In honor of Ellen Degeneres’s show, The Ellen Degeneres Show, coming to an end after 19 years at some indeterminate time in May, we are chronicling its farewell season each week. These are the Last Days of Ellen.
Every so often, Ellen will have a guest on her show who is so charming that she barely has to lift a finger. She doesn’t need to neg them or smirk her way through their little anecdote, and the experience of watching the interview is actually kind of pleasant.
Such was the case with first-time guest Javier Bardem, who was on the show for the first time ever to promote… well, I actually don’t know. I guess there are probably Oscar voters who watch Ellen? They also talk about him being in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, in which Bardem plays King Triton, so maybe it’s press for a movie that comes out in 2023? Whatever the case may be, he was a delight.
Ellen and Bardem’s main point of discussion was the actor’s brief stint as a male stripper. Decades ago, Bardem jumped out of a cake for his friend’s fiancée at a club, and the owner was so impressed that he asked him to come back and perform again the next week.
“I was so nervous, I called my mom and my sister to accompany me to my striptease number,” he recalled. “There was nobody… I think there were, like, three people there? And it was very embarrassing, but I did it!” Ellen loves this story.
Look at her face while hearing Javier talk about his one-day tenure as a stripper:
Now look at her face during yesterday’s episode, when a 7-year-old rapper — who she herself made famous — told her a knock knock joke:
She’s not charmed by much, but Bardem made it work. That’s star power, baby.