Ellen DeGeneres opens up on the heart-wrenching story of her ex-girlfriend's death
Ellen DeGeneres has been providing comic relief since she first launched her career with her eponymous sitcom, Ellen, back in 1994. And while her personal experiences and childhood have provided ripe material for her stand up comedy - in particular, the assortment of oddball jobs she worked, which included J.C Penney's, being a waitress at T.G.I Friday's, working as a house painter, as well as a hostess and bartender - she is also known to be a rather private person.
So when she got uncharacteristically frank about her past in a recent episode of Dax Shepard's podcast, Armchair Expert, it was hard not to latch onto every word. During the interview, Ellen opened up about all the struggles and hardships she faced before becoming the highly successful talk show host that we know and love today.
Ellen DeGeneres really opened up to actor, Dax Shepard, during a recent episode of his podcast, Armchair Expert. While she spoke about everything from her financial woes to the tragic loss of an ex-girlfriend, the 60-year-old still managed to inject her trademark humour into even the most upsetting of recollections.
Speaking about being a young, struggling comedian, DeGeneres stated "I was by myself. It's not like I had friends I could afford to put up with me. I wasn't flying private. I was flying commercial all the time and changing planes. I hate flying. I get anxiety when I fly so I couldn't wait to stop touring."
She also revealed that her hit sitcom, Ellen, which ran between 1994 and 1998 was cut because she came out. "This is a long story, but they really didn't want me to come out. I wanted to come out. I said, 'It's my life. I want to come out. I want the character to come out. It's the time.' I said, 'I'm going to lose the career. Like, you can just put another show on. It's my show to lose," she said.
"Even though it wasn't my show. They finally let me come out and it was a huge success the night of. It was celebrated...Then, they just stopped promoting it because they were scared."
Ellen then got extremely honest about how low this point in her life was, "Everybody assumed I was just nonstop talking about it. It hurt my feelings" she revealed. "I was getting jokes made at my expense on every late-night show. People were making fun of me. I was really depressed. And because of that, and because my show was cancelled, I was looked at as a failure in this business. No one would touch me. I had no agent, no possibility of a job, I had nothing."
She also revealed that her ex-girlfriend tragically died in a car accident. "I was living with her, and when she was killed, I couldn't afford to live where we were living together," she began.
"So, I moved into this tiny little basement apartment that I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor infested with fleas. I thought, 'Why is this beautiful, 21-year-old girl gone and fleas are here? And I just thought it would be amazing if we could pick up the phone and call up God and ask questions and actually get an answer."
While it's evident that the funny-woman we know today experienced her fair share of adversity, I think we can all agree that it's made us love and appreciate her a little bit more.