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‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ gets new host while DeGeneres battles the flu

Fans tuning into The Ellen DeGeneres Show today, Jan. 24, were taken by surprise – the talk show host is currently battling a bout of the flu and was unable to make it to her show’s taping. In her place, Ellie Kemper, best known for her roles in The Office and Bridesmaids, was guest hosting, the first time anyone besides DeGeneres has hosted the show in 11 seasons.

Ellie Kemper handled the hosting duties on today's episode of 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show'
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Although DeGeneres was announced, per the usual, it was Kemper who came out dancing on stage instead. She explained to the disappointed crowd that Ellen was out with the flu bug that has been going around. Kemper admitted she was very excited, but she had no idea what she was doing and asked if she could drink. To make Ellen’s absence up to the crowd, Kemper announced everyone in the audience was invited back to a taping of the 12 Days of Giveaways later this year. (The mood quickly brightened after that announcement).

Kemper quickly re-named the show The Ellie Kemper Show and displayed new Ellie mugs and t-shirts.

Today’s guests featured Neil Patrick Harris and Hunter Hayes. Harris brought out a pair of Converse tennis shoes a friend had designed especially for Ellen, which he jokingly tossed over his shoulder, saying that didn’t matter anymore. Kemper also gave away two tickets to Sunday’s Grammy Awards after two audience members played a game called “Grammy’s Panties,” during which they had to wear giant underwear and stuff as many large, round balls inside the panties as possible. Kemper closed the show out enjoying some King Cake with Hunter Hayes, which he explained to be a Mardi Gras tradition. Hayes received a Grammy nomination and will debut his newest single during this Sunday night’s show.

Are you an Ellen DeGeneres fan? Were you surprised to see the talk show host out sick? Leave your well-wishes for Ellen in a comment below!

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