Ellen DeGeneres; Entertainment Pioneer!
A beloved television icon,
Ellen DeGeneres' distinctive comic voice has resonated
with audiences from her first stand-up comedy appearances
through her work today on television, in film and in
the literary world. Ellen DeGeneres has made a home for herself in the daytime arena with her hit syndicated talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” The show debuted on September 8 th, 2003 and won four Daytime Emmys in its freshman year, including Outstanding Talk Show after garnering 12 Daytime Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Talk Show Host. The number of nominations was the most for any talk show this year. “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” begins its second season September 6 th, 2004. Prior to the launch of her talk show, DeGeneres scored a rare coup last year with simultaneous achievements on stage, film and in publishing. She enjoyed unprecedented popular and critical response to her character, “Dory,” the fish with extreme short-term memory, in the blockbuster Disney/Pixar animated feature film, “Finding Nemo.” In addition, DeGeneres was nominated for a 2004 MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance for her work in the film. Meanwhile, DeGeneres crossed the country on a 35-city stand-up comedy tour, entitled the “Here and Now” tour. The series of shows concluded with a performance at the famed Beacon Theater in New York, which was taped for HBO. The resulting special aired on June 28, 2003 and scored higher ratings than any HBO comedy special had in years.
Finally, in October, Simon & Schuster published DeGeneres’ second book, “The Funny Thing Is…,” comprised of the author's comedic short stories and essays. The book quickly hit “The New York Times” bestseller list. On television, DeGeneres also found time last year for a guest stint on FOX's “The Bernie Mac Show.” She made a guest starring appearance this season on HBO’s “Six Feet Under.”
A performer with a keen sense of comedy in the moment, DeGeneres garnered rave reviews for her performance hosting the 2001 Primetime Emmy Awards. Taking the reins of the high profile event with assuredness, she provided a perfect balance of wit with heartfelt emotion and gave the post-September 11th telecast audience a reason to laugh.
DeGeneres’ career began as an emcee at a local comedy club in her hometown of New Orleans, which led to national recognition in 1982 when her videotaped club performances won Showtime’s “Funniest Person In America.” When DeGeneres moved to Los Angeles she filmed her first HBO Special “Young Comedians Reunion,” then in 1986 “Women of the Night.” That same year, DeGeneres scored a “first” by becoming the only comedienne to be summoned by Johnny Carson to sit down with him after her performance. DeGeneres went on to receive a Cable Ace nomination in 1989 for her “Command Performance: One Night Stand” special, and was named “Best Female Stand-Up” at the 1991 American Comedy Awards.
DeGeneres began her acting career in television on Fox’s sitcom, “Open House.” She moved on to ABC’s “Laurie Hill,” prior to being offered “These Friends of Mine” by ABC. After the first season, the show was renamed “Ellen.” Running from 1994 to 1998, the series garnered record ratings, with DeGeneres receiving Emmy nominations each season in the “Best Actress” category. In 1997 DeGeneres was the recipient of the coveted Peabody Award as well as earning an Emmy for writing the critically acclaimed “Puppy Episode” when her character came out as a gay woman to a record 46 million viewers. DeGeneres followed with the CBS sitcom, “The Ellen Show,” which ran from 2001 to 2002.
In the course of producing and starring in “Ellen,” DeGeneres received numerous accolades including The People’s Choice Award in 1995, two Golden Globe nominations and two Screen Actors Guild nominations. Other television credits include executive producing and starring with Sharon Stone in the Emmy-nominated “If These Walls Could Talk II” for HBO, as well as a guest appearance on the “Larry Sanders Show,” for which she received another Emmy nomination.
DeGeneres’ feature film credits includes “EdTV” for director Ron Howard, “The Love Letter” for Dreamworks, New Regency’s “Goodbye Lover,” “Coneheads” and “Mr. Wrong” in which she starred with Bill Pullman. DeGeneres has also served as host for several industry events including the 38th and 39th Annual Grammy Awards, for which she earned an Emmy nomination, the 46th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, receiving an American Comedy Award, the VH1 Honors, which garnered her a Cable Ace Award, VH1 “Diva’s Las Vegas” and “The Saturday Night Live Christmas Special.”
In 1995, her first book “My Point…And I Do Have One” debuted at #1 on “The New York Times” bestseller list, and in 1997 she released her comedy CD, “Taste This.” In July 2000, DeGeneres returned to stand-up, embarking on a three-month tour of major theatres across the country that culminated in her critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated special for HBO, “The Beginning.”
