To say Ellen DeGeneres is an inspiration to many just goes without saying. But her appearance on Makers, a new video initiative profiling awe-inspiring women, shows just how driven the comedian and talk show host is behind the laughs and sweet dance moves.

DeGeneres talked about the first big moment that changed her career: getting on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." But it wasn't easy getting there. To hear about her attempts to land on America's most watched stage -- and to become the first female comedian to earn a spot in Johnny's chair -- watch the video above.

Related on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • 1988

    WireImage

  • 1991

    WireImage

  • 1992

    WireImage

  • 1993

    WireImage

  • 1994

    WireImage

  • 1994

    WireImage

  • 1994

    WireImage

  • 1995

    WireImage

  • 1996

    WireImage

  • With Elle Macpherson, 1996

    WireImage

  • 1997

    WireImage

  • 1997

    WireImage

  • 1998

    WireImage

  • 2000

    WireImage

  • 2001

    WireImage

  • 2002

    WireImage

  • 2004

    Getty

  • 2005

    Getty

  • 2006

    FilmMagic

  • 2007

    Getty

  • With Portia de Rossi, 2007

    WireImage

  • 2007

    Getty

  • 2007

    Getty

  • 2007

    Getty

  • 2007

    Getty

  • With Portia de Rossi, 2008

    Getty

  • 2010

    Getty

  • 2010

    Getty

  • 2010

    Getty

  • 2011

    Getty

  • 2012

    Getty

  • 2012

    Getty

  • 2012

    Getty

  • 2012

    Getty

  • 2012

    Getty

  • 2012

    Getty

  • 2013

    Getty