The Funny Thing Is...

The Funny Thing Is...

by Ellen DeGeneres


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An indispensable reference for anyone who knows how to read—or wants to fool people into thinking they do—The Funny Thing Is... is sure to make you laugh.

Ellen DeGeneres published her first book of comic essays, the #1 bestselling My Point...And I Do Have One, way back in 1996. Not one to rest on her laurels, the witty star of stage and screen has since dedicated her life to writing a hilarious new book. That book is this book.

After years of painstaking, round-the-clock research, surviving on a mere twenty minutes of sleep a night, and collaborating with lexicographers, plumbers, and mathematicians, DeGeneres has crafted a work that is both easy to use and very funny. Along with her trademark ramblings, The Funny Thing Is... contains hundreds of succinct insights into her psyche and offers innovative features including:

-More than 50,000 simple, short words arranged in sentences that form paragraphs.
-Thousands of observations on everyday life — from terrible fashion trends to how to handle seating arrangements for a Sunday brunch with Paula Abdul, Diane Sawyer, and Eminem.
-All twenty-six letters of the alphabet.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743247634
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 10/28/2004
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 431,237
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.43(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Ellen DeGeneres's first book, My Point...and I Do Have One, was an instant national bestseller that spent more than six months on the New York Times bestseller list. DeGeneres has won an Emmy Award, a Peabody Award, and a People's Choice Award for her work as a writer and actress on her television series Ellen, and received Emmy nominations as host of the 39th Annual Grammy Awards, as an executive producer of HBO's If These Walls Could Talk 2, and as star and executive producer of her critically acclaimed one-woman HBO special The Beginning. DeGeneres made history when her on-screen persona Ellen Morgan became the first openly gay leading character on television, but her groundbreaking legacy had already begun in 1986, on the Tonight Show, when she became the first and only female comic invited by Johnny Carson to sit down with him after her stand-up performance. In September 2003, DeGeneres launched The Ellen DeGeneres Show, her own nationally syndicated daytime talk show.

Read an Excerpt

A Message From The Author

Hello, and welcome to my new book. Please make yourself at home while you read it: Take off your shoes, loosen your pants, make those funny at-home faces that we all make. Be comfortable. On the other hand, if you're reading this in a more public place — a plane, a train, a jurors' box during a trial — it might serve you better to be a little less comfortable. Oh, and if you're reading this while you're driving, PUT THE BOOK AWAY! YOU'RE DRIVING, FOR PETE'S SAKE! But wherever you're reading this book, please remember to turn off your cell phone and that the taking of flash photographs is strictly forbidden.

Now, you may want to know why I'm writing this book. Well, there are a number of very good reasons, most of which I forgot the moment I sat down to write. I have a vague recollection of losing a bet to Al Roker, so that may be one of the reasons. Also, I don't have anything to do for a year as I wait to start my new talk show. People have suggested that I simply enjoy the time off — I'll be wishing for this next year. People (different people — not the same ones) have also suggested I read books.

The fact is, I'd rather write a book than read a book. It's like reading, only you get paid for it. Otherwise, it has all the same elements. I don't know what's on the next page. It's suspenseful, yet I can control where it goes. It's like interactive reading. Besides, I've already read books. A lot of them. Well, definitely more than seven.

One thing that you should know if you ever get tired of reading books and decide to write one on your own (I would suggest doing this only and I mean only after you finish this book): writing a book is hard work. You can't just sit there staring at the computer screen and wait for words to magically appear. Believe me — I tried doing that for five months and I didn't get a single word.

Suddenly, all this talk about "writing a book" is making me feel overwhelmed. I need to take a break. Excuse me.

Okay, I'm back. I went to brush my teeth (just three of them — I never do them all at once). That, by the way, is an excellent way to pass the time. Hygiene is important anyway, as we all know. So take your time and brush, then floss. Flossing is key. You must floss. Don't even think for a second that you can get away with not flossing. Always floss. I can't stress it enough. If you get nothing else from this book, I hope you not only think to yourself "I must floss," but pass it along to loved ones and acquaintances — floss, floss, floss. Now, what was I saying?

