Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Michael Parkinson In Conversation With Ellen

MP:  Over the years I have had the immense privilege of talking to men and women who have made an enormous contribution to society.  Actors, musicians, politicians, spiritual leaders and great humanists have all sat beside me over the years to promote their latest projects.  Without exception, or perhaps with the exception of Meg Ryan, it has been my very great honour to share with you the company of these great people.

Now, my next guest is perhaps not so well-known.  Her political and diplomatic skills are not sophisticated, and her contributions to the arts have been, some would say most unkindly, lacklustre and derivative.  She lacks the motor skills to excel at any sport but basic dog-paddling, and although she enjoys singing, this activity has resulted in threats from her neighbours, and has not attracted any record deals.  A failure at school, she dropped out at a young age, and has not pursued any formal education since.

It is a pleasure and a privilege to invite Ellen to the couch.

[cheers and clapping]

Welcome, Ellen.  Let me start by directly addressing that elephant in the room.  It was with no small degree of nervousness that I accepted the request of your agent to have you on the show.  Your reputation, as it were, precedes you.  There was the famous couch-chewing incident on Oprah's show, the time you bit Normie Rowe on the Midday Show, and the now infamous time you co-hosted the Logies with Muhammad Ali, and offended him most egregiously by ...... how shall I put it ...... nuzzling his man-garden.  Have you put your wild child days behind you?

Ellen:  [grin. open mouth. big wet sneeze]

MP:  Bless you.  I shall take your silence as a yes, and I must say I am delighted you have put that youthful ...... Ellen, please ...... noooo, back in your own seat ...... noooo, that's my earpiece, careful with it......whoops, there goes the vase.  All right, are we settled back in our own seat now?

[wipes face with handkerchief]  That tongue in my ear takes me back to my interview with Alice Cooper.  Only the tongue, on that occasion, was not attached to anything.

[pauses for polite laughter]

Now Ellen, you have attracted a somewhat unfair reputation of having dubious hygiene habits.  I say unfair, as it it clear that right now you are engaging in some very thorough cleaning.  Very thorough indeed ...... Perhaps when you are done we can proceed with the rest of this interview......

Ellen:  snrrrrph, snrrrrrrrrmmph, snrmp, hrnnnnn, hrnnnnn, hrnnnnn

[sits up. grin]

MP:  It is well known that your childhood was not easy.  You were abandoned as a child, and lived in an orphanage until you were adopted by a childless family.  At this point your fortunes turned around, didn't they?  The family was very loving, and stuck with you through your difficult teenage years, in spite of some very reckless behaviour indeed.  Do you feel the love and guidance you received from them made you who you are today, and what would you say is your greatest debt to them?

Ellen: pfffffffffft [grin]

MP:  Dear God! What is that disgusting smell???? ...... I think I'm going to be sick ...... Perhaps this is a good time to say thank you and good night to our first guest.

[covers nose with sleeve]

After the break, Stephen Fry.  Again.

Ellen: [grin]

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