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A few minutes with Ellen

April 30, 2012 - Mike Donahey
Laughter is supposed to be the best medicine. Thus, if one is ailing, try the Ellen — as in Ellen DeGeneres — Show. She has a real gift to perk anybody up.

The woman with a million dollar smile is engaging, funny, personable and self-deprecating — all skills needed to make it as a comedienne and talk show hostess. Her daytime television program is popular — extremely so. Which means DeGeneres can be herself — and the audience, guests and sponsors benefit.

Recently I watched about 30 minutes of Ellen — an experience for me. As of late I am not much of a television watcher, except for “Mad Men” and vintage episodes of “Mission Impossible.” That’s because baseball season has started — and I’m more interested in reading box scores, game summaries and watching occasional highlights. But I digress. I was so impressed with Ellen if my schedule allowed, I’d watch or tape it.

DeGeneres is on “a roll.” In addition to her show, she has written a popular book “Seriously ... I’m Kidding.” That’s in addition to two other books she’s authored. She’s appeared as a J.C. Penney spokesperson appearing in a number of their commercials. Which is a major accomplishment, considering DeGeneres is a lesbian and has never tried to hide her sexual orientation. “I’m gay, accept me or not,” has been her attitude for years — even before stardom. An advocacy group — “One Million Moms” — did not like DeGeneres appearing in ads and asked the company to drop her, which they declined. They called on their membership and others to boycott Penney stores — which was their prerogative and can be effective in changing a company’s mind. Shortly thereafter the boycott was called off. The group did claim a moral victory though, in alerting the company to their concern and lost sales from the boycott.

Regardless, score one for Penney and Ellen. Meanwhile if I want a few laughs, I’m going to watch Ellen or read her book — she’s funny.


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