Ellen DeGeneres Recalls Tragic Accident That Led To Her Breakthrough Joke

Esequiel Farfan
Marcha 14, 2018

American comedian Ellen DeGeneres has recounted the heartbreaking experience she faced 40 years ago, when her 21-year-old girlfriend was tragically killed in a auto accident.

Before her life was filled with laughs, it was filled with tragedy...

I was living with her, and when she was killed, I couldn't afford to live where we were living together. "And I wasn't doing comedy, I think I was probably waitressing someplace at the time". She was a struggling 20-year-old waitress and couldn't afford the couple's shared apartment anymore. "I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor that was infested with fleas [and] thought: "Why is this attractive, 21-year-old girl gone and fleas are here?"

"Why is this handsome, 21-year-old girl gone?"

"I just thought it would be awesome if we could just pick up the phone and call up God and ask questions and get an answer", DeGeneres recalled about her "Phone Call to God" joke.

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Inspired, she began writing the idea down, coming up with other amusing tidbits until the whole routine "just unfolded", the comedian said. It just unfolded, I just wrote the entire thing and when I finished, I read it and I thought, "Oh my God, that's hilarious".

DeGeneres said that thought process rolled out into a joke she imagined could some day wind up on Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show - and could land her the honour of being the first female comic invited to sit down with Carson after delivering a stand-up spot.

It appears we can add "fortune teller" to DeGeneres' already impressive résumé.

"She was trying to get me to come back home (and) I acted like I couldn't hear her because the music was too loud", she recalled. 'In an instant, she just was gone.

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