Ellen Degeneres has spent years in a world of spontaneous dance moves and being overly generous to everyone she meets with The Ellen Degeneres Show. In a recent interview with The New York Times, the beloved talk show host shows that she’s much more vulnerable than her chipper TV facade.
The 60-year-old comedian is gearing up for the Dec. 18 release of her Netflix stand-up special, Relatable, her first comedy special in 15 years. Directed by Joell Gallan and comedian Tig Notaro, the special sees a more candid side of DeGeneres as she hilariously comments on her wealth, privilege and more during a show in Seattle.
“I wanted to show all of me,” she tells the NYT. “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.”
Notaro also noted the contrast DeGeneres is faced with on a daily basis, but that she’s grateful for what the show has given her. “Being trapped in the world of being asked to dance and expected to be nice, it’s real,” he said. “I’m sure there’s people who think she’s kidding, or can’t have a bad day. But she does. It’s an interesting pickle she’s in.”
There’s even been an ongoing debate of retiring Ellen after its 16-season run. Though DeGeneres recently decided to extend her contract through the summer of 2020, her back-and-forth stance on continuing the show mirrors the mixed reactions from her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, and her older brother, Vance DeGeneres.
“I just think she’s such a brilliant actress and stand-up that it doesn’t have to be this talk show for her creativity,” de Rossi admits to the NYT, as she has been a longstanding advocate for DeGeneres to move on from the talk show. “There are other things she could tackle.”
On the other hand, Vance stresses the importance of his sister’s positivity and humor in today’s tumultuous political climate. As she continues to be torn on Ellen‘s fate, in the meantime, DeGeneres’ new Netflix special will likely generate as many laughs as her daytime show. “It’s escapism for what’s going on, one hour of feeling good,” she said about Relatable. “At the core it’s a comedy show. But if it’s not funny, at least it feels good.”
Check out the trailer for “Relatable” below.