Oh yes, Why another book?

Seriously, why? There are so many books already. What could I possibly have to say that needs to be read by millions or at least hundreds of people? Perhaps you're reading this to get never-before-revealed insights into who I am as a person. If so, here's a good one for you, right off the bat: If anyone knows me at all, they know I enjoy the smell of a freshly washed monkey.

Or perhaps you're hoping to learn a thing or two. I have no brand-new words to put out there (unless you count "fuzlart," which between you and me is a made-up word), no insights on the meaning of life or even how to be content most of the time.

I have been interested in some deeper meaning of this existence for a long time. I assume we all are, judging by the sales of books devoted to helping us find the answers. I have all of them, but I haven't found one that says anything very different. They all sort of say the same thing.

I suppose I could put down my own ideas of what I think would be at least a good start for happiness, if you're interested. Oh, you are? Okay then.

1. Be nice to everyone, even though you don't want to and you may not like certain people. Be kind, friendly, and respectful even if people are not nice to you. That way, you're not dragged down to their level. Also, there's nothing that annoys arrogant jerks more than people being nice to them.

2. Floss, every day floss. As discussed. In addition to aforementioned perks, flossing encourages healthy gums and makes your teeth feel secure when they're eating something difficult like apples or corn on the cob.

3. Try to have some quiet time every day. I know it's hard, don't tell me. It's getting to be near impossible to find silence, what with the TV, radio, kids, leaf blowers, helicopters, traffic, birds, dogs barking, your grammy yelling from the back of the car, "Stop flossing, you're going to get us all killed!!!" (Seriously, when I told you not to read while you were driving, I didn't mean you should floss instead.) But try to put time aside to listen to "you." It's easy to forget what "you" want, who "you" are, with all the noise. Check in with "you" every day (or at least on New Year's Eve).

4. Exercise. Any form of movement will do. Stretching keeps you limber, young, and energized. 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.)

5. Drink lots of water. I can't function unless I drink a lot of water. My favorite way to drink water is to put it in a tray, make ice cubes, then put one of those cubes into a big ol' glass of scotch. Let's have some now, shall we?

Thinking back (a good thing to do while drinking scotch), I knew I wanted to write this book because I've always loved writing, especially cursive. It's so pretty, all the loops and whatnot. I thought about having this entire book printed in capital letters, so, as the narrator, IT WOULD SEEM LIKE I'M SHOUTING THE WHOLE TIME. I LIKE THE IDEA OF ME SHOUTING INSIDE OTHER PEOPLE'S HEADS. IT MAKES ME FEEL POWERFUL.

You know, it's hard work to write a book. I can't tell you how many times I really get going on an idea, then my quill breaks. Or I spill ink all over my writing tunic. No wonder I drink so much! Then I get so drunk, I can barely feed the baby.

That's what I call myself when I'm drunk, "The Baby."

Okay, I'm putting the drink down. Back to the happiness list...

6. Know you are special. How do you know that? Because you bought this book. You are already two steps ahead of the losers who didn't buy this book. They aren't special. When they finally do buy this book, then they too will be special because they have chosen this book, but you will still be two or three or even more steps ahead. Just know when you buy this book, you're ahead.

Imagine being the last person to buy this book. I pray that doesn't happen to anyone. If word keeps spreading about the magical powers of this book, the joy it gives, the wonders, the life-affirming, the life-changing results of reading this book, no one will ever be last. It will be sold forever and ever and that will make me happy.

7. The key to life is balance. Think of a seesaw. On one side is Give, the other side Take. If you just give and give and give, you've got nothing left. You're empty. Which means you don't weigh anything because empty equals weightless; so Take is just sitting on the ground bored out of its mind saying, "I'm bored, I can't take anymore of this," which is a pretty strong statement since that's what Take's job is. It is to take. And if Take can't take anymore, then well, I think you see my point.

And the same goes for taking too much. If you keep taking and taking and taking, you get loaded down. Taking equals heavy. So Give is stranded way up in the air saying, "Hey, I'm way up in the air." And then Take is like, "So?" And Give is like, "I hate you. All you do is take." And Take is like, "You're the stupid poopoohead for giving all the time." And Take gets off the seesaw to leave and Give goes crashing to the ground and then Take feels bad and rushes over to see if Give is okay and then they hug and start crying and both apologize for being so selfish. So you see, it needs to be balanced.

