Ellen Meets The Barista With Autism Who Dances Through His Shifts — And Gives Him The One Trip He's Always Wanted

"There's more to his story than just being a dancing barista."

"Sam was told he would never be employable, but he was given an incredible opportunity by a Starbucks manager named Chris," Ellen DeGeneres says before welcoming Sam and Chris to her stage.

Sam, a 17-year-old with autism, took the Internet by storm when a video of him dancing through his workday went viral.

Now, Chris tells DeGeneres the story behind hiring Sam to work at his store. 

First, Chris met Sam at a camp that hosted kids with autism and learned that Sam had always dreamed of being a barista. 

"And I tried to make that happen," Chris says. Which, evidently, he did.

Chris hired Sam without a formal interview. Sam says that the moment he found out he was hired was the moment his entire world changed.

"He's an amazing boss," Sam tells DeGeneres, describing Chris. "And he's also a really, really good friend. I wouldn't give him up for anything."

Moreover, Sam and Chris explain that Sam dances behind the counter in order to control his body and stay focused on the job at hand. Chris says that since working at Starbucks, Sam has become much more comfortable and outgoing — and he's a great employee.

"Sam has a such a big heart and he's made me a better person," Chris adds.


At the end of their talk, DeGeneres has surprises for both Sam and Chris. First, she gifts Sam with a trip to Japan — a vacation he's wanted since he was 4. And for Chris, DeGeneres set up a video call with members of the Toronto Raptors basketball team, inviting him to one of their practices and a game, too.

Watch the whole heartwarming interview here:


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