Since she was first nationally recognized in 1982 as a comedian in New Orleans, DeGeneres’ many contributions to the entertainment industry have earned her numerous accolades including a Golden Apple Award as Female Discovery of the Year from the Hollywood Women’s Press Club, a Lucy Award honoring women in Television and Film, as well as an Amnesty International Award.
De Rossi Gives DeGeneres Wedding Ring
Portia de Rossi has given lover Ellen DeGeneres a Tiffany wedding band as a symbol of her devotion to the comedienne--and bought herself a matching ring.
The Arrested Development actress gave the band to DeGeneres on her 47th Birthday Jan. 26 after only a two month courtship. De Rossi walked out on long-term partner Francesca Gregorini to be with the funnywoman last month.
A source told gossip website Pagesix.com, "It signifies their commitment to each other."
However, the happy couple are unlikely to hold a ceremony to celebrate their union because gay marriages are illegal in California and they would want official recognition.
Meanwhile, de Rossi is having laser treatment to remove a tattoo of the initials 'FG' from her wedding finger. Gregorini has a similar tattoo which the pair had done to signify their devotion.
Ellen Celebrates Birthday with Cheap Gifts and Paris Hilton Makeover
Chat show host Ellen DeGeneres celebrated her 47th birthday yesterday by handing out gifts she picked up at a Los Angeles 99-cent store to audience members--and guest Paris Hilton.
Hotel heiress and The Simple Life star Hilton picked up a new pink fluffy handbag, a pink feather duster and a pink oven mitt.
And, despite her high-rolling lifestyle, Hilton is a fan of the discount store, where everything costs just 99 cents: "I love that store, actually. It's cool. (I buy) just like random junk--it's cheap, fun stuff, but who cares."
The socialite was also in the gift-giving mood--she gave Ellen a pink 'blonde' T-shirt, a pair of pink trainers and a "hot" makeover.
But DeGeneres was far from impressed with the pink mini-dress and cardigan outfit, stating sarcastically, "This feels good. We'll definitely go out and party tonight."
Ellen DeGegeneres Wins Twice at People's Choice Awards
Ellen DeGeneres won Funniest Female Star and Best Daytime Talk Show Host at last night's People's Choice Awards, broadcast on CBS. The 31st annual awards show was hosted by Jason Alexander and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who presented awards in 38 film, television and music categories at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in California.
DeGeneres beat out Tina Fey, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, and Wanda Sykes for the designation of Funniest Female Star; and Oprah, Dr. Phil, Tony Danza, and Regis and Kelly for Best Daytime Talk Show Host.
The nominations were determined by editors at Entertainment Weekly, the People's Choice production team and a panel of pop culture fans. The winners were determined for the first time by Internet voting, with over 21 million votes cast.
DeGeneres' ex-partner plans legal battle
Ellen DeGeneres' ex-partner has voiced plans to file legal action against DeGeneres and her current girlfriend, Portia De Rossi.
The talk show host ended her four-year relationship with photographer-director Alexandra Hedison last month and invited Arrested Development star De Rossi to share her Hollywood mansion, the World Entertainment News Network reported Monday.
Hedison has said she plans to take palimony action against DeGeneres, and she wants to follow that up by suing De Rossi for alienation of affection -- a legal phrase dating back to when seducing a spouse was regarded as theft.
Ex might sue Ellen -- and the sitcom star she's with
Ellen DeGeneres may look composed on her hit TV talk show, but the comedian's personal life is in quite a bit of turmoil these days. While DeGeneres is said to be head-over-heels for "Arrested Development" actress Portia De Rossi, the quick-witted comic's former lover is reportedly planning to ''take her to the cleaners,'' according to several Hollywood insiders.
Photographer and director Alexandra Hedison has met with her lawyers and is seriously considering a stiff palimony suit. Along with suing DeGeneres, Hedison may also file against De Rossi, utilizing the ''alienation of affection'' approach -- a legal throwback to times when seduction of a ''spouse'' could be regarded as theft.
Legal experts claim a lot of this is simply posturing, and probably won't hold up in a California court. The reason? Hedison would have to prove the seduction took place in a state (like Hawaii) that still recognizes the law.
Considering the DeGeneres-De Rossi hookup clearly happened after a party in Los Angeles, Hedison likely will be out of luck -- at least with a suit against De Rossi. However, look for DeGeneres to quickly settle with Hedison on the palimony case -- in order to move on with her life.
