The news that Ellen DeGeneres‘ contract for her hit talk show was up last year sent rumors flying that the star comedian would retire as host and pass the position off to someone else. All of these rumors turned proved untrue, as DeGeneres ended up extending her contract for another three years. Here are some of the absurd tabloid claims that Gossip Cop debunked on the subject.
Back in fall 2018, the National Enquirer and its copycat website RadarOnline wrote that Extra host Mario Lopez was “gunning” for Ellen DeGeneres’ spot, simply because he had filled in for her earlier that summer while she was on vacation. According to so-called “industry spies,” Lopez had gone on a “charm offensive” to earn the seat, whatever that means. DeGeneres was reportedly anxious to find a host “she approves of” so that the show’s ratings wouldn’t “suffer” once she retired. The story was clearly untrue: DeGeneres had not mentioned anything about an intention to retire in 2020. Gossip Cop also checked in with Lopez’ rep for comment, who told us that “he would never ‘gun’ for anyone’s job, especially Ellen’s.”
In March, Life & Style picked up the rumor by flat-out claiming, incorrectly, that Ellen DeGeneres was retiring and on the search for a replacement host. The magazine contended that she had chosen to leave the show at her wife’s urging and was considering Neil Patrick Harris, Chrissy Teigen, and Ellie Kemper as possible successors. “It’s not an easy decision, but it’s one she’ll be making soon,” a supposed insider told the tabloid. In fact, Gossip Cop was assured by our own source close to the show that DeGeneres had “no plans to retire” at the time.
The following month, it was Kristen Bell who was supposedly being “groomed” to take over from Ellen DeGeneres, according to OK! and nobody else. “Ellen thinks she’s adorable and would not only make a great interviewer, but also connect with her demographic,” said yet another unnamed tipster. Another source close to the situation confirmed off the record for Gossip Cop that the story was totally made-up. In fact, a little over a month after this bust, DeGeneres announced during a taping of her show that she had signed on to do at least another three years. Whoops.
But before that, one more story arrived at the “Ellen DeGeneres is retiring” party. In the same week as the phony article about Kristen Bell, Perez Hilton theorized that the host was deciding between Katy Perry, Mario Lopez, and Sam Hayes as a replacement. The gossip blogger didn’t actually have any evidence for this theory, but Gossip Cop checked in with our production source again and was told that DeGeneres would most likely renew her contract — and then, of course, she did. It’s entirely possible that at some point in the future Ellen DeGeneres will decide to pass the torch off to any one of these hypothetical candidates or someone entirely different, but that won’t happen for at least another three years.