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The Insider

May 12, 2003  •  Post A Comment

The heavy rains slowed arrivals and the start of the taping of Ellen DeGeneres’ June 28 HBO special but didn’t dilute the celebrity quotient-including Ellen’s mom Betty, Alan Cumming, Sex & the City executive producer Michael Patrick King and Rosie O’Donnell and partner Kellie Martin-nor dampen the spirits of the crowd at New York’s Beacon Theater for the final stop on Ellen’s Here & Now tour.
“It’s a lovely way to start your job,” Ms. DeGeneres said in response to the first of many standing ovations she would earn throughout an evening in which she proved she’s the Perry Como of conversational observational comedy-we never see her sweat. She never hits the wrong note. Even her neatly rapped and hilarious rendition of Salt-N-Pepa’s Shoop seems oh-so-easy to pull off.
Instead of a standard encore, Ms. DeGeneres entertained questions from the crowd-there was the kissing-Sharon-Stone question, the gay-role-model question, the butch-non-butch question and the Celine-Dion-look-alike question and the what-are-you-doing-after-the-show question.
Her adroit and gently pointed responses have The Insider actually looking forward to a daytime show for the first time in years. Telepictures and Warner Bros. Television will launch The Ellen DeGeneres Show this fall, after a summer in which Ms. DeGeneres promotes other projects, including her upcoming book of essays and stories and her work in Pixar’s Chasing Nemo. Ms. DeGeneres broke the embargo several months early and told the Beacon Theater crowd it’ll be able to see the talk show at 10 a.m. weekdays on WNBC-TV, just one of the 14 NBC owned stations that will carry the talk/variety hour.
“We thank her for making the programming announcement,” a good-humored spokeswoman for WNBC-TV said.
Seams Like The Insider Was First
Women’s Wear Daily, the glossy mag regarded as sooooo cutting-edge, just recently reported that the VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards are deader than a pashmina wrap. Last November’s eighth annual bash was the last.
Hmmm. The Insider, who has not passed for cutting-edge since she was born in what would eventually become known as the first wave of the baby boomer generation, told you that more than five months ago. And she doesn’t need to tell you now that this made-for-TV marriage of music, models, celebrity and fashion simply never resonated much outside those self-same circles. That didn’t stop folk at VH1 and Vogue from trying. And it didn’t stop the annual rumors that almost each year would be the event’s last.