Talk show hosts will do almost anything to get you to watch.
They’ll enter in funny costumes, go on location to strange places, and even give away valuable prizes, all to attract your eyeballs.
But if you watch Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show this week, you’ll see something you’ve never seen before – a host fronting the entire program from a hospital bed.
And it’s not a ploy to get ratings, although it may well wind up doing just that.
The woman who has hosted both the Oscars and the Emmys was picking up her dog in her kitchen on Sunday when she felt that dreaded twinge most us have experienced at some time in our lives.
She was paralyzed by pain, unable to move and help was called.
DeGeneres was whisked off to the hospital and diagnosed as having a torn ligament in her back, a painful injury that won’t allow her to sit, stand or move.
What was going to happen to her highly successful talk show as she writhed in agony?
The veteran comedian refused to give it up and in the grand tradition of Hollywood, decided that the show must go on.
So it did, with DeGeneres being wheeled on stage in a hospital bed, conducting her usual interviews from there.
And as expected, she turned the entire incident into one big joke.
“I’m not being lazy,” the 49-year-old told her audience. “I’m forced to bed rest right now. … And, let me just start by saying I’m on pills.”
“This is not a sweeps stunt,” she added. “This is not like what Regis (Philbin) did – that whole bypass surgery.”
Her guests joined in the spirit, being ‘seated’ in adjustable beds for the length of the show.
“This is a first for me to be in bed with you,” American Idol host Ryan Seacrest told the prone comic.
DeGeneres’ doctor claims she’ll have to lie down on the job for at least another week, before even being able to think about returning to her old dancing self.
If you’d like to see this unusual arrangement, lie down and watch the show for a while. It airs weekdays at 5pm on Citytv.