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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