"When you give the gift of TiVo ( TIVO), you get a uniquely enthusiastic and excited reaction from the gift recipient, and it was great fun helping Ellen capture that moment with her studio audience," said Matt Wisk, Chief Marketing Officer at TiVo. "With a TiVo DVR, fans never have to miss an episode of Ellen because they weren't home in time. Every episode will be recorded and waiting for them."
As part of her "12 Days of Christmas," promotion, DeGeneres arranged for her entire studio audience to receive the 80-hour TiVo Series2 DVR with product lifetime service*. She unveiled the gift during a segment that will air nationally today.
Good and bad news in Ellen DeGeneres' household
DeGeneres, 46, has broken up with her girlfriend of four years, photographer Alexandra Hedison, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. But, proving that destruction often leads to new life, she has done so to pursue a romance with 31-year-old "Arrested Development" star Portia de Rossi, who left her girlfriend, singer Francesca Gregorini (Ringo Starr's stepdaughter). Oh, the drama.
The new couple have VH1's extravaganza "Big in '04" to thank for it all. Although they first met some nine months ago at a photo shoot, the two did not conjoin until they saw each other at the music channel's awards show Dec. 1, after which de Rossi told friends they fell in love instantly.
Despite instigating the split, DeGeneres is still heartbroken. The New York Post said she was spotted "crying hysterically on her phone" in the lobby of a hotel after a Christmas party.
The Ellen effect phenomenon
A 30ish redhead is circling me like a cheetah, baiting me to join in a particular brand of body jiggling to which I am painfully unaccustomed. Her shoulders are popping up and down, her arms spinning like windmills, her lips poking out like a bird's beak. Others are starting to circle her as she circles me, hootin' and hollerin', clappin' and stompin.'
The adventurous redhead, in jeans, sneakers ad a T-shirt that reads "Squeeze If You Like," can't hear me excusing myself; doesn't "want" to hear me, really. She's in her own world, far from her job as a hairstylist in Santa Monica, out sick with what she cheerfully diagnoses as "Ellen-itis." Others around her nod as a kind of confirmation of this, well, condition.
Like her, like me, they have snared freebie tickets to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," something of a feat unto itself. Many of themhave been hanging onto theirs for six months. (A department store saleswoman from Atlanta swears that she kept hers in a bank lockbox.) And today, they've lined up for several hours in the rain to spend just one with Ellen DeGeneres, the latest "It" girl of TV talk.
Clutching a piece of paper with a number printed on it, the redhead has come to NBC Studios as one of about 250 jazzed men and mostly women - black, brown and white, graying grandmothers, tall, muscular teen-agers with acorn haircuts, mothers oldenough to have teen-age kids and young enough to wear skin-tight jeans, cut-off tops and flip-flops. We're lined up like people are every weekday, bodies snaking along Bob Hope Drive. In a few minutes, we'll be shepherded inside, screaming, yelling, pumping our arms and dancing at the slightest urging from anyone carrying a clipboard.
I wanted to attend a taping of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" to assess the star from the vantage point of the people who would clim over hot coals to see her. The newspaper-office switchboard operator from Las Vegas, the middle-school teacher from Van Nuys, the computer support technician from Portland. This wasn't an "Oprah Winfrey Show" crowd looking for spiritual guidance or the "Late Night" crowd needing a fix of David Letterman-style sarcasm and celebrity diss.
She endears herself to her viewers by acting as if she's just like them, only funnier - and richer (although Ellen is so modest in her dress, it's hard to believe that she splurges on anything). "We're here because she's funny, of course, but she's just this really, really nice person," says Glenda, a retail manager from Pasadena who arrived with her college-age daughter. "I think that's why we're in such fellowship here. don't even know these people, but they must be nice because they're attracted to niceness."
Glenda tried to get tickets last year but came up empty. By the time she applied online, every ticket for the rest of the season was gone. This year, they tried early, and eventually got a call asking which day they wanted to attend. The show is meticulous about the comfort of its audience - a staffer calls everyone who applies for tickets to see if they're really coming on that date. (Ticket holders don't knowthis is done to ensure every seat has a body in it.)
Still, many of the people awaiting entry, in a slight rain, attribute the show's big-hearted feel to Ellen. She's perceived as an anti-diva, a sunny answer to the inquisition of guests that usually occurs in late-night forums such as, say, those of Conan O'Brien or Jimmy Kimmel. So, to see the security guard busting a few moves as he surveys the scene, well, that's the Ellen Effect.
