Archive | 10:48 AM

Book Review: Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres (4/5)

22 May

I love celebrity comedian memoirs. I remember listening to an Ellen book with a friend of mine in high school and laughing so hard it was inappropriate. I grabbed this book during a bag sale at the library but I found time to listen to it before I had time to read it, so here we are. I used to watch Ellen’s show when I’d get home from high school while I ate a snack so I’m a big fan of hers.

Cover image via Goodreads

Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres

Summary from Goodreads:

“Sometimes the greatest things are the most embarrassing.” Ellen Degeneres’ winning, upbeat candor has made her show one of the most popular, resilient and honored daytime shows on the air. (To date, it has won no fewer than 31 Emmys.) Seriously… I’m Kidding, Degeneres’ first book in eight years, brings us up to date about the life of a kindhearted woman who bowed out of American Idol because she didn’t want to be mean. Lively; hilarious; often sweetly poignant.

This book was exactly what I was expecting which was perfect. I wanted something honest and lighthearted. I wanted someone who was going to talk about her life and poke fun at herself but who is uplifting and a wonderful role model. This is a woman who won the Presidential Medal of Freedom and she had me laughing at silly jokes in her book. She’s a true American Icon, even if she’s not an American Idol.

Ellen portrays herself and her wife in a very realistic way. I don’t know much of de Rossi outside of her character on Arrested Development but I feel like I know Ellen from watching her show. As silly as she is and as outrageous as some things in her book may seem, I honestly believe that her life is like that. I think she embraces the silliness and things seem outrageous because of her perspective on the world.


I think celebrity memoirs really make the star seem very human. When I think of a celebrity, I think of someone who doesn’t do their own grocery shopping or cleaning or anything that could be work. But reading these memoirs reminds me that very few celebrities reach that level of wealth. That’s mostly reserved for businessmen. A lot of celebrities have very normal and relatable lives. They have to clean their houses and pets. They have fights with their significant others. They do a lot of ‘normal’ things and I find that reassuring.

Ellen DeGeneres receiving her Presidential Medal of Freedom with Pres. Obama
Image via NY Daily News

Ellen’s talk about a Finding Nemo sequel was really funny in light of the recent release of Finding Dory. I might not have laughed at those jokes five years ago, but today I don’t see them as bitter, just ironic.

The one thing I dislike about this style of book is the short chapters. They don’t allow for much substance but I imagine with many other books under her belt, DeGeneres might have been a bit short of solid material.

Having Ellen read the audiobook was amazing. I’m glad I listened to it instead of reading it, I don’t think it would have had the same effect. She even read the chapter numbers in funny voices to make the listening more fun. I would highly recommend this format.

I’m not sure there’s a running theme in this book, to be honest. Memoirs like this don’t always have one. DeGeneres wants to make her reader laugh and she does a good job of this. She uses a variety of jokes which I really appreciated and enjoyed. I’d read another of her books in a heartbeat.

Writer’s Takeaway: I’m not sure the variety of topics and formats for chapters would translate as well to the fiction I write. It works well for a genre that can seem repetitive after a while. She mixes up her essays with lists and commentary that keep her style in mind but keeps the reader pushing forward to see what’s going to come next.

This book was a fun listen and I enjoyed it a lot. Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Review | Seriously… I’m Kidding, Ellen DeGeneres | Literary Treats
Review: Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres | BookSpoils
Seriously… I’m Kidding – Ellen DeGeneres | CatherineZiemann