LOS ANGELES- As news comes out that comedian Ellen DeGeneres is ending her talkshow after its 19th season, the industry is already looking to see who is going to fill her place. But times are very different from when Ellen started her show, when she started employing a carefully cultivated appearance of niceness that now conflicts with reports coming from those who have worked closest with her. Is it time for Ellen to come out of the closet… As a mean person?
“When Ellen started, no one was ready for a lesbian comic, let alone one who was… Well… Kind of a prick. She really fooled her audience, though, with the nicey-nicey act. But now everyone knows the real her, and she’s losing viewers like crazy,” says industry insider Max Sanders.
“So no one buys the nice act anymore, but does she still need it?” Adds entertainment blogger Sierra Grindstone. “Americans right now are all about authenticity. We don’t want fake niceness. We also don’t want genuine niceness either, because that makes us feel bad for being such dicks. I think we’re ready.”
“The wants and attitudes of the American people have evolved over the years. We’ve moved through irony, sincerity, empathy, and now we’re all in on wrath,” says comedy historian Guy Person. “I think we’re ready for Ellen to entrance who she really is, as kind of a dick. It would be her greatest reinvention.”
When asked who’s likely to take over for Ellen’s timespot, Sanders says, “It should be someone who is who they are. They don’t put on a facade; they own their flaws. We don’t want anyone kissing the ass of Hollywood and Politicians we all know are awful. We want someone awful enough to tell them they are awful. We’re really for someone to keep it real. And no one can keep it real like angry lesbians.”
The search is just starting for a replacement for DeGeneres. Word is they’re looking for “Jane Lynch on The Weakest Link” type person, and Rosie O’Donnell has already contacted her agent to start making calls.