With only days left of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the famous talk show host has revealed why there is a secret tunnel under her stage.
As the final episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show approaches after 19 years, the talk show host reveals how she has tried to pull off so many famous celebrities’ scares.
A tunnel was built beneath the stage so that producers could jump out and scare DeGeneres’ big-name guests.
Executive producer Andy Lassner said in a behind-the-scenes look at the “anatomy of a scare” segment that the celebrity guests always enjoyed being scared at the show, according to nzherald.
“Celebrities have gotten on the phone with our producers and said, ‘Why hasn’t Ellen ever tried to scare me?’” Lassner said, who has been with the show since it first aired in 2003.
“They are always grateful for it. They always love it. Their favorite clip to show the next time they come is ‘when you scared me.
“There has never been a bad feeling about the scaring.”
DeGeneres, 64, announced in May of last year that she would be ending the show due to toxic workplace allegations, including sexual misconduct.
Following months of negative press, Warner Bros. conducted an internal investigation, which resulted in the firings of top producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman in mid-2020.
The final episode has already been shot and will be on air on May 26.
Ellen DeGeneres used to scare Andy Lassner around the set in the early years.
She then moved on to celebrities, hiding in their dressing room bathrooms and jumping out. It was always recorded on hidden cameras and shown on the show.
One of the most memorable scares took place in 2009, when DeGeneres jumped out at a young Taylor Swift for Halloween, causing the singer to fall to the floor screaming.
“It’s just my way of welcoming people and putting them at ease,” DeGeneres said in the scare segment on the show last week.
“I don’t want them to think it’s some kind of formal situation. It’s just a relaxing place where you can get scared.”
The team then moved on to scaring celebrities on air, with producers – often dressed in costumes – sneaking up behind guests during interview sessions.
The next step was to build a “scare table.”
In September 2014, Modern Family actor Eric Stonestreet became the first victim.
When Stonestreet was mid-sentence, a producer dressed as a clown jumped out of the table between Stonestreet and DeGeneres’ chairs on stage.
The team built a tunnel as part of their plan to scare actress Sarah Paulson.
Reflecting on the moment, executive producer Corey Palent said: “I had to climb down the ladder, through these rocks and dirt, up a ladder and then climb into the box.
“So Ellen (had) removed the top of the box to show that no one was in the box and then closed it again.”
In the segment, Paulson confirmed that she found being scared on the show funny.
“I do watch it and I do think it’s funny,” she said. “I am an ‘Ellen’ in a sense that in my younger life, I spent a lot of time scaring people so I do understand why she does it.”