Ellen DeGeneres represents happiness
Ellen DeGeneres "represents happiness" for a lot of people.
The 57-year-old talk show host is proud that her self-titled daytime programme is deliberately uplifting as she has never found humour in poking fun at other people's expense, because she knows first-hand how painful that can be.
She said: "It is a happy show, on purpose. I represent happiness to a lot people...
"[As a child,] I was very tender, very sensitive, and I still am. I never want to hurt anybody. I want to make people laugh. I didn't think it was ever funny to make fun of people. There's so much to laugh at without it being at someone else's expense."
Ellen came out as a lesbian in April 1997 and is an outspoken advocate for gay rights.
And the presenter - who married 43-year-old actress Portia di Rossi - in 2008 after four years together - admitted TV producers thought she may have an "agenda to turn the world gay" when she first landed her show.
She told Parade magazine: "I think a lot of station managers thought I would have an agenda to try to somehow turn the world gay.
"People did worry. Our only agenda is to make people feel good. It's an hour of joy."
The 'Finding Dory' star believes her open attitude to life stems from her parents suddenly announcing they were getting divorced when she was 13.
She said: "I grew up in a very conservative home.
"There was no drinking, smoking or cursing. I didn't see deep emotion from my parents. It was all very polite and very surface. I never knew how anybody was feeling. I never saw anyone angry.
"So when I was 13 and my parents divorced, it was a huge surprise to me, because I was told everything was fine. It was very confusing. That's not a healthy way to grow up."