Ellen DeGeneres, The Ellen DeGeneres Show
"When I started out, I traveled the country doing street performances and small gigs. I lived in my car until I was discovered in a coffee shop in San Diego...wait, I'm sorry. I'm thinking of a documentary I saw about Jewel.
My big break came on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. I was ecstatic when I got booked and went crazy figuring out what to wear. (Sinbad actually gave me shopping advice, and I listened to him. That explains the Hammer pants.) Onstage, I "killed," as they say. When I finished, I looked around everywhere—except at Johnny. I looked at the band, the audience, the lighting guy. When I finally looked at Johnny, he was leaning over the desk beckoning me to join him. I was the first female comedian he ever asked over to his couch. He said I was clever. I'll never forget that."