"She's nonjudgmental," sys Elisabeth, a 40-year-old paramedic who with her partner, Beth, drove in from Denver. "Anybody who comes on her show, it's something positive about everybody. She never rags on anybody. Always remains neutral. And man, she's funny." Elisabeth and Beth are surprised to hear that when Telepictures set out to sell the talk show, it met with reluctance among some station owners and managers. They were concerned about the star's baggage, specifically her rep as a flag-waving lesbian who bumped heads with ABC when she and hersitcom character burst out of the closet. By the time Ellen returned to television with a tamer sitcom - her character was a lesbian but, well, let's not make a big deal about it - she'd been labeled a political fireball.
Ellen might be awful witty, but daytime isn't nighttime. Audiences don't want to be preached to, whether it's Oprah's spirituality or Rosie O'Donnell's strong-arm politics. Ellen pushed her talker as nothing more than a omedian chatting with her friends; she'd leave politics, sexual or otherwise, to the likes of Jon Stewart. Indeed, Ellen's sexuality is a nonissue on her show, and even Elisabeth and Beth, so pumped about seeing Ellen they are first in line, don't bring it up.
By the time we are shuttled inside a gate and under a long canopy (but still outside), the rain is coming down quite hard. Temperatures have dropped drastically. Soon we are moved into the warm comfort of the so-called Riff Raff room. Coined by guest Tom Hanks, this is te room where the overflow audience can feel "somewhat" a part of the show and can hear musical guest Alanis Morissette rehearse "8 Easy Steps." By now the place is buzzing, and the noise goes up a notch when a man in a baseball cap emerges, explaining how they had the best audience ""ever' "' just the night before.
I wonder if the earlier crowd really was off the chain, or if he says that to every crowd to get it pumped up, to create an atmosphere o charged it is palpable even through the flat filter of television. (This is how Arsenio Hall put it for his similarly energetic show.) Once in our chairs, we're highly encouraged to dance, and after two or three pop and hip-hop tunes, people toss off inhibitions like layers of clothing on a hot, sticky day. Never have I seen so many people dance so wildly and badly and with such vigor without caring about how they look, only about how they feel.
When Ellen emerges, wearing a blue pullover V-neck sweater, black slacks with a whit stripe down the side and white sneakers, the roar of the audience is deafening. So loud I don't notice her shout up into my row and bob and shimmy to P. Diddy's "Shake Ya Tailfeather" right past my chair, dancing wildly as she zooms by.
Ellen's opening shtick is usually short and takes a standard form - the running joke is based on an article that said stress is, well, bad for you and on the popularity of oxygen bars. Soon Ellen has all of us practicing our deep breathing, which Ellen likes to see and hear people do, "unless it's someone on the other side of the phone. Then it's creepy."
Ellen avoids politics in favor of the whimsical observational humor that has marked her career. She characterizes her coedy as "the lowest common denominator" that's certainly not designed to challenge. It works for the 2.3 million daily viewers who have made the show a hit in a genre that's very, very difficult to crack. (Her peers like it, too. The show recently won a Daytime Emmy.) Since fall 1995, 38 shows have been launched in daytime, and with the exception of shows such as "Dr. Phil," most have crashed and burned.
Apparently, Ellen's show also works for guests. They seem genuinely appy to be a part it. Her interviews are pleasurable, even if she's not necessarily an accomplished interviewer. Her questions often are setups, lobs that guests can hit for home runs, but mostly it's cocktail party small talk brought alive by Ellen's quick wit. She has gained a reputation for drawing the stars out from behind their protective screens - but it's all in her customary fun: Jason Alexander, for instance, roller skating in a tutu, Kelly Preston hula dancing, Rob Lowe sliding down an inflatable ramp.
Ellen's second guest on this day, 18-year-old actress Amanda Bynes, is so blown away by the festive atmosphere, she comes out dancing, bounces in her chair and can't seem to sit still. She mentions repeatedly what a good time she is having, even dissing other shows for being snoozers. The first guest, Anthony LaPaglia of the CBS series "Without a Trace," mostly gushes over his daughter. But he nearly falls out of his chair laughing when Ellen brings out a metal detetor after the actor reveals his troubles getting through airport security with his hip replacement.
Audience members laugh and giggle during Ellen's interviews, but it's clear they prefer her interactions with them during commercial breaks. That's when the stand-up in Ellen comes out. She bounds up the steps and into the aisles for handshakes or impromptu chats or, sometimes, to find an unwitting foil.
