When we were younger, we thought the Oprah Winfrey Show would be the only talk show that would stand the test of time, but at the moment the record stands with David Letterman. However, David Letterman specialized on Late Night talk shows whose hosts generally last a very long time. Morning talk show hosts haven’t shown the same kind of longevity due to the hosts generally being an actor or not having the capacity to work early mornings for long spells a time.
Oprah’s been gone for almost a decade now after twenty-five years, but Ellen DeGeneres is very quickly catching up to her. The Ellen DeGeneres Show, or simply Ellen, has been on-air for sixteen years now. Ellen has made it clear she’ll be considering leaving next year in 2020, but nothing’s set in stone. Regardless, even if she does bow out, she’ll be doing it on her own terms rather than being canceled.
Ellen has been very successful because the show used a format that has remained evergreen. She’s incorporated elements that remain up-to-date with modern practices, such as social media, but at the core, her energy has remained the same. Guests on the show have always been made to feel welcome and have never shown any disinterest to be there. If you think it’s a show without a format, then think again. Ellen has worked hard in perfecting her format and it wouldn’t have been a success had she not employed certain rules.
To bring you up to speed, here are 20 Rules All Guests Have To Follow On The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
20 Be prepared to be jump scared
No matter what cool characters celebrities might play in the movies, almost no one is immune to the almighty jump scare that can attack them at any point. The only one to defy this has been Russell Crowe, when he easily brushed off a surprise.
Other than Russell, every guest who has been subjected to a surprise has jumped off their seat. There’s no pattern to this jumpscare; Ellen has it done to whoever she wants at random. Many a time, it’s a scare for even the viewers, who don’t know when the camera will cut to the person doing the scaring.
19 Never have I ever questions
The ‘Never Have I Ever’ segment has been used criminally low by Ellen. But this is understandable considering a lot of the celebrities in attendance are repeat guests (more on that below), and so there aren’t a lot of options to make this a weekly thing.
The times the game has been played, though, it’s seen the celebrities being asked extremely personal questions. More often than not, these questions deviate toward intimate details or wild occurrences that spark huge cries from the audience. Guests need to be aware that these personal questions will be asked and have to take it into stride.
18 Participate in games
The biggest celebrities have never gone an episode on Ellen without participating in at least one game. If you’re an actor who’s starring in Captain America: Civil War or Justice League, or any film that is sure to be a blockbuster, then you will be partaking in these games.
These games are always fun and you won’t find any guest complaining about them. Ellen makes sure these are very participative in nature; guests of all ages have been seen in them, such as Sandra Bullock, Chris Evans or John Cena.
17 Talk about their kids
Everyone who follows celebrities has a weird liking toward knowing everything about their personal lives. People such as the Kardashians have made a fortune simply by giving birth to children; shows such as Ellen are the reason why celebrity children discussion is a thing.
Whenever a celebrity has had a child, and is invited to the show, they’ve been asked how the parenting has been going by Ellen. Each time you’ll find the guest talking about certain hijinks with their newborn child that shows the difficulty of parenthood. Ellen doesn’t ask about the easy stuff; it’s more fun to find out how these celebrities are going through the trial and error process.
16 Talk about Ellen’s parties
Ellen is a very giving person, and she gives the most when it comes to her elaborate parties. Ellen doesn’t distinguish much between who’s invited and invites along pretty much every celebrity in Bollywood along. According to David Spade, he didn’t even get a chance to talk to Ellen in her own birthday party.
Ellen’s pretty swamped during these gatherings and doesn’t mind if you didn’t, or couldn’t, stop by to say hi. When you get to her show, however, you’re expected to dish out what you were up to during the party. Each time this is asked, an embarrassing situation comes out to the open.
15 No Cellphones during an interview unless it’s for Instagram
As it goes with every show, it’s not good manners to take out your cellphone and talk to someone while you’re being interviewed. Ellen also has a similar policy where the guest isn’t allowed to have their phone and be interrupted during the interview.
But unlike other talk show hosts, Ellen has one big exception to this rule; if you’ve got intentions to put the interview on social media. Ellen loves her Instagram, and several of her interviews have been segued into picture taking sessions to be uploaded onto Instagram. She probably got the social media bug after hosting the Oscars.
14 Be funny
Ellen is a comedian and being hilarious comes to naturally to her. But if you’ve noticed her interviews, she’s not a natural at the process. Ellen gets rather awkward when asking questions and she sets up the guest to bring out the funny aspect.
A portion of her guests aren’t comedians, yet you’ll have noticed they bring on the funny when they’re on Ellen. Comedians like David Spade and Kevin Hart have made her bawl with laughter because of how she sets the scene to crack up the audience. If you’re going to be dry in the interview, chances are it won’t work out.
13 they Usually need to be her acquaintance
Ellen makes it a point to be friends with every person who has significant standing in Hollywood. Almost every celebrity out there has their own story with Ellen as she interacts with everyone in any social gathering. This is why when a celebrity shows up on Ellen, they have instant chemistry with her – because they’re already at least her acquaintance.
We’ve seen several guests who aren’t very familiar with her, but these interviews still have conversations where they acknowledge they have at least run into Ellen once before. And if you're already her buddy, then the interview's going to be a riot.
12 Have to dance
No one is exempt from breaking into a dance on the show. The point of having a Morning show is to loosen up and have informal interactions; Ellen’s show is the prime example of this.
