Friday, July 30, 2004

Guess what! I'm not wearing any pants!

One of the benefits I've had while being unemployed was, in fact, daytime television. And one of the few gems had to be the Ellen DeGeneres show.

Now I first found Ellen's quirky humor to be intoxicating way back in the days of "These Friends of Mine", which simply renamed Ellen in the fall of 1994. The show was topical, and I found it more entertaining than (gasp!) Friends. I found the cast of 'Ellen' more realistic than the Central Perk crowd. And I found Ellen's biting sarcasm a companion to Seinfeld, another huge fave of mine. I loved her first book, "My point, and I do have one..." so much that I've often incorporated the title in my own conversations (such as this post). I only learned now of her second book (on humor), so I will pursue that soon.

I confess I did start to lose interest in her first show in '97, when the whole 'she's gay, but not telling anyone... really' started. Not that I have a problem with gays in real life or TV. In fact, the casual comments were most entertaining. But the lead up to the crescendo with the PA system just seemed so contrived, lacking the humor of the earlier seasons. She tried too hard to make her case.

That same quirky humor came back again in 2001's 'The Ellen Show', and I enjoyed watching that show. Sadly, it lasted but four months.

The title of this post came from one her monologues last week. It centered around people we all know who walk up to you and say 'Guess what!', as if we really want to guess what the person is about to tell us. Ellen suggested some stock answers to reply to these people, including
You're lactose intolerant? or, for more laughs turn the tables on these people an announce: Guess what? I'm not wearing any pants!

I'm glad to see Ellen has a new niche; the show captures the humor I loved 10 years ago, and I hope she continues in her success.

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