Former Corden Head Writer Ian Karmel Is Working With Ellen DeGeneres 

The former head writer of The Late Late Show has teamed up with another veteran talk show host.

Ian Karmel, who served as co-head writer on The Late Late Show with James Corden through the end of its run in 2023, revealed in a new interview with Variety that he’s been working with Ellen DeGeneres on her material ahead of her upcoming tour.

“I listened to her tell me about her life, and tell me about the last four or five years of her life specifically, and tried to synthesize that into something funny and relatable,” Karmel explained. “It was one of the great challenges of my career, but also super fun.”

DeGeneres was famously accused of rude behavior, employee mistreatment, and creating a toxic work environment—which went against the positive atmosphere that had come to define her hit daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Karmel, however, noted his experience with the host has been only positive. “She’s been really nice and professional. And when the offer came through, I couldn’t believe it. Because you almost don’t think of her as a human, because it’s Ellen. She’s one of those one-namers,” he said.

Karmel also reflected on the pressure figures like DeGeneres and Corden face in their position as the face of a show. “I think people don’t appreciate how much pressure there is. Having worked with a few different talk show hosts, from Chelsea Handler to James Corden, to working on stand-up with Ellen—it’s a hard job. You’re the tip of a spear.”

According to Variety, Karmel’s collaboration with DeGeneres initially included him opening for her on the tour, but “those plans have been scrapped.”

DeGeneres’ tour, titled “Ellen’s Last Stand… Up,” will serve as her standup farewell. She wrapped The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2022 after a 19-season run.

Karmel continues to perform standup comedy and host the podcast All Fantasy Everything. He recently co-authored a memoir with his sister, Dr. Alisa Karmel, titled T-Shirt Swim Club: Stories From Being Fat in a World of Thin People.

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