Less than a day after Halloween weekend came to a close, Madison residents and University of Wisconsin students dressed in costumes once again for their chance to impress talk show host Ellen DeGeneres Monday.
DeGeneres invited Madison residents to be on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and compete in a freestyle talent competition she conducted via satellite. Creative Halloween costumes were required for entry into the competition, according to DeGeneres’ Twitter account.
The show closed down the 600 block of State Street from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., including the area next to Chipotle, for taping the segment. Madison Metro buses were also rerouted to accommodate the event.
On Oct. 25, DeGeneres hinted on Twitter she had a surprise in store for viewers in Madison. Two days later, she made another announcement with a tweet directed at UW students, indicating her show would likely be making an appearance in the city Monday.
Cindy Herbsleb, a Madison resident who attended the filming, said she is a big fan of DeGeneres and when she saw the tweets she was eager to see what the host was planning for the city.
“When I got the tweet I’m like ‘Oh Ellen’s coming to Madison!’” Herbsleb said. “I wanted to know why and I figured it had something to do with Halloween, and I said, ‘OK I’m just going to wait and have Twitter going all the time and find out what she wants.’”
DeGeneres sent another tweet around 2 p.m. Monday encouraging people to show up on State Street in their Halloween costumes.
Herbsleb, who dressed as a Twister board with “Come twist with me Ellen!” written on the back, said she pulled her costume together in only a few hours and had been waiting on State Street since 4 p.m.
Two UW juniors also threw together a two-person camel costume just for the event. They said DeGeneres announced she was looking for the most creative Halloween costumes and they felt the camel fit the definition of creativity.
“We’re a camel, like the camel from the hump day commercial,” Kelsey, one of the students, said. “So we thought it was kind of funny.”
The freestyle talent show segment will air on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which begins at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
All photos taken by Claire Larkins.