Ellen DeGeneres considers retiring from her talk show — and Portia de Rossi is all for it

Suzy Byrne
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Daytime TV may become a little less nice in the summer of 2020. That’s when Ellen DeGeneres‘s contract for her talk show is up — and she’s considering retirement.

The comedian, 60, told the New York Times that she’s very seriously considering the move, which would allow her to pursue other projects, specifically ones that allow her to show more sides of her personality versus being the Queen of Nice all the time. While she keeps changing her mind about what she’ll do, DeGeneres says her wife, Portia de Rossi, is urging her to move on.

Ellen DeGeneres is thinking of ending her daytime talk show to focus on other projects. (Photo: Andrew Chin/Getty Images)
Ellen DeGeneres is thinking of ending her daytime talk show to focus on other projects. (Photo: Andrew Chin/Getty Images)

The interview promotes DeGeneres’s Netflix special, Relatable, which starts streaming Dec. 18 and allowed the comedian to be a little saltier (she actually uses a curse word). Co-director Tig Notaro said the funny woman gets to be more real in it instead of how she’s typically perceived, which is “trapped in the world of being asked to dance and expected to be nice. … It’s an interesting pickle she’s in.” While DeGeneres said that her “talk show is me,” she admitted she’s “also playing a character of a talk-show host,” adding,” There’s a tiny, tiny bit of difference.”

While DeGeneres recently extended her contract, she was very close to saying no. De Rossi, who has mostly retired from acting to focus on building her art business, wants her to say goodbye to the show she started in 2003.

“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 New York Times. “There are other things she could tackle.” Post-daytime project ideas include another movie from the woman who voiced Dory in Finding Nemo, with DeGeneres saying she’d have fun playing “someone unappealing.” De Rossi also suggested that her wife do radio or a podcast, noting, “I don’t see the end of her show as her career-ending.”

Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres pictured together on Dec. 10. (Photo: RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres pictured together on Dec. 10. (Photo: RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

But on the other side is the comic’s brother, Vance DeGeneres, a comedian himself, who has changed his sister’s mind about leaving daytime more than once. His argument for keeping DeGeneres on the tube is that, in the age of Donald Trump, the country needs more of her positivity.

DeGeneres told the paper that de Rossi “gets mad when my brother tells me I can’t stop.”

DeGeneres and de Rossi recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of their first date — and they seem as close as ever in the interview. The Arrested Development alum helped with DeGeneres’s special, attending every performance, according to the newspaper. She also gave feedback and appeared onstage.

During the interview, DeGeneres said that she stopped press about herself years ago but knows the tabloid narrative about her marriage to de Rossi anyway. “I hear Portia and I are divorcing every other week or having a baby or whatever,” she said while shaking her head. As for the other tabloid gossip that DeGeneres isn’t always nice to people she works with, she replied, “That bugs me if someone is saying that, because it’s an outright lie. The first day I said: ‘The one thing I want is everyone here to be happy and proud of where they work — and if not, don’t work here.’ No one is going to raise their voice or not be grateful. That’s the rule to this day.”

DeGeneres doesn’t avoid only her own press but pretty much all press. The article also notes that she stays off social media and entirely avoids the news — due, again, to Trump, who she tells the interviewer is dangerous. “I don’t want to put that in me,” she said.


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