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Friday, November 15, 2013

The Ellen DeGeneres Show - Positivity and Generosity

Before we continue on with today's blog entry, I wanted to talk about something else. Something very important.

As many of you well know by now, a devastating super typhoon struck the shores of the Philippines, killing at least ten thousand people, and leaving many more people without shelter, food, and potable water. It is estimated that it is one of the most deadliest natural disasters to occur in global history.

I have watched some of the devastation on television over the past few days, and it made me incredibly sad. To see the lives of so many people completely destroyed in a matter of minutes is indescribable. It really makes you put everything into perspective.

I mean, think about it for a second. A mega disaster such as what happened in the Philippines really makes all of those other problems (that some like to call “first world problems”) really seem very insignificant in a way. I mean, just take today for instance. Right now, I imagine that there are a lot of disappointed video gamers in the world because they happened to be the sixty-first person in a line up to buy the recently released PlayStation 4 console when only sixty were available. But when you compare a situation like that to what is happening in the Philippines right now, where hundreds of thousands are waiting in line for basic necessities like food, water, and medication. I mean, there really is no comparison as far as I'm concerned.

So, that's why this blog is all about helping people. Specifically, I'll be talking about a talk show host who over the course of their entire hosting career has done nothing but help people in a variety of different causes.

Of course, before that, I want to just share with you a couple of links. Now, keep in mind that there's absolutely no obligation to click on them. They're just there for reference, and they are also there to assist the people of the Philippines as they try to clean up and rebuild in the aftermath of the storm.

Now, admittedly, these links are all Canadian based charities (makes sense, since I am Canadian by birth), but I am sure that depending on what nation you are from, there are various charities that you can donate money to. Just do a quick Google search to find out which ones are available. I just chose the three that appeared in the highlighted box when I entered my search in.

I just also want you to be careful before you donate. I want to think that most charities have the most noble of intentions, but there are quite a few scam artists out there who are using this tragedy to make a quick dollar. Do your research before you donate. I'm fairly confident that UNICEF, the Canadian Red Cross, and World Vision are legitimate, which is why I posted links to those three. But again, do your research and make sure that the money is going to where it is supposed to go.

After all, when it comes down to it, we all have to stand together to help others get back on their feet.

Or, perhaps in the case of today's talk show spotlight, maybe all you really have to do is dance together.

Yes, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is well known for popping a few dance steps whenever possible. One of the highlights of her talk show since it debuted in September 2003 is that she opens the show every day with a dance through the audience. Well, when she CAN anyway. She has had to sit out a few times for various reasons, in which case she will get a stand-in. But I thought that it was a brilliant idea to get people excited about the show and to put them in a good frame of mind so that she can enjoy themselves.

Because that's just the type of person that Ellen is. She likes to give back to people, and she wants nothing more than to make people happy.

I think that's why I enjoy watching her talk show a lot more than other people. She doesn't have a panel of women arguing over political issues to the point where they descend into verbal catfights that are completely void of class. She doesn't give every single man in a twenty mile radius a DNA test to determine which one fathered a woman's six children. She doesn't encourage people to flash the camera just so they can get their hands on a string of “Jerry Beads”.

She's just Ellen being Ellen. And, honestly, I've always been a huge fan of Ellen DeGeneres. I watched her sitcom, I watch her show, I thought she did a good job hosting the Grammy Awards years back, and you know what? I even liked those JCPenney commercials that she did last year for the holiday season.

That's not to say that she's absolutely perfect though. I didn't really care for the movie “Mr. Wrong”. But hey, everyone has their likes and dislikes, right?

Anyway, one of the reasons why I enjoy her show is because she has a lot of fun at every possible opportunity. She seems to have instant chemistry with almost every single person she interviews, and she comes up with a lot of clever ideas to keep her show fresh after eleven seasons.

Whether she sends her staff into a haunted house...

...or plays the game “Know or Go”...

...or shows us “What's Wrong With These Photos” photos...

...she has fun every step of the way. And I don't know about you, but with so much negativity these days on the air, it's nice to be able to devote an hour of my time to watching a show that is one hundred per cent positive.

And part of the reason why it is always positive is because the show is hosted by someone who truly cares. Not just about the show's production and planning, but about the people who take the time to watch the show.

I mean, yes, we already know that Ellen is a rather generous person. I think that all we really need to do is tune in to Ellen's show during the month of December to watch one of Ellen's Twelve Days of Giveaways to best demonstrate that point. Have a look at one of these days below.

I still have to wonder how Ellen and her production team managed to get so many companies to donate all that stuff to every single person in her audience! But then, I suppose that the companies are more than willing to do this, as it means free advertising for them and their products. Still though, it's certainly one of the days of the year in which you absolutely want to have a ticket to watch the show.

(And to be fair, Ellen has given tickets out for the event throughout the year to her audience members to take part in this event.)

But there's so much more than that.

I know that last month and every October in the past, Ellen has really done a lot to raise money for breast cancer awareness. This past month for example, she had a breast cancer awareness ribbon made up of pink and silver balloons, and she would assign a dollar amount to each balloon. Sometimes the celebrity guest would take part, and sometimes it would be a member of the audience, but the goal was the same. You would take a bow and arrow and shoot the arrow towards the balloons in order to make the most money (which all went towards research for a cure for breast cancer). To sweeten the deal, if the balloon with the most money attached to it was popped, a person who was locked away in a splash tank (usually a celebrity guest) would get water dumped on them.

And as you can see in this clip, Ellen made sure that the ten thousand dollar balloon was ALWAYS popped.

Yeah, I know. It's advocating cheating (which usually I find to be a cheap way to win). But when everyone benefits from it, it is REALLY a bad thing? I don't think so in this case.

Ellen is also the kind of person who never really forgot where she came from. As many of us know, Ellen's hometown is New Orleans, Louisiana, and as many of us witnessed, New Orleans was seriously impacted by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. It was a storm that flooded three-quarters of the city, and eight years later, people are still trying to rebuild the city.

And Ellen was there for the people of New Orleans. She donated money to families who really needed it, and in this clip below, she toured the Ninth Ward (the neighbourhood most badly in need of assistance from the aftermath of Katrina) with actor Brad Pitt, commenting on the devastation.

I mean, I know that I've been somewhat...shall we say...critical of my place of birth over the years, but I do know one thing. If my town ever has a natural disaster, I believe that we'd all work together to make the town bigger and better than before. I mean, just witnessing what happened during the Ice Storm of 1998 with everyone coming together to get through it was great.

But again, that's part of the reason why I respect Ellen DeGeneres a lot. And, to conclude this blog entry, here are some more examples of her positivity and generosity at work.

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