The last of the aforementioned can often be a dangerous move. Whenever a performer breaks the "forth wall," that invisible plane that runs along the proscenium separating artist from audience, they run the risk of falling flat on their face. But Ellen rarely does. When the hour is over - the woman to my left turns to me, again looking like she's about to sob, and says, "That was "fast' "' - Ellen hands out her favorite ice cream bars to everyone. She makes the mistake of actually eating one before setting up to tape promos. Looking into the TelePompTer, she flubs her lines several times, blaming it on a frozen mouth, and the audience is loving every minute of this bonus Ellen time.
Most are standing, eyes wide, with big smiles on their faces, as though they're watching television magic. As we file out, it's raining hard, but few are complaining. I share an umbrella with four sisters who just the day before flew in from Calgary, Alberta. They're all in their late '50s and early '60s - they couldn't be missed during the dance segments. One was flapping her arms so wildly I thought for crtain she'd take off.
The women are like giggly high schoolers as we walk back to our cars, talking about the show, saying how the trip was well worth their time and money. They say they haven't danced that much since their niece's wedding several years ago, nor "felt so young."
Two days later, I relay this to Ellen, who is on the phone from her office at the NBC studio. She laughs loudly. "One thing we've managed to do is create this space where n one is embarrassed to do anything . . . not even "you"," she says. "For that moment in time, they become free. They're able to let loose any way they want because chances are the person next to them is doing something other than jabbing you in the ribs. "Not" doing anything makes you the oddball."
Ellen doesn't seem as surprised by the success of the show as she is by how good it feels to do it. I ask if she feels the same magic her audience feels when it's in her presence. "To do something like this and have it come so esy - no, actually, this is exhausting, hard work," Ellen says. "When I say 'easy,' I mean it feels so right. More right than any sitcom. Even with my stand-up. This is me. I should have been doing this since the age of 3." "Dancing?" I ask. "That, too," she answers. "There are much worse things out there than having to dance every day."
New ''Oh God!'' by Ellen DeGeneres
Producer Jerry Weintraub, whose "Ocean's Twelve" opens next week, is no longer interested in reviving the "Police Academy" series and will instead focus his energy on his "Oh, God!" remake starring Ellen DeGeneres. "I made the first one in 1976, and I've been trying to figure out how to do another one since then," Weintraub said. "And then Ellen just came to me and said, 'I'd play God if you would take a chance and do that.' I said, 'Take a chance? That's the best idea I've heard! Let's go for it.' ... I'm crazy about her. ... And I don't think you can be a woman and play God unless you're likeable." ...
In the entertainment world, openly gay comedienne Ellen DeGeneres had a phenomenal year. Following up on her overwhelming success with Finding Nemo, she launched an award-winning talk show and recently announced that she would be producing and starring in a remake of the classic movie Oh God!. A lesbian playing God--the fundamentalists must love that! We can be thankful that someone as talented as Ms. DeGeneres has found success after she came out.
Ellen DeGeneres embarassed Colin Farrell on her show
COLIN FARRELL revisited his embarrassing past on comedienne ELLEN DEGENERES' daily chat show in America yesterday (29NOV04) when he had to teach the host and three audience members linedancing moves.
The movie star used to teach country dancing in his native Ireland when he was a teenager, and Ellen insisted he gave a demonstration.
Embarrassed Farrell told her, "There was a craze for a year when I was 17. This bird came in from Texas and taught us all how to linedance and then she went back to Texas and we linedanced and went around Ireland teaching people how to linedance
The Irishman was left red-faced when he tried to recall his skills. He said, "This is mortifying... We've had enough. I'm dying here, man."
Earlier in the show, Degeneres showed an early modelling picture of Farrell posing in a one-piece bathing suit, and she charged him $100 (£52.90) every time he swore. It cost him $900 (£476.20).
Ellen DeGeneres gave away cruises
Oprah Winfrey gave away cars. Tony Danza gave away trips to Miami Beach. Now, Ellen DeGeneres is surprising her studio audience with cruises.
The audience is all family members from Southern California military bases. Their loved ones are deployed in Iraq.
With her guest, Tom Hanks, at her side, DeGeneres teases the audience by asking, "Do you like water?" Then she asks, "do you like food?" Since the audience screams "yes" to both, DeGeneres tells them, "Then it seems that everybody would like to go on a cruise."
