On October 29, The Kennedy Center will award Ellen DeGeneres the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (the show will air Oct. 30 on PBS). I like Ellen. She’s upbeat, her old sitcom had some hysterical moments (the scene in which she comes out of the closet by accidentally announcing it over the airport intercom is a classic), and her eponymous talk show is the epitome of zany.
But maybe her finest moment was when she emceed the Emmy Awards shortly after 9/11. People were scared, most of all actors, all of whom assumed that, due to their celebrity, their faces were appearing on wanted posters in some al-Qaeda post office somewhere. Ellen put those audience members at ease when she said, “We’re told to go on living our lives as usual, because to do otherwise is to let the terrorists win, and really, what would upset the Taliban more than a gay woman wearing a suit in front of a room full of Jews?”
With all her success, people forget that Ellen was a popular comic for some time. In fact, she’s said to be the first female comedian to have been invited over to sit with Johnny Carson after her set on the Tonight Show, a high honor indeed. Here are some of her best gags:
• “My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.”
• “Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.”
• “I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a beautiful animal. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.”
• “Stuffed deer heads on walls are bad enough, but it’s worse when they are wearing dark glasses and have streamers in their antlers because then you know they were enjoying themselves at a party when they were shot.”
• “What’s with this sudden choice of disorders we get right now? When I was a kid, we just had crazy people, that’s it, just crazy people.”
• “Our attention span is shot. We’ve all got Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD or OCD or one of these disorders with three letters because we don’t have the time or patience to pronounce the entire disorder. That should be a disorder right there, TBD – too busy disorder.”
• “Procrastination is not the problem. It is the solution. It is the universe’s way of saying stop, slow down, you move too fast.”
• “I have just learned that penguins are monogamous for life, which doesn’t really surprise me because they all look exactly alike. It’s not like they’re going to meet a better-looking penguin someday.”
Some people like to travel by train because it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of an airplane.
I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”
“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” —Everyone following you on Instagram
A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.
Comedian Greg Davies
Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.
Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.
My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me everything you know.”
“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” —Alcohol
@yoyoha (Josh Hara)
My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.
Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?
A: A mechanic.