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 book 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, supplemented by easy-to-understand charts, graphs, and diagrams so that you'll never miss a joke.
Overseeing all aspects of production, DeGeneres labored over details both significant and insignificant, including typefaces, page number placement, and which of the thousands of world languages to use. Ultimately she selected English, as it's her mother tongue, but translations into Hindi and Pig Latin are already in the works.
DeGeneres takes an innovative approach to the organization of her book by utilizing a section in the beginning that includes the name of each chapter, along with a corresponding page number. She calls it the "Table of Contents," and she is confident that it will become the standard to which all books in the future will aspire.
Some of the other innovative features you'll find in this edition:
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.
Sure to make you laugh, The Funny Thing Is...is an indispensable reference for anyone who knows how to read or wants to fool people into thinking they do.
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 (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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Simon & Schuster
December 31, 2002
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Excerpt from The Funny Thing Is... by Ellen DeGeneres
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?