“The talk show is me, but I’m also playing a character of a talk-show host," she notes. "There’s a tiny, tiny bit of difference.”
She also admits to keeping her darker jokes in check.
“It’s escapism for what’s going on, one hour of feeling good,” she says of her program. “At the core it’s a comedy show. But if it’s not funny, at least it feels good.”
When it comes to the tabloid rumors that she isn't kind to those she works with, DeGeneres calls them 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,'" she shares. "No one is going to raise their voice or not be grateful. That’s the rule to this day.”
Although The Ellen DeGeneres Show is a clear critical and commercial hit, the Times says she was actually close to declining to extend her contract until the summer of 2020. DeGeneres says she changes her mind all the time, with her older brother, Vance -- who's also a comedian -- being a proponent of keeping the show going, and her wife, Portia de Rossi feeling otherwise.
“She gets mad when my brother tells me I can’t stop,” DeGeneres says about de Rossi.
Clearly, de Rossi is DeGeneres' first priority. During the interview, DeGeneres finds out that de Rossi fell while riding a horse and got a concussion, and is described as "shaken."
“This is my biggest fear," she shares. “I’m scared all the time for her.”
De Rossi later forecasts her wife's career when the show eventually comes to an end.
“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,” the Arrested Development actress says. “There are other things she could tackle.”