Ellen DeGeneres Talks "Causing a Fuss" Before Receiving Her Presidential Medal of Freedom

Ellen DeGeneres - H 2016
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

DeGeneres explains how she got stuck outside of the White House and then convinced a room full of celebrities to do the mannequin challenge.

Ellen DeGeneres was in good spirits Tuesday, sharing how wonderful her past week was: She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama.

"That was my Thanksgiving; it was probably my best one ever in my entire life," said DeGeneres sincerely.

She recounted how she didn't think she needed her photo ID to get into the White House so she was stuck outside on a bench with her family. DeGeneres said Bruce Springsteen walked by and wondered how DeGeneres could not bring her ID to the White House. "And I was like, 'This is my ID, Bruce. This is my ID,' said the talk show host, pointing to her own face.

Her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, was so amused by the incident, she took a picture of DeGeneres, which was tweeted out from Ellen's account and went viral.

"After it was viewed by millions of people, in about five minutes someone came out and went, 'You can come in now,' " said DeGeneres. "I was causing a fuss."

While she and the other recipients were waiting around, DeGeneres asked the group to do a mannequin challenge. "Robert De Niro, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks were like 'What’s a mannequin challenge?' " she said. She had to explain that it involved freezing in place and even though some celebrities thought it was a boring idea, they complied.

DeGeneres finished her account by talking about how honored she was by Obama — the "president of the United States, who I love so very much" — giving her the award and saying such kind words, so she expressed her gratitude with a dance.