Who's going to be on 'Ellen's Somewhat Special Special'? Funny you should ask ...
With "Idol" in the record books for the year, Ellen DeGeneres clearly has some time on her hands -- enough time to plan and host her own variety special and also to plan and execute an after-hours break-in at what she teases as "a major building" in Chicago.
Ah, hobbies -- love 'em! Especially hobbies that sound illegal and involve motion-picture cameras. As long as they don't involve, you know, Rip Torn.
The break-in (at a secret location, or "they'll be ready for me and they won't let me in") will be part of the fourth "Ellen's Somewhat Special Special," the once-a-year variety show she calls a "whole different animal" than her daily gig -- even though it will include her trademark question-and-answer bit.
"I like ... that I get to play more and it's a little closer to doing stand-up for me than doing my show."
Acts she's high on: Japanese troupe Kabuki Expert ("really cool to watch and very funny"), Dominic "The Flag Man" Lacasse and Australian magician James Galea. And one idea she's high on for the future: showcasing more "really funny, smart, clean" stand-up comics on her daily talk show.
But is the new record-label exec high enough on Internet sensation Greyson Michael Chance to book her young client on the variety special? Sure, she says -- if it were all about her. Which it isn't.
"If it was just – what's best for me, yes, you'd see him on the show. But I just want him to be ready."
~~ The Ministry can think of a few Hollywood parents who might learn a thing or two from Ms. DeGeneres. ~~
"Ellen's Somewhat Special Special," part of the TBS "Just for Laughs" festival, tapes June 16 in Chicago and airs on that cable network at 9 p.m. June 27.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
Photo: Greyson Michael Chance and Ellen DeGeneres during the May 24 taping of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." Credit: Michael Rozman / Warner Bros. / Associated Press.
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