I know there’s headhunter services or people more qualified at WarnerMedia to decide who should replace Ellen DeGeneres, but I have the answer for them. Miss Dakota Mayi Johnson might be only thirty years old, but she was the key ingredient at the beginning of the recent crumbling of Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show.
Last November, in our pre-COVID world, Johnson was a guest on DeGeneres’ show to promote The Peanut Butter Falcon (now streaming on Hulu; go check it out!!). DeGeneres immediately tells Johnson happy late birthday and begins to playfully dig at Johnson for not inviting her to her birthday party. Johnson immediately says it’s not the truth and that DeGeneres was invited. Johnson coyly says she must have been busy knowing DeGeneres was out with former President George W. Bush. The interview went viral, to say the least, and memes were born.
Johnson was an important hand in the takedown on DeGeneres, but this is not the only reason Johnson should take over The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Johnson is quite the comedic talent and thrives on talk shows, maybe it has gone unnoticed by the general public. For years, Johnson has been taking hits at many of our talk show hosts.
In 2018, Johnson was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy was not spared from Johnson’s digs. When Johnson was trying to tell a story, Fallon kept his usual move of talking over guests, but not on Johnson’s watch. Johnson immediately stopped Fallon and asked, “aren’t your guests supposed to talk?”. While Fallon thought it was funny, the rest of us took this jab seriously.
Johnson is a frequent guest on Jimmy Kimmel’s show as the two are neighbors. Kimmel was invited to the infamous birthday party that DeGeneres did not attend. Johnson frequently confides in Kimmel with tales about another neighbor they share. In late 2018, Kimmel was telling a story about an event that Kimmel hosted with other famous comedians, Jerry Seinfeld, Conan O’Brien, and more, but that the funniest moment of the night came from Johnson confronting their neighbors over her towed truck.
Aside from late-night shows, Johnson has always been providing us with hilarious content. From fitting items in the gap between her teeth for Vanity Fair (RIP Dakota’s gap, we miss you!) to her pop quiz with Marie Claire talking about how moist and panties are great words to looking up google results with Jeff Bridges for Wired, Johnson has been providing great comedic material for years. Hear, hear! The Dakota Johnson Show coming to NBC this fall! Maybe not, but at least submit Johnson’s Architectural Digest Home Tour for Best Picture 2021.
Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.