Ellen is hosting the Oscars (next Sunday on ABC). Again. Because she did a great job the first time. And we’d like to see more of her. And she suits the moment, because things are looking up and she’s got a sunny personality. Good choice, Academy!
It’s been a long time since Ellen came out on the cover of Time magazine in 1997, and on her sitcom Ellen in the “Puppy” episode, and in a one-on-one with Oprah on her show. Then it all just got too gay for ABC and Disney and they stopped promoting Ellen and ratings tanked and they cancelled it and the only thing Ellen had going for her for awhile was the bisexual Anne Heche.
They were an adorable couple and Anne was hot hot hot in the career department but then the work dried up for her, too. They split, and Anne went crazy for a minute.
That was in 2000. Ellen laid low for a while. She plotted. And planned. A triumphant return was in the works. Here are 10 awesome things she did on her way back up to the top.
1. She hosted the Emmy Awards in 2001.
You may recall that was a tough gig, given it was just weeks after 9/11 and the ceremony was postponed twice because it maybe felt a little unseemly to celebrate TV shows while we’re bombing Afghanistan. Fuck it, we did anyway and DeGeneres pulled it off with aplomb: “What would bug the Taliban more than seeing a gay woman in a suit surrounded by Jews?”
2. She played Dory in Finding Nemo in 2003.
“A sea monkey has my money.” So funny. Funny enough to inspire a sequel, Finding Dory, due out in 2016.
3. She started her own talk show.
The Ellen Degeneres Show premiered in the fall of 2003 and her first guest was Jennifer Aniston who was like the biggest thing around at that moment in time. Remember that whole flower theme thing on the set? Here’s Ellen’s first monologue.
4. She hosted the Oscars in 2007.
She done so good on the Emmys that one year, the folks at the Academy said come do our show. She did great. Loved the smoking jacket. Regis Philbin’s only complaint was, “there’s not enough Ellen.” Not enough Ellen!
5. She adopted a dog and gave it to her hair person and then cried about it on TV.
A few months after the Oscars there was a big blow up over this dog Iggy who is adorable as you can see. There were tears and death threats and lots of “awareness” about pet adoption, which is a good thing. Plus there’s this clip of Ellen’s meltdown, which is extraordinary.
6. She married Portia de Rossi.
In 2008, Ellen gave girlfriend of four years de Rossi a three-carat pink diamond ring and they got hitched in August. Two years later de Rossi changed her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres. So romantic! Where are the babies?
7. She replaced Paula Abdul on American Idol and then had the guts to bow out and admit that the show “didn’t feel like the right fit for me.”
It really didn’t. Good call, Ellen.
8. She found out she’s related to Princess Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.
Around the time of the big royal wedding, Ellen announced on her show she’s Kate’s cousin. It’s 15 times removed, but still. There’s no clip, but some guy in England or wherever has 572 views breaking the big news. Let’s give him some love. He’s cute. Unrelated, Ellen is Madonna’s eleventh cousin.
“I’m honored to have been chosen by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as Special Envoy for Global AIDS awareness. The fight against AIDS is something that has always been close to my heart. And I’m happy that I can use my platform to educate people and spread hope. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go look up what ‘envoy’ means.”
Bonus awesome thing:
Last month she bought this amazing house for $40 million.
People who know these things say it may be the best house in L.A. Well of course it is. Oscar after party!