"I have so much to say to you," Carmichael tells DeGeneres, going into a story about since the last time he was on her show, he was closeted, and he didn't think he'd ever be able to tell her how much she and her work have meant to him.
"You faced coming out at a time when it was impossible, there was no precedent," he says elsewhere during their chat. "You faced a lot. I watched it with my mom. I watched all of it, I watched the sitcom, I watched you talk to Oprah, I watched the interpretive dance and the specials. And my mom watched you, and she laughed at you, and you were welcome in the home. It's no small thing, I don't want to discount that because it's really, really huge being Southern and Christian and these things where the idea of having a gay person welcome in my mother's home, it seemed impossible. And you did it. And I'm thankful. It's no small thing. It's really, really huge."
"You're like a gay, white Desmond Tutu," he jokes as the audience laughs.
Watch Jerrod Carmichael's emotional appearance on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show in the video below.