Get-well wishes go out to Ellen DeGeneres, who, TMZ reports, injured her back over the weekend and will host Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s shows (at least) from a bed placed on her talk show set. No details were immediately known about why she’s in the reclined position, but we certainly look forward to hearing the story.
Regardless, DeGeneres won’t be dancing anytime soon. Which you may not think is a bad thing until you (re)watch recent guest Ryan Gosling teaching her how to salsa. They don’t actually get busy until 9 mins. and 30 secs. into the interview but you’ll want to see the whole chat anyway. Fracture, Gosling’s new movie with Anthony Hopkins, may not earnhim another Academy Award nod, but while promoting it, he gave the best performance on atalk show in recent memory — and a master class in how to be a memorable talk-show guest, as you’ll see after the jump.
Gosling started off with a story about how hisbeehive-wearing mother was miserable at the Oscars because herhairdresser had falsely predicted that would be the look— until heexplained the situation to stranger Meryl Streep, who then leaned overand said, "You know, I almost wore my hair up, too. I’m so jealous, Iwish I had."
He offered a movie plug that didn’t feel like one. Goslingtalked about how Hopkins will start barking like a dog on set if hesees you taking yourself too seriously: "But the thing is thateverything he does is so good that it sounds exactly like adog. You can almost hear it. You’re like, ‘It’s a three-leggedshepherd," he paused, "with a kidney problem."
Then he had fun with an audience member who hadsuggestively strutted her stuff to "Shake Your Body (Down to theGround)" during the commercial break: "She’s not just a dancer, she’s astoryteller…. She has a deeper understanding of the song than we do."
Finally, hetaught Ellen to salsa, taking her hand and saying, "I’ll try not to getfresh with you, but it’s a very sexy dance, you’re a beautiful womanand I’m only human." Deadpan, he then placed her hand in the properposition — on his butt. She laughed. Viewers giggled. His publicist shouldbe very proud. That’s how you do a talk show, boys. Be charming; use a clever story to plug your movie with that beloved costar instead of a boring "he’s such a professional" line; be funny and personable; and play. When you do that, no one feels the need to ask about your private life. Or to show this clip of you as a Mouseketeer.