These are 10-day cruises, either to Alaska or the Mexican Riviera, with all expenses paid for a family of four. "It's our way of saying thanks for the sacrifices that you are making on our behalf," DeGeneres told the audience.
Ellen DeGeneres moves up
Every day after the monologue on her talk show, Ellen DeGeneres gives her disc jockey a cue. It's usually some form of the word ''dance.'' That's when the music starts, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show on the NBC lot in Burbank becomes one big disco, with Ellen DeGeneres leading it.
''Everyone's dancing,'' she said, ''and no one's drunk.'' This small act is now one of the show's signature aspects. DeGeneres, 46, says it evolved from one day last season when she boogied over to her chair to the music that was playing.
Now people stop her in airports and ask her to dance. Celebrities on the show often dance. The set was even redesigned this season to make room for more dancing. "It's become a thing of its own," she says. "It's almost sort of what I'm known for now more than being a comedian. But she's really becoming known for something else: her talk-show success. Of all the competitors in the crowded syndicated talk-show world, The Ellen DeGeneres Show is showing the biggest ratings increase.
Ellen is up 37% over last season, averaging 2.3 million viewers a day. That puts her well ahead of this season's newcomers, Tony Danza and Jane Pauley. She and Oprah Winfrey are the only talkers up over last year.'' I think Ellen DeGeneres is the most entertaining person on TV," says fan Kori Wirth, 32, of Salt Lake City. Her humor, DeGeneres points out, "is not gender-based." Nor does she tackle politics or religion. "All that does is divide people. If I were Bill Maher or Chris Rock, it'd be different. I want people to feel comfortable."
One way she does that is to get celebrities to do silly activities with her. Last season, DeGeneres did sit-ups with Britney Spears and learned cat choreography from Halle Berry. This season, she has jumped on a trampoline with Hilary Duff, shot baskets with Martin Sheen, played badminton with Serena Williams and ridden on a pretend roller coaster with Jude Law. Such segments with guests are usually planned, so they know what's expected. "My show is a very safe show," she says. That includes not asking personal questions if stars don't want them asked. "Of all people, I understand what that's like," she says.
DeGeneres spent several years out of work soon after telling Time in 1997 that she's a lesbian. Then came last year's Finding Nemo (she voiced Dory the fish), a successful comedy tour, critical praise for an HBO special and her talk show. Jim Paratore, president of Telepictures Productions, recalls that the talk show was a tough sell. "I knew if we could get her on the air, viewers would see what her humor is all about," he says. "Now it's a sweet victory for us all."
A National Survey Shows That Ellen DeGeneres Coming Clean About Her Sexual Orientation Has Had The Most Impact!
October 11, 2004.
A survey conducted by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center reveals that most of its GLBT respondents believe that Ellen DeGeneres is the public figure who has "had the most positive impact on society's perception and attitudes toward lesbian and gay people" by virtue of her honesty about her sexual orientation. The survey, released in conjunction with National Coming Out Day, put DeGeneres at the top of the list with 49% of votes, followed by Rosie O'Donnell and Congressman Barney Frank tied with 11% each. "Polls have shown that when an individual knows someone who is gay or lesbian, that person is far more likely to support equal rights for the GLBT community," Jim Key, chief public affairs officer of the LAGLC, said in a statement. "Because Ellen has been so visible and because she has such a warm, fun, and caring persona, people feel like they know her. When she bravely, loudly, and proudly came out, I'm sure there are many people who suddenly felt like they 'knew' their first gay person." Fifty-six percent of respondents also indicated that the media should ask the sexual orientation of a politician who has supported antigay legislation.
Ellen DeGeneres for a President ?!!
Nov 8 : Georege W. Bush might have ensured his re- entry into the White House, but its high time that he makes way for a woman, so feels TV host Ellen DeGeneres.
The comedienne has strongly opined that a lot of America's problem could be solved if it was headed by a woman.
"What America lacks is the guidance and leadership that can be given only by a wise and nurturing woman. And why not? Women have always had to work faster, study longer and try harder to make it in this man's world," she was quoted by The Female First, as saying.
"The minimum age requirement to run for president is 35. This is the age when a woman is at her intellectual peak, not primed for a midlife crisis.Since women's brains are better than men's at multitasking, she probably wouldn't even need a vice president, just a cell phone and a good personal assistant," she added.
Ellen also said that a woman is much more capable of improving foreign affairs as she is never hesitant to talk about matters and asking for directions.
