I have had the very good fortune of meeting Ellen Degeneres on more than one occasion. In a million years, she’d never recall, since each time, I was in a gaggle of co-workers and clients, and we were all gaping at her, star-struck. One of those times took place many years back, when we went to a taping of her talk show. Our parting gift was her audio book The Funny Thing Is. I confess that it’s taken me this long to pop it into the player of my car. For shame, because listening to Ellen is a thousand times better than anything I can get over the radio.
The Funny Thing Is encapsulates Ellen’s thoughts and musings on a wealth of subjects. All of them will make you smile. More than one of them will make you laugh out loud, so that the folks in the vehicle next to you will think you have issues. Ellen covers everything from how to handle awkward party moments when you forget someone’s name (solution: give everyone the same nickname, such as “Itchy”), or how she truly feels about exercise (her favorite form is walking briskly a couple of blocks to the corner store to buy fudge).
If you’ve seen her stand-up, you’ll recognize some of the material, but it’s even funny the second time around. Hearing how frustrating it is to get a roll of toilet paper going in a public restroom, how outfits of years past should have been outlawed (case in point: sailor shirts), or how none of us can function without a cell phone all poke at life’s truths.
At times, her material will make you think while it makes you laugh. Her observations are right on the money. We can’t stand silence. We never stop moving. And dressing room attendants really, really need to leave us alone while we’re changing.
In summary, if you want to be reminded of how funny, witty and charming Ellen is, feel free to pick this up. It’s much better than your radio.