Roughly a year after she came out on the cover of Time magazine in 1997, Ellen Degeneres‘ hit sitcom Ellen was cancelled. And as difficult as it is to believe now, for a while the popular entertainer thought she might never work again.
The 58-year-old said her decision to go public with her sexuality, in the cover story and a subsequent exclusive interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show, took a toll on both her professional and private life, describing the period that followed as her “rock bottom”.
“I was the punch line of lots of jokes. I laughed at some, but I realised there’s somebody on the other side of them. It’s cruel,” DeGeneres told Out this month, appearing on the cover after being crowned their ‘Entertainer of the Year’.
If anything though, she said the way she was treated by the media and fellow entertainers simply reaffirmed her own philosophy when it comes to cracking jokes.
“I’ve never liked mean comedy, but that became even more important to me after I was the brunt of it,” she said.
Ellen on the cover of time in 1997. Source: Time
It's obviously a formula that works, especially when you consider DeGeneres' talk show is now in it's 14th season and has won multiple Daytime Emmy awards.