Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Ellen DeGeneres has made her return to the spotlight two years after the cancellation of her talk show.

She opened the first night of Ellen's Last Stand... Up Tour, her new comedy show which is also set to appear on Netflix.

The 66-year-old started her Hollywood show by saying "I didn't care what other people thought of me, and I realised... I said that at the height of my popularity".

DeGeneres has had a difficult few years, after employees on the Ellen DeGeneres show accused executive producers of over 'toxic workplace' claims.

'No mean people in show business'

Three producers were fired amid allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment and DeGeneres apologised on air, but in May 2021 she announced the show would end the following year, after 19 seasons.

DeGeneres told the Los Angeles crowd she had been doing lots of gardening since the show ended and collecting chickens as pets - adding that as a former talk show host she appreciated the pressure of having to lay an egg each day.

"What else can I tell you?" she added.

"Oh yeah, I got kicked out of show business. There's no mean people in show business."

People's Esther Kang, who was at the show, wrote: "Even though Ellen DeGeneres is looking back at her talk show with a sense of humor, she can't deny that her unceremonious exit left deep wounds."

Kang added: "After musing about how she became the 'most hated person in America' amid the swirling headlines, DeGeneres said that the ordeal reduced her television persona into a shell of its former glory.

"'The hate went on for a long time and I would try to avoid looking at the news,' she recalled. 'The 'be kind' girl wasn't kind. That was the headline.'

"Noting how she ended her talk show each day by saying, 'Be kind to one another,' DeGeneres joked that it became a 'problem' because people started to think of her as a 'one-dimensional character who gave stuff away and danced up steps.'"

The comedian also referenced the cancellation of her 1990s sitcom - which occurred after she came out as gay.

“For those of you keeping score, this is the second time I’ve been kicked out of show business…Eventually they’re going to kick me out for a third time because I’m mean, old, and gay," she said.

She also said that having been in the public for so long, the takedown she experienced has "been such a toll on my ego and my-self esteem".

"There's such extremes in this business, people either love you and idolise you or they hate you, and those people somehow are louder," she added.

The stand-up show ended with a question and answer session - with one audience member saying they had been inspired by DeGeneres' ability to bounce back after a recent tough period.

It’s hard to dance when you’re crying,” DeGeneres said. “But I am dancing now.”