Happy birthday, Ellen DeGeneres!
The actress, comedian, television host, and all-around impressive person celebrates her 57th birthday on Monday. We’re kicking off the celebration with a trip back to 1984 -- when Ellen was the up-and-coming comedian we just had to meet.
“So far I'm holding up pretty good!” DeGeneres, then 26 years old, joked to ET about her newfound career. “It's been a hectic two weeks. That's pretty long isn't it? Does it go much longer than this?”
DeGeneres’ comedy career was picking up some serious steam after she was crowned Showtime’s Funniest Person in America in 1982. Her comedic style was good-natured and light-hearted -- a style just about anyone could appreciate.
WATCH: Julia Louis-Dreyfus With Her Improv Group in 1982
“I want to go for things that everyone can enjoy and go home and tell their grand mom and their 2-year-old,” DeGeneres said. “I just watched other people and learned what I don't like as an audience, and what I do like -- and anything that makes an audience uncomfortable, I know not to do next time.”
It was apparent then that the comedian had a momentous career ahead of her. When we asked where she saw herself in five years, DeGeneres gave quite the prediction.
“I hope to be in acting, I want to do films, I want to do TV,” said DeGeneres. “Maybe have my own series like Lynda Carter -- do some dancing, some singing and some swimming in mascara!”
It’s no surprise that this young comic would go on to do just that. After landing television roles in series’ like Open House and Laurie Hill, DeGeneres would star in two self-titled sitcoms, before becoming one of the most successful (and hilarious) daytime talk show television hosts and encouraging fans to dance with her every day.
Watch this video to see 26-year-old DeGeneres nailing her stand-up routine and accurately predicting her own future.
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