8. Minimize stress. When I'm stressed out, I get so stressed. When I'm relaxed, it's a whole different story. I find that life can be difficult. Also, when certain events occur, it can bring on stress. Small things — a car accident, let's say — can change your whole mood. Everything can be going just fine. You're at home feeling cozy, watching TV. You suddenly remember you're running low on ice cream, jump in your Cutlass Supreme, and you're singing along to some classic Hall & Oates song, and Bam!! Right into the back of some idiot's car. What are they doing stopped there anyway? It's a stop sign, not a red light. You're not supposed to sit there forever. And all the questions start flying at you. Do you have insurance? Have you been drinking? Why are you in your pajamas? Wow, people are nosy. No wonder I rarely leave the house. It's a jungle out there.

9. Start thinking positively. You will notice a difference. Instead of "I think I'm a loser," try "I definitely am a loser." Stop being wishy-washy about things! How much more of a loser can you be if you don't even know you are one? Either you are a loser or you are not. Which is it, stupid?

10. Don't look in the mirror...ever.

11. Work, but have playtime. Recess. We lose our play, our fun, all of our joy. We used to say, "Mom, I'm going out to play." Now it's, "Honey, I'm going off to work." We don't see a forty-five-year-old man saying, "I'm going out to play." If he did, his girlfriend or boyfriend would say, "What the heck does that mean? No you won't." You don't see a grown-up squatting on the ground with a stick poking at ants. If you do, you cross the street. You walk far away from them. You don't see adults lying in the grass staring at the sky saying, "I see bunny rabbits." That is, unless they're on drugs.

So there you have it, your very own book on the keys to happiness, courtesy of me.

Whew, it's a relief that's over. I tell you, writing a book is a bear! Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it. But before I say "good night," let me — Oh, excuse me, that's the phone. Let me get it, in case it's important. So, I'm putting you on

Okay, I'm back. That was my editor. Apparently they want this book to be more than eight pages. I guess I've got a little work to do. Suddenly I'm not so happy anymore. I'd better reread this chapter.

And perchance, floss.

Copyright © 2003 by Crazy Monkey, Inc.

Table of Contents

table of contents

A Message from the Author

The Brunch Bunch

That's Why Prison Wouldn't Be So Bad

My Most Embarrassing Case Scenario

God, What a Day!

Gift Exchange, or, The Art of Believable Acting

Silence Is Golden

Making Your Life Count (and Other Fun Things to Do with Your Time!)

This Is How We Live

Penny-pinching for Today's Gal, or, How to Land a Man

Working It Out


The Things That Are Bothering Me This Week

My Dad Was Like a Father to Me

The Serious Chapter

The Controversial Chapter

The Chapter of Apologies

Dear Diary

A Scientific Treatise Regarding a Matter of Great Entomological Concern to All of Us

It's Just an Expression

Clothes I Have Regretted Wearing

Naming My Book: The Odyssey

That Was Then or Then Was That or Anyway, It Was Before Now

Ellen's Personal Home Tour

Things to Be Grateful For

My Self-Conscious, or, Check Me Out!

