How Should Ellen DeGeneres Spend Her Retirement?

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Photo: Casey Durkin/NBC via Getty Image

Ellen DeGeneres is getting ready to dance her last dance. Publicly, that is. The comedian and former daytime-TV juggernaut who hosted The Ellen DeGeneres Show for 19 years on NBC, is set to step away from the spotlight for good, per comments she made during a recent stand-up tour stop at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, according to Variety. “This is the last time you’re going to see me,” DeGeneres reportedly said to a fan who asked during a Q&A portion of the show if she had any future plans to star in movies or venture into theater. “After my Netflix special, I’m done.” (DeGeneres’s upcoming Netflix special, which does not yet have a name or a release date, will be filmed during her current “Ellen’s Last Stand … Up” tour; four of the tour’s dates were recently canceled without explanation.) Even Dory, DeGeneres’s beloved character in Pixar’s Finding Nemo franchise, will have to find a new voice actor in future installments, DeGeneres clarified when asked: “I’m going bye-bye, remember.”

Elsewhere at the tour stop in Santa Rosa, DeGeneres took the opportunity to discuss the circumstances around the ending of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which was brought to a conclusion in 2022 amid reported allegations of abuse, misconduct, and toxic behavior behind the scenes at the show. “Let me catch you up on what’s been going on with me since you last saw me,” DeGeneres said. “I got chickens. Oh yeah, and I got kicked out of show business for being mean.” DeGeneres defended herself against this characterization. “I can be demanding and impatient and tough,” she said. “I am many things, but I am not mean.”

Mean or not, DeGeneres is about to have a lot of recreational time on her hands to kill. And as much as she tries to kill this time with kindness, at some point she’s going to have to find some actual pastimes to fritter away the day. We’ve taken the liberty of making a few suggestions:

• Zumba instructor (obviously)

• Talent agent for viral kids on the internet

• Etsy shop owner who sells voodoo dolls of Dakota Johnson

• Professional selfie organizer

• Corporate DEI consultant (she isn’t mean!)

American Idol fan-club president

• Painting lessons with her best bud, George W. Bush

• Travel, probably