Ellen DeGeneres on 20/20

ByABC News
February 12, 2004, 4:27 PM

Feb. 13 -- Ellen DeGeneres has pulled off what's been called one of the great show business comebacks of all time.

Watch Elizabeth Vargas' full report on 20/20

Staffers on the successful Ellen DeGeneres Show say it's like a party every day, with A-list stars like Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow and Britney Spears taking spots on her sofa for an interview. "It's the best job in the world." DeGeneres told ABCNEWS. "I'm really having the time of my life."

The hit brings quite a change from the late 1990s when her sitcom was cancelled and her life constant tabloid fodder. Now she's back in favor with the critics and fans alike.

"These friends are saying 'you know, they have friends who are stockbrokers and these guys are watching it at the office,' " said DeGeneres. "There are people that exercise, people that dance with me while I dance, a lot of a lot of animals watch kittens that are up against the screen, puppies that are up against the screen watching me. Babies are fascinated by the show."

Tougher Times

This past year has been an incredible one for DeGeneres, she enjoyed a hit HBO special and best selling comedy bookand has established herself as a viable talk show host.

DeGeneres reclaimed her position in Hollywood after a tough period, starting with her bold decision to reveal her homosexuality on the sitcom Ellen. The historic television moment generated awards and bomb threats. It turned off some viewers and scared away some sponsors. A year later, ABC cancelled the show

"It destroyed me," said DeGeneres. "For somebody who makes a living trying to make people happy and trying to please everybody and wanting so desperately to be loved. That's why anybody gets into this business. You know and, to all of a sudden feel like you're not only not loved you're hated."