Ellen Degeneres Is Thinking About Ending Her Talk Show

Ellen Degeneres is a staple of daytime television for sad old people who don’t have Hulu to watch 30 Rock or Seinfeld all day, and she’s been hosting The Ellen Degeneres Show since 2003. But she told The New York Times that she would have already ended the show if not for the advice of her brother Vance.

DeGeneres recently took the option to extend her contract — until the summer of 2020 — although she had been close to declining. On the question of leaving, she changes her mind all the time. Her brother has been an advocate for staying on, making the case that in the age of Trump, the country needs her positive, unifying voice on television every day.

“She gets mad when my brother tells me I can’t stop,” DeGeneres said, glancing over at de Rossi to see if she’s gone too far.

“I just think she’s such a brilliant actress and standup that it doesn’t have to be this talk show for her creativity,” de Rossi said. “There are other things she could tackle.”

Happy wife, happy life, Ellen. Portia is right, too: Taste This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest stand-up albums of all time. It showcases her impeccable comic timing and absurdist humor, full of seemingly rambling stories that turn on a dime.

Here’s an example of the humor Ellen holds back on for her show.

In this post-mortem, she said one of her trickiest challenges involved a segment focusing on a 6-year-old’s romantic duet of “Meant to Be” with her dad. After hearing this youngster sing to her father about her broken heart, DeGeneres chuckled off camera, turned away and smothered a smile. In that moment she thought of a joke to use when the song was over: “That was adorable and … and … and,” she said, employing her characteristic stammer, “really, really creepy.” She knew this would get a big laugh, but would that embarrass the girl? Would she be hurt? DeGeneres held off, concluding this would not suit her show. “It’s escapism for what’s going on, one hour of feeling good,” she said. “At the core it’s a comedy show. But if it’s not funny, at least it feels good.”

Ellen has a stand-up special debuting on Netflix next week, called Relatable, which will apparently challenge her reputation as a “clean comic.” I’ve never thought being a clean comic was a virtue; Jim Gaffigan and Brian Regan are exceptionally funny, but as Todd Glass always says, it’s not like George Carlin and Lenny Bruce were just taking the easy way out. But I’m sure Ellen will be funny no mater what kind of jokes she’s telling, and whether or not she continues to tell them on her daytime talk show.

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