Ellen DeGeneres will speak in Harvard Law School
Out talk show host Ellen DeGeneres will be addressing Harvard Law School as part of the class of 2005's commencement exercises. She will speak at Class Day, which the Harvard Crimson describes as "an event the day before commencement which is typically more lighthearted than the keynote address that follows." Last year's Class Day speaker was TV personality and political speechwriter Ben Stein, who is a Yale Law School graduate.
More Q&A with Ellen DeGeneres
They say timing is everything. Ellen DeGeneres was a little ahead of her time. In 1997, one year before the premiere of "Will & Grace," with all its openly gay characters, Ellen revealed on her sit-com and in real life that she's gay. Her career went into a free-fall. But with the help of a lost fish named Nemo and a white hot, Emmy award-winning talk show, owned in part by NBC Universal, Ellen has once again found success. Ellen DeGeneres talks about comedy, kids and her companion of four years, photographer Alexandra Hedison.
Q: "You exude so much positive energy on the show. Where does that come from?"
Ellen DeGeneres: "The liquor. [laughter] I'm sure of it."
Q: "Snuggling up with John Travolta, riding the roller-coaster with Jude Law, getting down on the floor with Britney Spears doing crunches.
DeGeneres: "I'll do anything for a laugh. I love the show. I love doing it. I get so much from it. It's an amazing thing that I lost everything from being me and then I'm now just being me and it feels good on many, many levels."
Q: "You know, they say in life and especially in entertainment, there are no second acts. So, how did you do it? What do you think enabled you to make maybe one of the biggest comebacks in recent memory?"
DeGeneres: "I don't know. And I just kept coming back. I wouldn't stay down, you know. I could've. My feelings were really hurt. I was really sensitive. So part of it is luck and part of it is talent. And part of it is perseverance."
Q: "Was there a time when you wondered if your career in Hollywood was over?"
DeGeneres: "Oh, I didn't just wonder. I was sure it was over. Yeah, I was sure."
Q: "You were really at the heights of your career at that point."
Q: "And it really came crashing down."
DeGeneres: "Yeah.When I made the decision to come out, everything was great. And I really naively thought nobody's going to care, you know. It's like, I'm going to just now say, by the way, I'm gay. I mean, all of my business people, all my people, were saying, don’t do it, you know."
Q: "Is that right?"
DeGeneres: "Oh, yeah."
Phillips: "They were telling you, bad move?"
DeGeneres: "Oh, yeah. Don't do it. Don't do it."
Q: "But you just weren't going to listen to them?"
DeGeneres: "I couldn't listen to them. I had to listen to me. You know? It's my life. It's my heart. It's my soul. It's my journey. And it's who I am."
Q: "Going further back, Ellen, earlier in your life. What was the process like for you where you realized and accepted being gay? Was there a time where that unfolded for you?"
DeGeneres: "Yeah, you know. And I think it was shocking to me. It was shocking to my mom. It was shocking to everybody. Because, you know, I had boyfriends. And I was boy-crazy. And almost got married in high school."
Q: "You went through all of that?"
DeGeneres: "Oh, yeah. It's -- I mean, there are certain people who know early on. And that's who they are. And I, you know, I didn't know at all."
Q: "So, how old were you when it became clear in your mind that you were?"
DeGeneres: "Like, 19, 20."
Q: "Pretty soon after that, you shared it with your mother?"
DeGeneres: "Mm-hm. First of all, she didn't understand it, and then she went to the library and read about homosexuality, which I can only imagine what those books were. You know? She probably first got Homo sapiens and read that. That's probably the only book they had. Well, what's wrong with that? So what, she's a Homo sapiens? Aren't we all? But, see, she was great. All this-- thought it was a phase. And she thought I'd, you know, go through it and-- like the tube top. Oh, she won't wear that after a certain amount of time. And I don't."
Q: "So, she was right about that."
DeGeneres: "Yeah. She was right about the tube top. That was a phase… So, you know, she was very accepting. You know. I don't know, it wasn't a big thing for me to accept."
Q: "Tell me about your partner, Alex."
DeGeneres: "Partner. It's such a weird word."
Q: "Is that the word you use?"
DeGeneres: "No. It-- we were just talking about this yesterday. That like it's such a weird-- like what do you say? Girlfriend doesn't sound like enough and partner sounds weird. And I don't know what I call her. My girlfriend I guess."
Q: "Is Alex the love of your life?"
