'Relatable': From talking about her flea-infested mattress to having butlers walk in her library, Ellen DeGeneres returns to stand-up after 15 years
Ellen DeGeneres comes a full circle as she returns to stand-up after 15 long years with Netflix's upcoming show 'Relatable'
A 60-year-old lady once told me that life is a circle and the point where it started, is the point where it must end. I never fathomed it till date. But when I heard that our beloved talk-show host, Ellen DeGeneres was coming back to stand-up comedy after 15 long years of gracing the couch (and hearts) instead of a stage mic, I was thrilled and recalled what the old lady once said, not that I am emphasizing "the end" part, but get what I am saying? She's back!
On December 4, Netflix dropped the trailer of DeGeneres' upcoming stand-up titled 'Relatable,' which sounds ironic given the plethora of topics she covers on the nearly 2-minute trailer where she talks about not being relatable anymore. Explaining the genesis of the title, she says; "A friend of mine was at my house and I told him, 'I'm going to do stand-up again,' and he said, 'Really?' and I said, 'I was hoping for more than a "really,"' and he said, 'Well, do you think you're still relatable?' Just then two of my butlers stepped into the library."
Another joke comes right along to how she herself cannot relate anymore much; “I have an issue with all the emotional support animals that people are flying with now. You’re walking down the aisle to your seat, which is 10B or whatever it is, it’s like Noah’s Ark: There’s a woman with a ferret; there’s a man with a mongoose; there’s a lady with a donkey,” she says. “I say 10B — does the plane go back that far? I’ve never been back there.”
It was in the '80s that DeGeneres got her start in stand-up first working in clubs in her hometown of New Orleans. But before that, it was at the age of 13, when she realized the power of laughter. As her parents' divorced and she moved to Atlanta with her mother, she recalled using comedy as a therapy to help her mother cope through a painful divorce. "My mother was going through some really hard times and I could see when she was really getting down, and I would start to make fun of her dancing," DeGeneres told St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. "Then she'd start to laugh and I'd make fun of her laughing. And she'd laugh so hard she'd start to cry, and then I'd make fun of that. So I would totally bring her from where I'd seen her start going into depression to all the way out of it."
She applied the same therapy when she lost her girlfriend to a car accident when she was in her 20s. Earlier this year, it was revealed that this particular tragedy inspired DeGeneres to come up with her breakthrough comedy act 'Phone call to God,' which she performed on 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson' in November, 1986, becoming the first woman in the history of the show to be asked to sit down, because at that time most comedians who appeared on the Tonight Show performed their stand-up routine and then returned backstage, never invited to sit on the couch and have an on-camera chat with Carson. So that was something special and people knew she was going to be big.
At that time, her 'Phone call to god,' was an instant hit. Talking about the fleas that had infested her mattress on a floor, she made a groundbreaking hit skit, and now, decades down the line she punched the same magnitude of hit, or even more, joking about her wealthy lifestyle. Topics included in the trailer feature her rise to stardom, her struggle when she came out as gay in 1997, and her opinion on emotional support animals.
Talking about how her sitcom was canceled after she told the world that she was a lesbian, she narrates it took three years for her to get back on television. The reason for this was that "nobody's gonna watch a lesbian during the day", to which she replied; "Well they weren't watching me at night. What time of day is good for a lesbian?"
The upcoming stand-up marking her momentous return to the place where she started was filmed at the Benaroya Hall in Seattle in August during the final stops of her three-city tour. 'Relatable' comes after her last stand-up special, the Emmy-nominated 'Ellen DeGeneres: Here and Now,' which aired on HBO back in 2003. Ever since, she has devoted her time to many things, other than stand-up, but mainly it has been her successful syndicated daytime talk show 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show,' which debuted in 2003.
Her return to stand-up at a time when 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' cannot stop being anything less than marvelous, bagging awards after awards, proves that the world needs laughter more than ever. America's got Ellen, and since she is back on the mic, maybe a phone call to God will not be necessary.
'Relatable' makes its Netflix debut on December 18.