She shows up from within the audience while dancing as the show starts, and whenever a guest is introduced the same catchy beat is put on. More often than not these celebrities will dance their way onto the stage before taking their seat.
11 Be prepared to talk about Kardashians
There are a lot of divided opinions about the Kardashians, but with almost every member of the clan having around 100 million followers on social media, clearly, a lot of people can’t get enough of them. The biggest fangirl of the Kardashians might just be 60-year-old Ellen. Almost every interview she has with a big-time celebrity has a mention of the Kardashians.
She’s on excellent terms with every member of the family, too, and these people have been guests on her show several times. She even had Julia Roberts dress like a Kardashian recently for an Instagram picture, not to mention dressing up as one herself for Halloween.
10 Don’t be fake
The best part of being on Ellen is the fact that the celebrities don’t have to pretend to be someone they’re not. While shows like The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel Live! have guests feeling comfortable, there’s still not the air of easy-going attitude in the environment as it is on Ellen.
Guests are encouraged to be themselves and not act like they’re a big deal. Ellen’s charm means that guests who aren’t celebrities, such as the Pizza delivery guy at the Oscars, also can feel at ease and not be starstruck or scared at the prospect of appearing on TV.
9 Talk about uneasy things
Ellen is far from the show people turn into to see a conversation about serious issues around the world. We’ve already established that her brand of talk show is the easy-going one where people tune into to have a laugh and a good time.
However, this isn’t always the case as a number of issues like bullying, hate crimes, and social media outrage have been addressed. The best example is the most recent appearance of Kevin Hart where the actor laid bare his entire process of going through backlash from comments he made a decade ago. Ellen didn’t hold back on anything here and was more serious than ever, as was Hart.
8 Discuss Social Media posts
Since Ellen is rather obsessive when it comes to the stuff celebrities post on their social media, a lot of her questions have to do with asking what these people mean when they post certain stuff. Then again, we can’t just accuse Ellen here as her audience is even more animated when the prospect of finding something out is raised.
In any case, celebrities always answer Ellen’s questions when the latter asks them to elaborate on a social media post. John Cena, who posts odd pictures on Instagram, also had to explain what he meant with certain pictures.
7 Talk about dating
Ellen can be seen practically squealing with delight when a celebrity shows up and openly talks about their latest relationship. Every viewer of hers excitedly watches for times like this when they can get inside information on the latest relationship going on in Hollywood, and Ellen makes sure she gets at least a sliver out of them on this topic.
Celebrities are clearly informed beforehand which questions the host will be asking as they’re always happy to oblige when personal matters are enquired and dish out these details without any annoyance.
6 Be lively and upbeat
Certain celebrities always appear on talk shows and act as if they hate being there. Jerry Seinfeld is the biggest one guilty of this as he even said openly on Late Night with Seth Meyers that he hated being on talk shows.
On Ellen, guests aren’t encouraged to voice their displeasure at being there and are way more animated than on any other medium. Guests are always seen lively and upbeat in their appearances; this is likely because the show’s premise is to jolt people up in the morning rather than have someone droning on.
5 Come back again
Appearances by celebrities are never a one-and-done situation when it comes to the Ellen show. Her closest friends appear on her show as if it were their own house. Celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber have practically lived on the sets of Ellen what with the frequent appearances they make.
These people never look like they’ve been forced to be there and are just as happy as the first time they made an appearance. However, it’s obvious Ellen does ask them to be on the show as much as they can be, rather than appearing only on occasion.
4 Show up after winning an Oscar
The actors who win their Oscar award usually show up on Ellen the very next morning to talk about the greatest moment of their lives. In the years Ellen herself hosted the Oscars, though, this was a mandatory requirement.
Lupita Nyong’o was the most excited guest you could find after winning her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 12 Years a Slave. Ellen asks these stars to dish out on every emotion they felt at the grandest stage so as to let the audience know what is like when you’re invited to the Academy Awards.
3 Dress casually
Late night talks shows feature the guests appearing every time in formal clothing –the males wear suits while females usually wear rather skimpy dresses depending on the person – but on Ellen’s morning show, these guests very rarely show up in formal attire. The women never wear dresses, which would be weird to wear in the morning, while men only wear suits if the occasion calls for it.
On a normal show, guests wear casual clothing that makes them look like they’ve arrived at a friend’s house for early morning coffee. That’s what the show’s format is like.
2 Perform at least once
The actors who can sing do follow through in at least one of the many times they are in Ellen, while the singers always perform when they’ve got a new song or album coming out. This is an easy promotion for the artists as Ellen is a widely watched show while performing also comes with a chatting session.
Ellen is very hospitable to these guests and goes the extra mile to promote the latest song. If another celebrity is on at the time, they are invited along to sing as well.
1 No cursing
On late night talk shows, cursing is not allowed but celebrities get away with doing so as the audience at that time is never a young one. On Ellen, however, the ones watching are rarely adult males and it is either women at home or children watching. This means doling out bad words is a big no-no, which is understandable because the show’s format doesn’t suit stuff that isn’t family-friendly.
The times a celebrity does curse, is when it’s an unintentional slip-up and the guest can be seen looking very guilty at what they did.
What's your favorite part of The Ellen DeGeneres Show? Let us know in the comments!