DeGeneres: "Yes. Yeah. I've never felt this way before. Ever."
Q: "You've described your life with her away from, you know, the camera as incredibly boring?"
DeGeneres: "Uh-huh. Well, she's boring. She's amazing. She's kind. She's funny. Really, really funny. Makes me laugh very hard. I'm happier than I've been in my entire life.
Q: "Are you surprised by the sexual orientation, gay marriage, that these are such hot buttons issues in American in 2004?"
DeGeneres: "Am I surprised? No. No. You know, I wish that I wasn't seen differently. I wish that people looked at me and just saw that I was a good person with a good heart. And that wants to make people laugh. And that's who I am. I also happen to be gay. And I would love to have the same rights as everybody else. I would love, I don't care if it's called marriage. I don't care if it's called, you know, domestic partnership. I don't care what it's called. I mean, there are couples that have been together, 30 years, 40 years. And all of a sudden, they lose their house, you know, the taxes kill them, because it's different because they're not married. Everything is taken away just because. You know, with Sept. 11, there are a lot of people that lost their partner and didn't get the same benefits. It's not fair. And at the same time I know there are people watching right now saying, you know, it's sick it's wrong, it's this. And it's like, I can't convince them that I'm not sick or wrong, that there's nothing wrong with me. You know, I can live my life and hope that things change, and hope that we're protected as any other couples, should something happen to me or Alex."
Q: "And we are all Homo sapiens."
DeGeneres: "We are all Homo Sapiens as my mother will tell you."
Q: "Do you want to be a mom?"
DeGeneres: "Do I want to be a mom? That is a question, isn't it? You know, we have a lot of friends who are having children right now. And I see all of the different sides of it now."
Q: "Sounds like you're trying to talk yourself out of it?"
DeGeneres: "Well, no, it's not that I'm-- it's just not that easy. I mean, even before I knew I was gay, I knew I didn't want to have a child. I knew I didn't want to have one. I never want to have to release it from me. Listen, I love babies. I love children. And I melt when I'm around them. I also love my freedom and I love that I can sleep at night."
Q: "How does Alex feel about it?"
DeGeneres: "I think that we feel exactly the same She would like to have a child at the same time, you know, I don't know. We both ... I think, we don't take it lightly."
Q: "But have you thought about like who the candidates would be if you needed a donor?"
DeGeneres: "You're number one. Then it's Dan Rather. Well, obviously you know, we'd probably go to Justin Timberlake first. Brad Pitt would be up there. That's why I have a talk show, so I can get to know these fellas."
Q: "So you're sort of screening candidates."
DeGeneres: "I'm using the whole medium to find our donor."
Q: "You know what's amazing to me, having sat in the audience, there's just this spontaneous dancing that goes on. Nobody's telling them to dance."
Q: "I mean it just kind of happens."
DeGeneres: "Well, it happens because I dance. Nobody dances anymore. Unless you're, you know, like 18 through your 20s and you go to clubs, you stop going out and you stop dancing. So these people come, and they're anywhere from 16 years old to 80 years old. And they're all dancing. And it feels good."
Q: "Your humor has always been good-natured and clean. Have you ever been tempted to work blue?"
DeGeneres: "I'll f***ing say it again. It's not like, I mean, the thing is, it's not like I don't, you know, if something drops on my hand or, you know, like I slam my finger in a car door, I'm not going to say, oh, goodness, that hurts. I'm going to curse."
DeGeneres: "The reason I do what I do is because I was influenced by Steve Martin, by Woody Allen, by Bob Newhart, by Carol Burnett, by Lucille Ball. I mean, if you put "f***" in front of anything, an audience is going to laugh. You know? It just-- it's easy. And I like a challenge."
Q: "You know, in, "Finding Nemo," Dory, your character, couldn't remember a thing. But, when it really matters, she came through. And no one was more surprised than she was."
Q: "What has surprised you most about yourself in these last few years?"
DeGeneres: It's amazing to me that I have achieved what I've achieved. Nothing has been easy. Not one step of the way has been easy. I'm really proud that I'm strong, because I didn't think I was strong. And I think that when you bring up Dory, you know, there's that moment in the movie when he's saying, you know, goodbye to her. And she starts crying and says, I feel like I'm home. That's what I feel like. I feel like I am finally home with everything."
Q: "Hit show, beautiful home. Wonderful girlfriend, does it get any better than this?"
DeGeneres: "It doesn't have to. But, it'd be great if it does."