It’s one thing to disagree with someone over a political or cultural issue. It’s another thing to completely disassociate yourself with anyone who does not see the world in the same way that you do.
The most recent kerfuffle is that talk show host/actress/comic Ellen DeGenereshung out with former President George W. Bush (R-Texas). Some have criticized the talk show host for choosing to spend her free time with the 43rd President.
Honestly, I don’t get what the big deal is. If Ellen wants to spend her free time with George Bush, that is her prerogative. Yes, she is a celebrity, but that does not mean that she must listen to the crowd when it comes to who her friends are.
And frankly, this friendship is a very good thing from my perspective. If a gay liberal performer and a straight conservative former President can kick back and relax together, why can’t the rest of the country do the same?
It’s obvious that our country is divided among several political and cultural fault lines. The problem is that we are unwilling to step over those lines and try to see the human being under the label of liberal and conservative. Until we do so, this country will remain as it is today.
Daytime TV talk shows, especially the ones where the guests are performers hawking their next project can be pretty mundane. It is there, up to the host to add color, life and a distinct personality to the show.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been on the air since 2003. Hosted by actor/comic Ellen DeGeneres, this talk show blends the traditional elements of a daytime talk show with games, audience participation and other segments.
Though I am not home to watch this show, when I do, I find myself enjoying it. As a host, Ellen is engaging, personal and feels more like a friend than a daytime talk show host.
In an episode titled “The Puppy Episode”, Ellen comes out of the closet to her therapist (played by Oprah Winfrey), to her crush Susan (played by guest star Laura Dern) and to the world.
It was nothing short of world-changing. Coming out of the closet is far from easy, but Ellen made it that much easier. The influence of that single sentence heard around the world is priceless. Without Ellen, not only would LGBTQ fictional characters remain secondary characters, but people in the closet in real life might never have had the courage to be themselves and fight for their rights.
Thank you Ellen DeGeneres for being yourself and encouraging others to do the same. Our world is a better place because of you.
Last night, I wished a happy 90th birthday to Mel Brooks.
What I did not know is that June 28th is also the birthday of another legendary Jewish comic, the late Gilda Radner.
Born in 1946, Gilda Radner is remembered as part of the original cast of Saturday Night Live, then known as the not ready for prime time players. Standing on the shoulders of Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett, Gilda paved the way for the careers of Tina Fey, Rosie O’Donnell, Ellen Degeneres, Amy Schumer, Roseanne and other female comedians. While some of her characters were broad and perhaps a little on the annoying side, other characters were sweet and maybe a little naive.
After leaving Saturday Night Live, Gilda acted in several movies, including Haunted Honeymoon(1986), with her husband, Gene Wilder. She left this world in 1989, dying from ovarian cancer. After her death, Gilda’s Club was established as a support system for those fighting cancer.