Audience waits to see Ellen
BURBANK, CA - It was a long day for a short visit with Ellen DeGeneres but the comedian and host was as gracious, kind and quick as she seems on air.
We talked for seven minutes about how her show has evolved from comedy and interviews to more philanthropy and non-celebrity interviews. She seems to enjoy ferreting out hidden talent and shining the spotlight on those quietly doing good.
PHOTOS: News10 visits Ellen
Just prior to the interview I watched the taping from backstage and observed, first hand how efficient the staff is with moving celebrities (and their significant entourages) through the small hallways lined with make up and hair rooms, green rooms and an endless number of pages, producers and assistants with cell phones at the ready.
Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and La Reid were the celebrity guests and one of their assistants was pretty worked up over the lack of gum and breath mints available to the stars.
The holding area for Ellen fans is across the street from the studios and at the appointed time the studio audience is escorted en masse through the "Riff Raff" room with the Ellen store and into the very cold studio.Ellen's producers tell me she likes the studio cold, between 68 and 72 degrees. Its probably a good idea with as much dancing as the audience does before, during and after taping.
I visited the set a day after Ellen was in the news for experiencing heart palpitations. Her producers were still talking amongst themselves about it being overblown in the media. I asked Ellen how she was feeling and she blew it off saying she was fine.
Our visit ended with a few questions from News10 viewers who wanted to know if she cooks or gardens, about her interest in music and writing.
Ellen shared that she actually started writing songs before comedy and as I was about to ask a follow up, her producer gave me the "wrap" sign ending the interview.
I'll have to follow up with her on another visit.