Ellen DeGeneres is “Relatable” in her debut Netflix original comedy special premiering December 18. Filmed at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, Relatable marks Ellen’s return to stand-up after a 15-year hiatus, a type of performance she once said she was happy to give up. Speaking of giving up, she also just recently hinted that she’s considering finishing up her highly popular daytime talk show gig that she’s in contract with until 2020, so no decision has been made as yet.

Chatting with Jimmy Kimmel about her stand up comedy, she said, “I was done with it, you know? I did it for like 20 years, and it was touring, and it was really hard because it was the beginning, and no one knows who you are. So when I was done with it, I was done. Then it had been 15 years and I decided I miss it and [thought] it would be a challenge to do another one, and I just decided to start writing. And I’m really happy with it.”

Reflecting on her humble beginnings as a stand-up comic in Louisiana in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including the time she was named “Funniest Person in America.” I had 10 minutes of material and I became [known as] The Funniest Person in America. It was a contest that Showtime held, and I won.

The comedian’s career took off in 1994 with the debut of her own sitcom Ellen, based on material from her stand-up routines. “I lost my sitcom when I came and it took me three years for me to get back on television,” she states. “There was this one station manager that said, ‘No one’s gonna watch a lesbian during the day.’ I said, ‘They weren’t watching me at night. What time is good for a lesbian?’” After the sitcom came to an end in 1998, she developed a number of other shows before kicking off with her beloved daytime talk show in 2003.

“A few years ago, I started ending my show by saying, ‘Be kind to one another.’ But here’s the downside, I can never do anything unkind, ever,” she says. “I shouldn’t even have a horn in my car. Like, if someone cuts me off in a dangerous way, and if I honk, they’re like, ‘Ellen?!’” That’s when she playfully recreates having to smile and wave at the aforementioned driver.

On her new show, Ellen explained, “It’s called Relatable because I believe everyone is relatable, no matter if our lives are different, but I get to kind of peel back the curtain. It’s a funny special, but it’s also meaningful. Like, I share things that happened in my life and things that changed my life, and what  I believe that we all are — which is relatable.”

Relatable debuts on Netflix on Dec. 18.


About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.