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Ellen DeGeneres opens her first show from home with a tone-deaf joke about being gay in prison

Nick Duffy April 8, 2020
Ellen DeGeneres made a return to air

Ellen DeGeneres, after production of her show was suspended due to coronavirus, is back and is filming from her Los Angeles living room. (Screen capture via YouTube)

Ellen DeGeneres has revived her talk show from home, and wasted no time in cracking some odd jokes.

On Tuesday’s return-to-air for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she said: “Portia and I have been quarantining for three weeks now, and it’s nice, because we get to spend time together and talk, and just really get to know each other.

“This is like being in jail, is what it is. It’s mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for ten days and everyone in here is gay.”

People were not thrilled with the prison joke.

Of course, many people rushed to point out that being stuck in a $45 million Beverly Hills mansion with five bedrooms and 12 bathrooms may not be quite the same as a being in prison cell, known for the revolutionary combination single bedroom-bathroom.

Others noted that jokes about people being gay in prison are also nothing particularly new, nor particularly funny.

Ellen DeGeneres made a return to air
Ellen DeGeneres made a return to air

One Twitter response said: “She totally gets what it’s like to be locked up on Riker’s for a parole violation and die from COVID-19 now after being cooped up in a $40 million mansion for three weeks.”

Another added: “Petition to stick her in an actual jail after quarantine is lifted. Just for a month or so, so maybe she can learn something.”

One person wrote: “My 19 year old daughter is considered an ‘essential employee’. She’s a fast food worker. She’s exposed EVERY DAY. No one GAF about Ellen’s privilege pampers a** stuck in her mansion. Show me Ellen working the lines at the grocery store. NO mask, NO gloves. Then I might care.”

Ellen DeGeneres shares her thoughts on Tiger King.

However, the return to air did finally give us Ellen DeGeneres’ thoughts about the most important issue of the day – Tiger King.

She said: “You think you’re watching one thing, and it goes in so many different places, and I’m not saying it’s not disturbing as fart as it’s not right what they’re doing to animals, but if you watch it all the way, it ties together nicely in the very end.”

However, DeGeneres did make a spirited defence of one-armed tiger keeper Saff.

She told producer Andy Lassner: “Saff is a much better employee than you, because Saff went right back to work [after losing his arm]. Saff was like, I’m not taking time out to try to figure out how to get another arm. I’m going to go back to work with one arm.”

More: Coronavirus, Coronavirus lockdown, Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, Quarantine, the ellen show

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