With her new netflix special, Ellen Degeneres: Relatable, the celebrated comedy icon returned to stand-up for her first new special in 15 years.
While it’s clear that the time is right for her triumphant return to the form, Ellen DeGeneres says she feels it will be just as clear when the time comes for her to hang up the mic on her daytime TV hosting duties — which hopefully won’t be something that happens anytime soon.
“I hope I know when. [Maybe] when people kind of are tired of me, and I think I’ll sense that,” DeGeneres told ET’s Deidre Behar at a Netflix-hosted For Your Consideration event for Relatable in Hollywood on Wednesday night.
While it seems unlikely that her devoted fans would ever get enough of her signature brand of endearing yet subtly edgy daytime TV humor, Degeneres said, “Well, people get tired of people, especially in today’s age.”
However, after thinking it over for a moment, DeGeneres realized that people getting tired of her wouldn’t actually be the death knell for her show.
“You know, I’ll walk away really when I stop having fun. I actually don’t care about the rest of the people,” she quipped. “If I’m having fun and no one’s watching, I don’t care. But if I’m not having fun and everyone’s watching, then I should walk away.”
As for her acclaimed Netflix special, DeGeneres herself said that the return to stand-up wasn’t motivated specially by the time being right or the stars aligning, but because “it was just kind of suggested to me and I was like, ‘Well, maybe so. Maybe that would be something to challenge me.'”
“I made the deal before I had anything to say. And then, once I made the deal, I panicked,” she continued, adding that she didn’t start writing anything until “like a year and a half” after signing the deal.
“I almost gave the money back twice,” DeGeneres recalled. “And then, all of a sudden, it all hit me. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I have something to say!’ And the name came to me and the whole thing.”
“But it was scary as hell,” she admitted.
Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable is streaming on Netflix now.
Check out the video below to hear more from the comedy titan about the process behind writing material for her acclaimed comedy special.