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The Funny Thing Is... Paperback – October 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Degeneres continues her year-long domination of all media (following a cross-country stand-up tour, an HBO special, a show-stealing turn in Finding Nemo and the successful launch of her daily talk show in September) with this new humor collection, winningly preserved on audio. The laid-back, observational comedienne's stream-of-conscience musings gain additional zest from her wry and adroit delivery. Some of her funniest material is in throwaway lines, dropped with an easygoing deadpan delivery. ("My favorite exercise is walking a block and a half to the corner store to buy fudge. Then I call a cab to get back home. There's never a need to overdo anything.") Her smart and funny routines point out absurdities in everyday life. ("Batteries are packaged as though the manufacturers never want you to get to them. On the other hand, take a good look at a package of light bulbs. Thin, thin, thin cardboard that's open on both ends.") Whether offering tips to cover social embarrassments or grousing about parallel parking ("What better way to do something you're already a little leery about doing than by doing it backwards?"), Degeneres is a delight.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Entertainment Weekly DeGeneres is in top form with her second collection of kooky observations....Her strongest assets -- a-hard won dignity and softly skewed worldview -- are on chuckle-inducing display throughout.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743247639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743247634
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ellen DeGeneres is a beloved stand-up comedian, television host, bestselling author, and actress. She hosts the syndicated talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and was also a judge on American Idol in its ninth season in 2009.

DeGeneres has hosted both the Academy Awards and the Primetime Emmys. As a film actress, she starred in Mr. Wrong, appeared in EDtv and The Love Letter, and provided the voice of Dory in the Disney-Pixar animated film Finding Nemo, for which she awarded a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress, the first and only time a voice acting won a Saturn Award. She also starred in two television sitcoms, Ellen from 1994 to 1998 and The Ellen Show from 2001 to 2002. She has won twelve Emmys and numerous awards for her work and charitable efforts.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie on October 31, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Ellen is once again brilliant with her witty insights and creativity. I bought this as an audiobook on CD, since I saw that it was "read by the author." It was great to hear her stories and joke the way she intended them to be heard! If you're planning on buying this book, audiobook is definitely the way to go!
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By D. FOXWORTH on November 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
WOW! I did not know what to expect from this book when I bought in on AMAZON. I didn't know if it would be political or preachy. But I love Ellen Degeneres so I bought it. IMAGINE MY SURPRISE when this book reminded me of the late, great Erma Bombeck!
By all appearances, Ellen Degeneres is ready to accept the crown for the new queen of written comedy. This fun book reminded me so much of Erma Bombeck... funny, simple circumstances that we can all relate to. Expertly written, THE FUNNY THING IS... had me laughing from cover to cover.
5 stars for sure... my recommendation? BUY IT NOW! You rock, Ellen!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on June 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
"The Funny Thing Is. . .," by Ellen DeGeneres, is a collection of short comic essays by the popular comedian and television star. The humor in the book is largely grounded in the annoyances and absurdities of everyday life. There are many moments when, as I chuckled at the joke, I also thought, "Yes! She's so right!" Whether mocking power bars, CD packaging, or self-flushing toilets, she effectively skewers these phenomena of the modern condition. Along the way she also makes some gentle but humorous jabs at other celebrities.

I found some of the most entertaining parts of the book to be about the book itself--how and why she wrote it, the process of picking a title, etc. Some standout essays include her series of solutions to everyday problems (like zoning out in the middle of a conversation) and a delightful account of her meeting with God. Along the way Ellen even reveals the secret behind the crop circle phenomenon.

Ellen's humor in this book is good natured and mild mannered. Even when she touches on the current hot political topic of same-sex marriage, she goes for some gentle absurdist humor rather than in-your-face sass. Ellen's voice is like that of a funny next door neighbor who keeps you chuckling as you share a cup of coffee--or maybe a glass of scotch. Although not every joke strikes the target, overall it's an enjoyable and entertaining book by one of show business's most likeable personalities.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dianna Setterfield on November 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
For a knee-slapping good time, I always reach for the tried and true, and Ellen Degeneres has become that for me. I've been a fan of hers way before her popular TV sitcom, and own some of her stand-up comedy as well as her other book, My Point...and I Do Have One. And even though her writing isn't near as funny as her talking, I still find Ellen and anything Ellen-related top-notch comedy and will forever remain a fan.
The Funny Thing Is... is a riot! There is no one who can make me laugh quite like Ellen. And her book, full of short chapters of meandering thoughts about nothing in particular, is Ellen at her best. I can hear her "voice" come off the pages, especially in the chapters about her dad, the tour of her home, and the blurb about the CD packaging. Fans of Ellen will no doubt laugh on every page and will feel that every penny spent on this book is definitely worth it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Melanie Capuano on December 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge Ellen fan and I bought this book expecting to be laughing out loud like the reviews of it suggested but I didn't even come close. Don't get me the wrong, the book is very funny but the problem it's all repeated material. If you have seen her HBO specials ("The Beginning" and "Here and Now") than I suggest you not get this book. This book is basically a transcript of her hbo specials literally word for word. There is only about 1/4 of the book that is new material. While the book is funny, if you watch her show regularily and especially if you have seen the hbo specials, you will find that a lot of this book is the same stories and jokes that you have already heard. If your one of these people, I suggest buy it cheap or borrow it from a friend. It's not worth your money to pay full price to hear jokes you've already heard before. (And personally I think the hbo specials are funnier because you get to see her acting out the stories and hear her voice). Therefore, if you still want to buy the book, get it on audio tape because then you can hear her voice.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By juanita gutierrez on November 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The first time I saw Ellen, (I mean really first time as she was not my favorite at all due to her lifestyle), was on her movie, "Mr. Wrong." I was laughing alone in my living room just seeing her face and listening at her dialogue. From then on, I surf the net for books or tapes of her and I discovered her website. I tell you, she is the only actress-commedianne, who can make me laugh as I am pretty critical or choosy. Her book,"The Funny Thing Is..." is basically what it says. Her personality comes right through. Her talent in writing coupled with her inviting persona makes this book and all her works worth your time and effort and investment. After my favorite, Carol Burnett in the 70's, Ellen is my "Queen of Comedy of the Millenium". Hurray, Ellen. Keep it up. "The Funny Thing Is....." soars to the heights!
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