talented entertainers (including DeGeneres herself) during multiple appearances on the daytime talk show. In fact, Liu has been hired to translate for young talent both on and off the stage (via Grace Liu Music), gaining further global recognition while interpreting for other entertainers on Steve Harvey's Little Big Shots.

In 2019, DeGeneres gave Liu a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in 2019: the chance to introduce one of her upcoming international musical guests. "Ellen is asking me to read this intro," Liu, an aspiring musician herself, excitedly read off the teleprompter. "But before I introduce Lil' Mushroom, I'd like to say, not only is Ellen kind, she is also one of the coolest people in the world. Actually, not in the world, more like — did you write this? — in the universe." (We're guessing she did.)

Balang's dream of dancing came true on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

When daytime legend Ellen DeGeneres came across a viral video from John Philip Bughaw — a.k.a. Balang, a spunky six-year-old dancer from the Phillipines — she knew she needed him on her show. His 2015 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show was Balang's first time in the U.S., and it wouldn't be his last. "A lot of people want to have a picture with him," his interpreter later explained when he returned to the show months later. "And they say, 'Oh, we saw you on The Ellen Show!'" 

Continuing to perform on DeGeneres' show, Balang also landed a gig on Little Big Shots in 2017, further allowing audiences everywhere to see this talented kiddo's daring dance moves. Not only did the comedian's platform lead to other television appearances and cause people to recognize Balang on the street, but his dancing dream also came true because of the comedian, as well. When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up during his first interview on her show, Balang explained how he wanted to be a Zumba instructor. When he returned to the The Ellen DeGeneres Show two years later, his interpreter let DeGeneres know that he achieved this goal a lot sooner than expected, explaining that the founder of Zumba "invited [Balang] and gave him a license" to lead classes. 

Looks like DeGeneres does make dreams come true!

Ellen DeGeneres aided field producer Aaron Pinkston in his on-air marriage proposal

Since her talk show's debut in 2003, Ellen DeGeneres has not forgotten about the people who help make it the award-winning hit that is: her hardworking staff. So when one of her field producers decided to ask a certain life-changing question, the comedian was more than happy to help make the moment magical.

Back in 2011, field producer Aaron Pinkston's girlfriend, Jen (who also happened to be DeGeneres' wardrobe assistant), believed he was across the country covering a live story for The Ellen DeGeneres Show. During a live taping, the host asked Jen to assist her on stage under the guise of an outfit malfunction. "That must be hard that he's in Chicago. He should be here," DeGeneres said of Pinkston, to which Jen agreed. And clearly, what DeGeneres believes, she receives! Pinkston, looking dapper while donning a black suit and tie combo, suddenly appeared from stage left and got down on one knee to propose to his very caught off-guard girlfriend. 

"You are my everything, you know that?" he told her, as DeGeneres watched from the side. "You are my heart and my soul. And I want nothing more in life than to spend the rest of my life with you, okay? Will you marry me?" The audience erupted in applause, and once Pinkston made sure that Jen said yes, he quipped of their boss and his partner in crime, "She got you!"

Gladys Hardy had a problem with Ellen DeGeneres' plant

Ellen DeGeneres receives many fan phone calls, but one voicemail about her set's layout grabbed her attention early on in the show's run. "Would you do me a favor, honey? Move that spiky plant to the side," an 80-plus-year-old Gladys Hardy requested. "It's distracting, honey. On some of them angles, it's behind your head, and you look like Alfalfa." 

Naturally, DeGeneres did as she was told and decided to give the friendly fan a call back to let her know that the deed had been done. "Is this the first time you've been on TV before?" DeGeneres asked, and that's when unplanned comedy ensued. "No, honey, I've been on TV before," Hardy explained, but it seemed she needed to get something off her chest. "I was on [QVC] — Listen, I'll be honest with you, I love Jesus, but I drink a little." DeGeneres and her in-studio audience laughed so hard at the surprising admission, that the comedian said the "entertaining" Hardy should be on TV more often. 

"Honey, you can call me anytime," the Texan replied. "Just don't call me late for dinner." While their conversations continued for several years, Hardy received a lot of media attention — but since she never showed her face on television, many fans were skeptical she even existed. However, Hardy liked it that way. "I want to stay a mystery, because there's more power to it," she explained in 2011. "And it takes the pressure off of me."

Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland sang their way to stardom on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Back in 2011, Ellen DeGeneres made stars out of two small singing British girls after she came across a viral video of 8-year-old Sophia Grace Brownlee and 5-year-old Rosie McClelland, both wearing princess costumes, rapping and singing Nicki Minaj's hit "Super Bass." Wanting to meet the adorable duo, DeGeneres invited the two kiddos across the pond to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and sing their favorite song for her studio audience. 

"What is the song about that you're singing?" DeGeneres asked them. "Do you know what 'Super Bass' is about?" The young girls admittedly had no idea, but instead, Brownlee excitedly replied, "I just learned the words really quickly, and I like the video because it's got a motorbike made of ice and pink! Everything pink! I just love pink!"

Like many of DeGeneres' favorite guests, she gave Brownlee and McClelland their own segment, Tea Time with Sophia Grace and Rosie, which later led to a feature-length film and book deal. However, the girls never let it get to their heads. "You've been with us for so many years, and you're still the same sweet girls that you were when I first met you," DeGeneres told them in a 2014 interview. All thanks to the magic of The Ellen DeGeneres Show — and a very powerful comedian — "Super Bass" had made these cuties superstars.