Iconic funny woman Ellen DeGeneres remains one of the most influential figures in American pop culture, lending her family-friendly comedy to an ever-expanding array of projects that transcend her stand-up roots. DeGeneres possesses a unique talent that enables her to be funny without making fun of anyone. She’s earned a place among comedy’s pantheon of greats with her unparalleled hosting skills and a variety of hilarious film and TV roles. Whether she’s emceeing the Oscars or bringing down the house at a local comedy club, DeGeneres knows how to work a crowd, and ticket buyers lucky enough to catch her live will have the pleasure of seeing a master at work.
Born and raised in Louisiana, DeGeneres held a variety of jobs before landing a gig as the emcee of a New Orleans comedy club in 1981. Within the year she was performing stand-up all over the country, and was named Showtime’s “Funniest Person in America” by 1982. She received a personal endorsement from the king of late night television Johnny Carson in 1986 when he asked her to stick around for an on-screen chat after performing on his show – it was the first time he had made that request of a performer in the show’s history. Her career continued to blossom throughout the ‘90s with several film roles, and in 1994 she debuted her eponymous sitcom Ellen. Sitcom success gave way to talk show preeminence in the ‘00s as The Ellen DeGeneres Show dominated the format, taking home more than 10 Daytime Emmys during the decade. In 2014 DeGeneres hosted the Oscars for the second time, earning praise for her inclusive humor and building even more excitement for her continued presence on the stand-up circuit.