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Former Ellen DeGeneres Show guest reveals the brutal rules she had to follow: ‘Don’t be funnier or smarter than Ellen’

Josh Milton August 14, 2020
Ellen DeGeneres

The Ellen DeGeneres Show has become the subject of an internal investigation by WarnerMedia (Brooks Kraft/Getty)

The latest spike to be thrown under Ellen DeGeneres’ feet has come from a former guest, who accused the host of “snapping” out of her beloved “kind” character within moments of the cameras stopping filming.

An audience member told The Sun that DeGeneres, 62, would become “moody” on set during advertisement breaks, often, she said, breaking away from her bubbly personable self to sitting in silence on her couch. Ignoring everyone.

Moreover, the audience member claimed that she was told by staff that she can’t be “funnier or smarter” than DeGeneres, and she was “humiliated” after she was made to “scream and jump” backstage.

The face of the eponymous The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been repeatedly stung in recent weeks by an array of accusations stretching from her doing little to reel in a workplace culture of racism to verbally bullying employees.

The Ellen Show staff told guests not to be ‘funnier or smarter than Ellen DeGeneres’.

Dana Dimatteo appeared as an audience member on the daytime talk show in 2018 and was even selected to be part of the game, “Make It Rain!”, which sees contestants get soaked in water while attempting to win a cash prize.

In the footage aired at the time, it showed the 29-year-old screaming with glee as she’s plucked from the audience and rushes from the stands to the stage. But what happened before and after the slot, she said, startled her.

“During commercial breaks, Ellen would break out of her ‘kind’ character and sit moodily in silence on her couch, not acknowledging anyone,” Dimatteo claimed.

“She didn’t say one word to the audience unless the cameras were on, she snapped out of her character the second the cameras stopped rolling.”

Dimatteo added that her experience of seeing the show taped live was one she always looked forward to, having travelled from Chicago to the Los Angeles studio.

“We were told by the producers that if we were picked we were not allowed to be funnier or smarter than Ellen, that she is the star and the comedian, not us,” she said.

“We were told to act in a very specific way and to only speak if she asked us a question.

“They made us scream and jump around backstage as a test, it was pretty humiliating.”

‘You have to follow all these rules, you can’t be yourself.’

After playing in the game, Dimatteo described how she was “soaking wet” but staffers hurried her backstage. 

“Then they just left us there,” she said, “we waited pretty much the whole show in our soaking wet clothes for someone to bring us dry things to change into.

“It was really cold and uncomfortable.

“I didn’t enjoy myself on the show. You have to follow all these rules, you can’t be yourself, you have to clap constantly and laugh at things that aren’t funny.”

More: Dana Dimatteo, Ellen, Ellen DeGeneres, The Ellen DeGeneres Show

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