Ellen DeGeneres’ new special is called Relatable and will drop on Netflix on December 18th of this year. The project marks the first time the comedian-turned-talk show host has returned to her roots in stand-up comedy in 15 years.
The last time Degeneres took the stage was back in 2003 when she filmed the HBO special Here and Now filmed at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. In May 2017, DeGeneres announced her plans to return to stand-up with an eight-performance, three-city tour in late summer. She performed three shows in San Diego, three in San Francisco and two in Seattle, where footage for the Netflix special was filmed. She and Netflix announced their partnership in the typically droll manner that DeGeneres has made her brand by simply posting an exchange on Twitter. The streaming giant tweeted a request that DeGeneres return to stand-up on their platform, and the Ellen host retweeted and commented with the short and to the point, “Let me think about it. OK I’m in.”
The comedian and network announced the title for the special in a similarly twee fashion, releasing a clip of DeGeneres on the phone with famous friends like Bono, Reese Witherspoon and Barack Obama telling them the special was titled “Relatable” and that it would stream on December 18th. The announcement comes fairly quickly after the special wrapped filming in late August. The final two performances of DeGeneres’ tour occurred at the Benaroya Hall in Seattle and concluded the three-city engagement a little over a week ago on August 23rd.
While fans are no doubt chomping at the bit to see DeGeneres back onstage, the comedian’s been far from idle in the decade and a half since she last released a stand-up special. In addition to hosting her long-running show and connecting to a massive daytime audience, she’s also been very busy with her company A Very Good Production. The company primarily produces reality programming for NBC including Ellen’s Game of Games and reality rom-com First Dates. She also reprised her hit role as Dory from Finding Nemo for 2016’s Finding Dory and appeared as herself on The Big Bang Theory and Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
Relatable almost serves as a the cherry on top of a long and triumphant comeback for DeGeneres. After the cancellation of her sitcom in response to the exodus of advertisers after her character came out, DeGeneres was on the brink of bankruptcy. She spent several years out of the limelight before returning to stand-up in 2000 with an HBO special called In the Beginning. She followed that up with several high profile hosting gigs and guest starring roles until finally starting her talk show in 2003. Since, she’s cemented her position as one of daytime television’s most significant voices and a force to be reckoned with in many other areas of the entertainment industry.