Ellen DeGeneres on Her Variety Special, Prop 8 and Closeted Celebrities


Photo courtesy: TBS

As if she weren’t busy enough with her daily talk show, new
marriage, philanthropic endeavors, American Express ads and her new Cover Girl
campaign, Ellen DeGeneres is adding at least one more project to her full
plate. Ellen’s Even Bigger Really Big Show, returns for another edition and
airs on TBS on Nov. 29 as part of the network’s Comedy Festival at Caesar’s
Palace in Las Vegas.

Ellen took time out from rehearsals to talk to the press about the
variety special, her feelings about Proposition 8 and how she’d like to
literally pick a kid from a Gap ad.

This being the second consecutive year that Ellen has
headlined the TBS special, she was asked what’s different about the latest
edition. With her usual quick wit she offered, “Well, the title says it’s even
bigger so I think that says it all. Last year’s was really, really big and this
year is even bigger.”

“I think it’s going to be the same kind of excitement, the
same kind of acts that you have never seen before. We’ve brought people in from
all over the world that are fascinating to watch. I think mostly you’re going
to just sit there and wonder how did [the performers] even think up this idea
[and] that it would be a possibility as a talent.”

Since she’ll soon be spending time in Las Vegas for the show, Ellen said she’s
hoping it’s not all work and no play.

“There are a lot of new comedians that I haven’t seen,” she
said, “and I hope I get time to go see some of them. I think I’m going to be
rehearsing and working and busy the whole time but I hope I get to see some of
them because I really haven’t seen any of the newer comedians because I’m
always busy.”

Ellen also touched on the fact that while she loves the
largeness of a big stage in a new arena, she does not have a desire to return
to touring with her stand-up act.

“I don’t miss traveling and sleeping in a hotel every night.
That touring got really old and I did it for 15 years. I had no idea I was
going to be a talk show host but I used to tell the audience at the end of the
show when I’d do question and answer [that] I’m going to make you come to me
and I’m not going to come to you anymore and now they do come to me. I do
standup every single day. I still get that live energy exchange between the
audience and myself. I still get to say the things I want to say and comment on
and so [but] I guess I’m going to get that at Caesars. It’s 4,000 people. It’s
a big stage. It’s a brand new energy.
I’ll probably be … not so much nervous but excited just because it’s a
different place.”

With massive ebbs and flows in last week’s political
developments, Ellen also spoke about how she felt when Barack Obama won the
Presidency and then things took a downward turn the next day when Proposition 8
failed to be defeated in the state of California.

“The next day was what a lot of people felt, which was
energized that Obama got in and excited for that and then…the next day seeing
that there was a big loud voice saying you are not equal to us and that feels
bad. That feels really, really bad … you are different and you’re not equal. It
feels very bad. It took a little bit of air out of me from the excitement from
the night before.”

But that the feeling of defeat didn’t last very long. “I do
feel hopeful. I feel excited and I’m not tired or anything. But certainly that
was an emotional day for me the next day and trying to do a show when I felt
that sad inside but I kind of bounced back. I feel good now.”

One recent commentary on Proposition 8 that she couldn’t
help but mention came from a certain MSNBC personality whose video has been
widely seen on the Internet this week. “I thought Keith Olbermann was so brilliant and eloquent,” she said.
“[The video] is on our website and I‘m sure you can find it just about anywhere but I just thought what he
said is all that needs to be said. It really is just about following your heart
and people really paying attention to what the right thing is.”

“I think this Saturday there’s a nationwide March…and
hopefully it will be done peacefully and in the right way.”

Olbermann’s commentary mentioned that the way gays are being
treated is not very far removed from another group that was long held down and
kept civil rights at bay.

“It just isn’t fair and if you look back as you watch Keith
Olbermann what he talks about is this happened to Black people,” Ellen added. “They weren’t
allowed to marry. They’re still holding on to some form of this. I have faith
that people will realize that this is wrong.”

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