Put Stephen "tWitch" Boss firmly in the don't-cry-because-it's-over-smile-because-it-happened camp.
Because while daytime TV (and dance!) enthusiasts are mourning the end of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the series' co-executive producer and in-house DJ, uh, kinda saw it coming. Host Ellen DeGeneres "had announced it three years ago that she signed on for three more years," he explained to E! News in an exclusive interview. "So I felt that she was going to stay true to that. It actually didn't come as a surprise because she had already said it, you know?"
Having a front row seat for the past seven years to the demands of helming your own daytime talk show did little to convince the So You Think You Can Dance alum that Ellen would be inking a new contract. "She's been working really, really, really hard," tWitch noted. "So there wasn't something that was in me that was like, 'Oh, she's definitely going to renew again.'"
That idea hadn't really occurred to the comedian either.
Though she revealed on the May 13 episode of her eponymous series that she "had thought a lot about this decision," meditating about it and talking it over with wife Portia De Rossi, "Two years ago, I signed a deal for three more years," she explained, "and I always knew in my heart that season 19 would be my last."
For tWitch, listening to his longtime colleague explain her reasons for moving on (and disabusing fans of any notion that her decision stemmed from last year's allegations of a toxic work environment) was pretty inspiring.
"I was really proud of her, actually," he shared. "Because I know that she's been at it for 18-plus years now. And it's not easy." In that time, he continued, "We've employed thousands and thousands and thousands of people, changed a lot of lives, but that's something to do that same thing every single day. And I'm proud of her that she's kind of put an earmark on the closing of a saga to begin her next chapter. Because that's huge and monumental in itself."
That being said, all the pride and understanding in the world isn't going to stop him from ugly crying when they sign off for good next spring. "I know that the emotions are going to be very overwhelming as we continue to kind of inch away to that last day of filming," he admitted. "But, for me, I'm just trying to enjoy it as much as I possibly can because it's been such a huge blessing."
And tWitch, who's also hosted two seasons of Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings with wife Allison Holker, fully intends to help Ellen follow through on her promise to make every day of the last season a celebration. "There's so much gratitude and thanks wrapped around the idea of next year," he explained, "because if you listen to Ellen talk about it, she wanted to do the show because she also wanted to continue to help people as much as she possibly can and put laughs and love and light out. And she's done that."
Now, he's stoked envisioning the sort of anything goes opportunities that a final season presents.
"Even just thinking one more year, it's like, man, this is going to be our farewell season so I know we're going to continue everything we've been doing but it's going to be bumped up a notch," he shared. "And just the idea of the help and the love and the laughs that have come from the show and then you put the notion of, 'We're going to go out with a bang,' on top of that? Like that's really exciting."
Drop ins from Ellen's most famous friends are all but assured as are the "trips down memory lane" she's promised.
"We get to say hello and goodbye to some of the guests that we've helped over the years. We get to check back in with people," tWitch detailed. "There's something poetic about that. And I think, also, that we as humans, do really well with beginnings and endings. You know what I'm saying? When we have a heads up an ending is coming, there's something that is really inspiring about it."
And should Ellen's departure make room for a perpetually cheerful new host with an affable personality and his own sweet dance moves, well, he wouldn't be mad at it.
"I feel like that is what I'm manifesting every time I get to sit in the chair and guest host," said the dad of three, set to model pieces from his new limited-edition Psycho Bunny x tWitch collaboration alongside 5-year-old son Maddox on an upcoming Father's Day episode.
So might we all be tuning into The tWitch Show in the near future? "I've spent a good amount of time in the daytime space and I've found a lot of love there," he said. "So, yeah, you know, we'll see."