BURBANK, CA – MAY 24: Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, May 24, 2016 in Burbank, CA. (Photo by Brooks Kraft/Getty Images)

So word on the street is the persona of Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show may not be an accurate portrayal of her demeanor off stage. Stories of not allowing the consumption of meat by her employees, or not allowing them to look her in the eye, or just being rather mean when not in stage are peppering the Intertubes left and right. Honestly, these stories have been circulating for years, but recent tweets from the likes of Brad Garrett and Lea Thompson reinforcing these believes have helped propel them to new heights.

First of all, can we talk about the whole “you can’t look me in the eye” thing? What sort of weirdo does this? If this is true about anyone, they should probably be avoided at all costs. It takes a certain amount of some sort of psychosis to tell people they can’t look you in the eye. That’s just stupid.

That being said, are we really surprised to find out that Ellen on stage is different from Ellen off stage? I just take it for granted that most famous people are this way. Earl and I were in the audience of a talk show a couple of decades ago and the show host was quite crabby during commercial breaks and refused to sign any autographs or meet any of the audience members after the show. What you saw on television, a bubbly, happy, sing-songy personality, was nothing like what we saw during the break. I’m surprised this host allowed the audience to witness this stuff without signing an NDA.

I’ve read and heard stories like this for literally decades. Years ago I was chatting with a fellow “Bewitched” fan online, who was invited to a “Hollywood Party” with one of the folks from the set of “Bewitched” and he said he met someone that was quite crabby, or as he put it, “she didn’t really turn the world on with her smile that night”.

Everyone has a bad day, right?

I was never an avid viewer of Ellen’s talk show. I’d catch clips here and there as they were force-fed over airport television or something, but other than that, I knew she danced a bit, told some jokes, and then did fluffy interviews with fluffy people. I’ve heard that lately she’s taken her games to a new level, dousing with water and flames or flinging them out of a slingshot or something but I figured that’s just what the American public wants in 2020. I did see her clips with the old lady from Houston who drank Listerine but someone revealed that was a stage hand doing an imitation of an old lady that drank Listerine and I lost interest.

If Ellen is as awful as they say she is then don’t work for her. I know I won’t. I won’t watch her show either, but like her or not, we have more gay people on television today because she was gay on television in the late 1990s. She was probably too gay at the time and so was I but we all survived it.

I won’t be cranky, though, and you can look me in the eye.