Ask the host of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” what keeps her chatfest so inspiring after 10 years on the air and she’ll issue a decidedly Ellen-esque answer: One that’s insightful, honest and punctuated with her signature brand of good-natured yet pee-in-your pants wit.
“I’m going to let you in on a secret about how I keep my show so fresh: Febreeze,” jokes DeGeneres. “Actually, I have an amazing staff who constantly raise the bar andsurprise me. When we started the showI said it was important for us to never get stuck in a rut. So we’re constantly tryingnew things.
“I find when I’m excited, the audience is excited. And when the audience is excited, I’m excited. It’s an exciting cycle of excitement. It’s as exciting as it can be while wearing clothes.”
In the aftermath of a talkshow universe where Oprah Winfrey reigned supreme, DeGeneres has become the benevolent despot of daytime TV, controlling the airspace with her trademark kindness, compassion and mainstream likeability.
“Ellen is the funniest women we know,” says her exec producer Mary Connelly. “She’s also one of the most relatable. She sets the tone of comedy for the entire show, and what she wants is to be kind to people and make them feel better at the end of the hour than they did at the beginning.”
One the secrets to the success of the Warner Bros. TV-produced “Ellen,” says exec producer Andy Lassner, is that it never pits itself against other daytime offerings in an effort to be something better.
“We don’t look at what other shows are doing and decide to do something different,” he says. “We have Ellen, and she is constantly evolving, aware of the world around her. She sees her place in other people’s day and puts a smile on other people’s faces. Ellen is what makes our show so special.”
“Ellen also has an amazing relationship with her fans,” adds exec producer Ed Glavin. “We keep in touch with them on a daily basis through Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. They tell us what they want and we give them what they want.”
Ultimately, “Ellen” is governed by DeGeneres’ relentless mission: to make viewers feel happy.
“I really wanted my show to be one hour a day where people could forget their troubles and not hear about the bad things happening in the world, and instead we’d focus on positivity,” DeGeneres says. “Nothing feels better than when someone stops me on the street and tells me how my show got them through a hard time in their life.
“I mean, there’s a masseuse I know who does this really amazing thing with his thumbs, and that feels pretty good. But making people happy feels better.”
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