Ellen Speaks For The First Time About The Death Of Late Girlfriend

Ellen DeGeneres opened up about the death of her former girlfriend on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast.

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For the first time, the 60-year-old television host and comedian spoke about the darkest period of her life, long before she became famous. When she was just 20 years old, tragedy struck. Her then girlfriend died in a car accident. They were living together in New Orleans at the time.

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“My girlfriend was killed in a car accident when I was like 20 years old. And I wasn’t doing comedy, I think I was probably waitressing someplace at the time. I was living with her, and when she was killed, I couldn’t afford to live where we were living together. So, I moved into this tiny little basement apartment that I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor infested with fleas. I thought, ‘Why is this beautiful, 21-year-old girl gone and fleas are here?”

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Ellen used her grief to get some laughs because what to do in times of trouble but turn to laughter? That’s how the now-famous bit “Phone call to God” was born.

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“I just thought it would be amazing if we could just pick up the phone and call up God and ask questions and get an answer… It just unfolded, I just wrote the entire thing and when I finished, I read it and I thought, ‘Oh my God, that’s hilarious. I’m going to do this on Johnny Carson and I’m going to be the first woman in the history of the show be asked to sit down.”‘

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And she did just that. In 1986, Ellen was the first female comedian asked to sit down on The Tonight Show host’s couch after the stand-up routine. In 2008, she married her longtime girlfriend Portia de Rossi.