Is Ellen DeGeneres as nice as people think she is?

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres, who appears to have settled into a role as the Queen of Daytime Talk for the post-Oprah Winfrey era, has been thinking about leaving her wildly successful show, The New York Times reports.

“DeGeneres is considering … retiring from the long-running hit show that bears her name,” The Times reports. “She’s been receiving conflicting advice from her wife, the actress Portia de Rossi, and from her older brother, Vance DeGeneres, a comedian, and has changed her mind more than once.”

De Rossi reportedly wants DeGeneres to quit, while Vance DeGeneres has been encouraging his sister to stick with what’s working for her.

In an in-depth interview with Ellen DeGeneres, the paper also explores — with DeGeneres’ support, we think — the issue of whether the TV icon, who’s known for her niceness, may not be as nice as people have been led to believe.

“In person, she is more blunt, introspective and interesting than she is on the show, willing to express mild irritation that might seem off-key in front of a national audience,” The Times reports. “She’s also much more likely to explore dark corners of her psyche, regrets, second thoughts, anxieties that linger. And DeGeneres is appealingly open about the tensions in her career between providing a cultural safe space and delivering laughs, and says she has learned to care less about being liked.”

The Times interview comes as DeGeneres is about to be seen in her first stand-up special in 15 years, “Relatable,” due out Dec. 18 on Netflix. The title apparently spoofs DeGeneres’ approachable, down-to-earth image.

“In sharp contrast to her public image as everyone’s good friend, happy to listen, she presents herself — with tongue in cheek — as cartoonishly aloof and indifferent, stuck in a privileged bubble, cracking several jokes, for instance, about her fabulous wealth,” The Times says of the special. Read the entire interview here

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