Ellen DeGeneres has been a staple of daytime TV ever since she began hosting her talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, back in 2003. Since then, the comedian has provided endless laughs for fans, partly through adorable interviews with hilarious toddlers, but mostly due to her quick wit and penchant for scaring the crap out of her guests on the show when it's Halloween time. In a new trailer for Ellen DeGeneres's Netflix comedy special, the TV host proves that she's still got her old stand-up chops that she hadn't had to use in a while.
The new special, called Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable, will premiere on Dec. 18, and based on the trailer, it'll show you a new side of the star. It's been 15 years since DeGeneres performed stand-up, according to Deadline, so DeGeneres wasn't exactly returning to the stage as the same comedian that she'd been before. Of course, she still had the talents that earned her a 2001 and a 2003 HBO stand-up special, though anybody who has watched her daily talk show would be able to tell you that.
In the new trailer for the special, DeGeneres addressed the fact that her career has skyrocketed over the past decade and change due to Ellen's success. The comedian told her audience at Seattle's Benaroya Hall, "A friend of mine was at my house and I told him, 'I'm gonna do stand up again,' and he said 'Really? ... Do you think you're still relatable?' Just then, but two of my butlers stepped into the library." Right up top, she addressed the elephant in the room, and she did it perfectly.
Not only has DeGeneres's fame changed since she last took the stage to perform stand-up, but her whole reputation has too. Now that she hosts a talk show, DeGeneres has used her platform to preach kindness and integrity, to spotlight heartwarming stories of real life heroes, and, of course, to entertain. She even once called out an audience member for taking advantage of the show's free merchandise — and she made it funny, too. In the trailer for her new Netflix comedy special, DeGeneres even joked about her new reputation, saying she could "never do anything unkind ever." But, looking at her on stage, it's hard to believe she'd even want to.
Stand-up comedy and kindness don't necessarily go hand-in-hand. So often comedians who perform that craft use people's mindless behavior for punchlines, and insult comedy is an entire genre of stand up. And it can easily get mean if you're criticizing people, even when it's funny. In the trailer for her special, DeGeneres played with that format with a joke about people's over-use of emotional support animals. She joked that on planes, people going to their seat at 10B look like they're boarding Noah's Arc — which is funny — but the real punchline came afterward when, again, DeGeneres poked fun at her own fame. "I say 10B, does a plane go back that far? I never go back there," she riffed. She set up a joke about others, but ended up making it about herself, like a true class act. She's not an insult comic, she's Ellen!
DeGeneres announced her Netflix special on her talk-show's Season 16 premiere back in September, and she told the audience, "I just all of a sudden was like I miss stand-up, I want to do it."
It seems like performing in front of an audience without a guest comes just as naturally to DeGeneres as sitting down on her show with everyone's favorite celebrities and Internet toddlers.