Comedian and TV host Ellen DeGeneres has a dilemma—to end her namesake daytime TV show like her wife Portia De Rossi suggests, or keep going, like her brother Vance DeGeneres insists.
Her contract for The Ellen Show, which has been airing since 2003, was recently extended until summer of 2020. But there are no certainties the 60 year old will continue het daytime hosting duties for longer than that.
In the short term, the comedian is returning to stand-up after more than 15 years. Her highly-anticipated Netflix special Relatable is due for release on December 18.
The stand-up special is allowing DeGeneres to unleash a side of herself that she keeps under control on her show in the name of wholesome, feel-good comedy.
“I wanted to show all of me,” DeGeneres told The Times. “The talk show is me, but I’m also playing a character of a talk-show host. There’s a tiny, tiny bit of difference.”
Her wife concurred that stand-up gives DeGeneres the possibility to show her full range. “She’s just a bit more complicated than she appears on the show,” de Rossi told The Times. “There’s more range of emotion.”
Portia de Rossi thinks the end of the show is not the end of Ellen DeGeneres’ career
The Australian-American actor has been fully supportive of her wife’s return to stand-up, attending every performance, offering feedback and also appearing on stage.
“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 told The Times. “There are other things she could tackle.”
One of these things may be more voice acting—DeGeneres made a memorable impression with her performance of the blue-tang fish Dory in Pixar’s Finding Nemo.
“I don’t see the end of the show as her career ending.”
— Portia de Rossi
De Rossi also suggested radio, or a podcast. “I don’t see the end of the show as her career ending,” she said.
DeGeneres said she kept going back and forth on the decision—her brother’s opinion that, in the age of President Donald Trump, her positive, unifying voice is just what the country needs is obviously resonating with the comedian.
DeGeneres, who received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2016, said she is steering clear of Trump, whom she finds upsetting and dangerous. “I don’t want to put that in me,” she told The Times.