Leah Remini slapped Ellen DeGeneres during an appearance on her talk show Tuesday, just moments after accusing the host of not always being “interested” in her stories — but it was all just jesting between friends.
Remini, 51, appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to discuss her plans for Halloween and quickly became convinced that the host, 63, was going to scare her live on the air.
DeGeneres — who is set to quit daytime TV next year — is known for having her employees creep up on her unsuspecting celebrity guests and startle them.
Remini was in the midst of telling the talk show host about an “elaborate” Halloween prank that she had once played before she began nervously looking over her shoulder.
The “King of Queens” star explained why she was suddenly on high alert, saying to DeGeneres: “You’re acting really interested. So, like, I don’t know if you’re doing that thing where you’re, like, into my story…”
“I’m always interested!” DeGeneres shot back.
“You’re not, Ellen! Stop!” Remini replied.
The actress then leaned over and playfully slapped DeGeneres twice on the arm.
“Ow! It’s my last season!” the host responded as if imploring her guest to go easy on her.
DeGeneres will walk away from her hit show midway through next year when its 19th season comes to a close.
The talk show queen’s squeaky-clean image was tarnished in 2020 when former staffers went public with complaints of a “toxic work environment.” A Buzzfeed report released a short time later included further allegations from staffers who claimed they had raised concerns over issues of racism and sexual misconduct from producers.
DeGeneres addressed the scandal on air in September 2020, saying: “This [past] summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation. I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people that were affected … I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”
The program’s ratings suffered in the wake of the allegations, and DeGeneres announced in May of this year that Season 19 would be her last.
However, the daytime veteran — who frequently signed off her show by telling viewers to “Be kind to one another” — has no shortage of A-List pals publicly supporting her.
Jennifer Aniston and Kim Kardashian have both appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in recent weeks, while Remini gushed over the host during Tuesday’s interview.
“I love you, I miss you and I’m so happy to be here on your last season… Thank you for having me,” Remini cooed.