February 10, 2005
America's newest daytime queen, Ellen DeGeneres, makes America laugh, wins Emmys and dances the day away with some of Hollywood's hottest stars. Not a bad life. "I would say that it's probably been the best time of my life," Ellen told us.
But it hasn't always been that way for the daytime darling who used to sell vacuums to ordinary housewives. Ellen recalled one of her sales: "She said, 'Why do I need a light on the front of a vacuum cleaner?' And I said, 'That's so you can vacuum at night, so you don't have to turn on a light and wake people up.' And she bought it just because she thought it was funny."
It's that humor which has carried Ellen from sales to doing the slide step with Justin Timberlake. So how does Ellen come up with her show's successful ideas? "I pour a drink," Ellen joked. "No, we have a think tank. We have writers, we have scientists, plumbers."
But a lot of Ellen's ideas have more to do with helping people than humor. "I think people who do something good for other people should be rewarded and surprised by being rewarded," she explained.
Ellen has picked up her own rewards, like a Grammy nomination for her book on tape. "They asked me to do the book on tape," Ellen recalled. "And I really didn't want to do it. It's hard enough to write a book, I didn't want to read it."
And she also received birthday wishes from around the
country. "Diane Sawyer, if you're watching, I'm
so sorry," Ellen told us. "She had a choreographer,
and they took dance lessons for weeks, which is a lie.
But I should have thanked Diane more."
Don't worry Ellen, we'll be sure and pass that along.
And if you know somebody who Ellen should reward for
doing something good, be
sure to let her know.