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Ellen DeGeneres - The Beginning

4.2 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Ellen shares her humorous observations on daily life, including remembering names, clothing, the need for approval, and making personal videos.
Genre: Television
Rating: NR
Release Date: 7-AUG-2001
Media Type: DVD

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Ellen DeGeneres
  • Directors: Joel Gallen
  • Writers: Ellen DeGeneres
  • Producers: Ellen DeGeneres, Joel Gallen, Frank Garritano, Kathy Blake
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 30, 2001
  • Run Time: 66 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000053VAP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,490 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ellen DeGeneres - The Beginning" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
After 7 years of not doing any stand-up comedy, Ellen shows absolutely no signs of being rusty in her triumphant return to the stage. I loved this video and I loved the new material that Ellen has written for her Americana Tour. I was fortunate enough to be in the audience at Ellen's very first performance at the State Theater in Easton, PA after her 7-year hiatus from doing live stand-up, and the only difference between the performance I saw and the DVD is that Ellen no longer needed to use her notes for the DVD performance. (And after 7 years off, who wouldn't need notes?)
I have always been a huge fan of Ellen's, and her new material is just as funny and fresh as ever. Of course, everyone expects her to address the issue of her national coming out, and she does, first thing, with, what else but...humor. She begins her act with an "interpretive dance" that could easily be one of the funniest things I have ever seen. And from that moment on, things only get better. The material here rivals the old Ellen and the "Phone Call to God," and "Taste This" routines. She certainly hasn't lost her touch, and it is so great to see her, FINALLY back on the stage where she belongs doing stand-up comedy.
Being in the audience for her return to the stage is a memory that I will always treasure, and now, I am able to watch her perform the material from that tour over and over again. To the casual viewer, this is an entertaining and funny video that you could watch with your kids. Ellen prides herself on remaining a clean and non-malicious comic. To the die-hard Ellen fan, well..fantastic. A must-own item. So, do I like this video? In a sentence...
Yep, it's great.
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Format: DVD
DeGeneres' first stand up comedy routine since 'coming out' in 1997 is an event in itself. Even moreso is that she was kind enough to have it taped for mere fans who could not see such an event in the flesh. DeGeneres' whirlwind tour reminded Americans that she is more than a typecast lesbian, but a comedienne. What she made herself known for before any tags were attached. The title The Beginning reminds just that. She is a comedienne before anything else. Since I'm not a lesbian I can say I am a fan for Ellen's comedy & mothing more. Yet I appreciate the humour she injects into being gay - see her interpretative dance relaying her coming out. Very original & painfully true. The audience laps up her incisive wit & DeGeneres enjoys herself, although at times appears to feel quite awkward. If you have not discovered the brilliance of Ellen DeGeneres beyond Ellen (the TV Show) or the media frenzy behind her coming out, this DVD is a worthy acquisition. Makes for a great night in. A true comic genius in every sense of the word.
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By A Customer on January 24, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
When this special was being advertised in HBO, I thought, okay, I will watch it. She is funny enough and there is nothing else on tv. I watched it and seriously laughed so hard that my side hurt the next morning. It was Ellen at her absolute funniest (and she is a pretty funny person). She tells a story in a totally casual way and, unlike most comedians, she realizes that the key to being funny is not to laugh at your own jokes, but to keep going like you have no idea that you just said something funny. She is a true artist. Foolishly, I didn't tape it and since then I have been scanning the tv guide for the next time that it would be on. Let me put it this way, I wouldn't be buying this on-line if it was not the funniest thing that I have ever seen and didn't want to watch it over and over again.
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Format: DVD
One of the first times I ever saw Ellen DeGeneres on TV, she was doing a routine about how ridiculous it was that people write "(over)" at the bottom of the first page of a letter--as if otherwise, the dumbfounded reader would say, "Isn't that the darndest thing? She got to the bottom of the page and just stopped..." I've loved her take on the absurdity of everyday life ever since.

This 2000 tape has moments like that--the shampoo bit is priceless. But she was moving beyond the everyday and into the socio-political. That's only to be expected, I guess, after coming out on network TV a few years before--and creating a media firestorm. (I've never actually been sure how significant it was for most people on an individual level, but the media certainly made hay of it.) Inevitably, her return to stand-up would have to address her sexuality and the (real or manufacturerd?) frenzy surrounding it.

And address it she does. The blow-up doll and the harness bit was a stitch. Of course, I had to ask myself what it said about ME that for a moment, I thought, "But wait, wasn't that her mom in the audience?" Well, hey, if mom's OK with it, I guess I am too.

The only question I do have is one that I see at least one other reviewer posted and subsequently receive "0 helpful votes" for--but it still bears posing (though Goddess knows how many unhelpfuls it'll garner me), namely: is this something you want to rent (or, like me, maybe borrow from the libary)? or is it a virtual MUST for every collection.

Well, the answer is simple enough. If like me, you like Ellen a whole lot, but don't see yourself watching it on a near daily basis for the next six months, you may want to just rent or borrow it. Neither the punch lines nor the delivery is going to change from viewing to viewing. But certainly if you're a fan, this is a "must have." Maybe you could rerun it for me should I drop over...
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