The Last Chapter

Bonus Chapter

Customer Reviews

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The Funny Thing Is... 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 91 reviews.
Hunter Warren More than 1 year ago
great book she just goes on and on shes awesomme
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought it was an insight into wondering minds. It seems as though she wrote as she was just walking around doing everyday things. Very much loved it. telling very one to go buy it
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow, I just finish this book.I could'nt belive how bad it was.It seem like it was all Ellen rambling on and on about nothing. The chapters were so dull and Unintresting.I like her as a stand up comedian so I thougth I would like this book.I did'nt at all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Five stars! Great book!
jb70 More than 1 year ago
So yesterday when I went to the library to find the Chelsea Handler book I wanted to check out I discovered the call number that houses similar titles. Not that I didn't know they were there somewhere, but I love stumbling across books that I am interested in but hadn't been looking for. It is like hitting the library jackpot! I enjoyed this book, it didn't make me laugh quite as hard as Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang did yesterday, but there were definitely parts that set me off. It was interesting too to read Ellen's book because a few months ago I read her wife Portia de Rossi's book and she was mentioned in it. Against Ellen's wishes I read this book while driving and flossing my teeth at the same time. Not really, but she cautions against it right from the front and urges us all to floss. Not bad advice. Also a good point, if you are using something to make sure you can use your phone hands free you may also need to concentrate on it as well! I think I'm going to be looking for some more of her books at the library next week, just don't tell her since she seems to be very worried about if you have paid for the book!
heyjude on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Humorous, yes, but not laugh out loud funny. Perhaps droll is the word? Definitely glad I did the audio over print since one can hear her inflections, etc. I like DeGeneres but would not rush out to get another.
alanna1122 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ba dum bum bump - cshhhh.It really surprised me how old-fashioned Ellen's humor was in this book. It's full of soft one-liners. (example- [Paraphrased] - I'm glad the audience was laughing with me - not at me - like the time I wore my shirt on backwards during a show) I really expected her humor to be more complicated and smarter - there were a couple of moments that were pretty funny... but all in all - I found this book barely entertaining. I remember reading her first book (about 10 years ago now...) and thinking that it was really funny. Maybe I have been spoiled by all the Sarah Vowell and David Sedaris I have read since her first book.I will say one thing for it... its a slim book and a very fast read... so even if you aren't enjoying it... there isnt much to it.
DanaJean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Ellen. I think she's witty and smart and super funny. But, this book was a huge ho hum for me. And maybe part of that is due to the fact that I've seen her perform most of this book in her TV stand-up shows. The jokes fell flat and lost something in translation. Ellen is a very physical comedienne; her timing, body movements, facial expressions and wide-eyed innocence are what make her jokes hysterical. It's a package deal with Ellen. Just reading the jokes simply didn't make the cut for me and I was really bummed by this. If you've never seen Ellen perform, then the book might be okay--but I have a strong feeling it would still rank pretty below average. A disappointing read for me. But I still love Ellen.
kelawrence on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
She makes me laugh, but I think her stand-up comedy is better.
Oreillynsf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Ellen, but her brand of human really doesn't work in print. With Ellen, it's all about pacing and delivery, and in book form that is really hard to replicate. Nigh on impossible.
doxtator on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book reads more like an on stage presentation of a stand up routine than it does of anything else, which I suppose was mostly the objective for the book. There are some funny moments, and a lot of amusing topics, but overall it felt a little forced, and a few of the bits were way off in left field. I think it lost something by being in print, and that the mannerisms of the author in the delivery of such material is what makes it more funny than when it is just read off the page with the memory of her style.
FMRox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
DeGeneres musings. It's not really funny though.
Wuzzlicious on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Perhaps I expected too much, but considering my love for Ellen's television performances, I was disappointed in her book. A lot of the same jokes were there, but, without her quirky mannerisms and tone of voice coming through, the jokes fell flat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Still laughing over the ending chapters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOL so good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not read her books before, but I just saying that because she is my comedy hero and I would LOVE to see her in person. Yes Yes Yes!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although I haven't and will never read this, I will share my opinion anyway.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is so awesome
KellyGirl924 More than 1 year ago
This is a great "page turner". You will not be disappointed :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shut the hell up whoever you are because you are an illiterate meanspirited person and should stop talking because apparently you did that without thinking like apparently you do everything else so what she likes the same gender she is a perfectly good person no matter what u say so shut up and let someone who knows what they are doing get a chance to speak.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SO WHAT! SO WHAT IF IM ATHEIST? SO WHT IF IM A LOVER OF THE SAME GENDER? SO WHAT IF I LIKE ELLEN? I dont agree with ur point of view about her. She is a Christian whos proud of who she is and has been tht way for with it... the only thing i agreed with was that Cameron Boyce is most definently HOT not Hawwwt but HOT. The only difference is tht i sound like an educated person when i say it that way. Not an illiterate t.wat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago