Dressed down but in good spirits, Ellen DeGeneres brought her eponymous talk show back to television this week for the first time in more than three weeks.
Monday’s episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” was the first one since production on the series halted March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic. In her introduction, DeGeneres said she felt compelled to return to TV in a responsible, socially distant way because “it’s really for people who are stuck at home,” including her own staff.
“I want to take your mind off of everything that’s going on in the world,” she said. “If you’re feeling down, I want to lift you up. If you’re feeling trapped, I want to set you free. If you feel like you’re going in the wrong direction, I want you to back that thing up.”
The host joked that she had decided to shoot in her living room because the rest of her home was “filled with toilet paper,” and she gave a shoutout to her wife, Portia de Rossi, who is stepping in as her director and camera operator. She also took a moment to praise medical professionals, essential workers and others who have helped amid the crisis.
“Usually I walk out and people applaud me, but today I’m applauding you — nurses, doctors, hospital staff, first responders, supermarket employees, truck drivers, everyone who keeps us going, thank you so much,” she said.
DeGeneres’ guests for the day, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, explained how they were passing the time with their family in self-isolation.
“It’s fun to be able to be lighthearted and make jokes and try to make people happy and laugh about it,” Teigen said. “But then it really hits you, and you go through these ups and downs. What we’re going through right now is unprecedented. It’s unreal.”
“Everybody’s trying to figure out how to get through this,” Legend added. “A lot of folks are out of work right now. A lot of folks are struggling and trying to figure out how to take care of their family. ... I think the key for all of us is to love each other, take care of each other, stay in touch with each other.”