If I’m being completely honest, I don’t get the hype around Ellen Degeneres. I think she’s decently funny, and what she’s done for countless people around the world is fantastic, but the most I’ve ever seen from her is a few one-minute segments of her show on Instagram. I’ve never really thought of her as a comedian. I’ve heard so many people hype up her new Netflix comedy special “Relatable” that I decided to watch it and judge it for myself.
For the first 10+ minutes, Mrs. Degeneres talked solely about being gay. What she is, in my opinion, the most known for is that she was the first openly lesbian comedian/TV show host ever. She is keeping that reputation up by only making jokes based on the fact that she is a lesbian, making it seem like that is her only personality trait.
She’s clearly so much more than that. The fact that she is only really known for being a lesbian isn’t her fault, and that may be the only way she feels like she is “relatable” to the public. Also, the first 10 minutes didn’t even seem like a comedy show. It felt like a speech she was giving at an awards show. I didn’t find myself laugh even once within the first 20 minutes of her entire show.
Honestly, the beginning of her special just wasn’t relatable. I know that I’m not necessarily the target demographic as a 15 year old girl, so that might be why. But high school students don’t face nearly as much homophobia or hate that Mrs. Degeneres faced when she first came out in 2003, or that anyone else faced before. This isn’t necessarily true for everyone, but as a whole, my generation has become increasingly more progressive and accepting, something that her generation hasn’t necessarily adjusted to yet.
Mrs. Degeneres did a whole segment in her show about her being nice, which seemed completely unnecessary. Like yeah, she’s nice. So is most of the world, and no one decides to stand up and talk about it for literally 20 minutes. In her attempts at being relatable, she was almost too relatable to the point where everyone agreed with her and just nodded their heads, because there was nothing special about the segment. Her jokes were all just so well known and genuinely not funny. It’s all things I’ve heard before! Poking fun at white women in Priuses, talking about people who pronounce “library” as “li-bary,” it just seems so unnecessary and unoriginal. Mrs. Degeneres is funny in her own way, and she doesn’t need to push jokes on me that I’ve already heard 25 times.
She started in comedy, but Mrs. Degeneres has really found her niche market: middle aged moms who watch the talk show, and the occasional teenager through a one-minute segment on Instagram. There’s no point in going backwards once you’re already successful in what you do.