If you thought you were just getting over the tail-end of the annus horribilis that was 2016, get ready to be socked right in the feels. Ellen DeGeneres delivered a tribute to Carrie Fisher and it was all sorts of moving, making a box of tissues within grabbing distance and a nearby shoulder to weep on compulsory for viewing the video. But when DeGeneres started the speech by naming the late Star Wars luminary "my friend," it made me wonder — were DeGeneres and Fisher really friends? The tribute, which ended with an effortlessly fantastic edit of all the times Fisher said something hilarious on DeGeneres' show, certainly gave the impression the pair had known each other a while and that they were really comfortable around each other.
The tricky aspect of this is that the most obvious way in which we gain insights into a celebrity's life is via social media. However, the majority of DeGeneres' social media channels appear to be very much focused — as you might expect — on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and whatever guest is appearing on the show that day. It's not exactly the most efficient way of getting a real, personal insight into the host's life. And yet, I'd argue that despite this lack of tell-all social media, there is evidence that they were friends.
I've rounded up several examples to prove that point.
Exhibit A: Fisher Starred In The Sitcom Ellen In Season 3, Episode 9 "The Movie Show"
Whether or not you're assuming that DeGeneres is just doing her part and paying tribute to a legend, this shows the pair worked together way back in the mid '90s. They knew each other for two decades — that's a long time to stay acquaintances.
Exhibit B: The Social Media Tributes
Please send love and positive thoughts to my friend, @carrieffisher— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 24, 2016
While you might assume much of DeGeneres' social media content is written for her by the sheer volume of it (surely she doesn't have time to host and be on Twitter that much, right?), the recurrent tweets sent to and about Fisher tell a different story. These tweets sound as if they were written by DeGeneres herself.
I can't imagine what Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds' family are going through this week. I send all of my love.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 29, 2016
I can't quite believe her team would have crafted these tweets for her when the pair had known each other so long, can you?
Exhibit C: Where They Lived
Pure speculation, obviously, but based on one fact: Fisher lived in Beverly Hills at the end of her life, which happens to be exactly where Degeneres lives. Did they run into each other at supermarkets? Did they suggest going for a glass of wine? I'm hoping so.
So yes, the jury's still out on how close they were, but given their vicinity to each other — both location-wise and in terms of their fields of work — it looks very possible that DeGeneres and Fisher were actually friends.