Trending News
2020 has not been Ellen DeGeneres’s year. Here's what being in 'The Ellen Degeneres Show' audience is actually like.

Not-so-fun: What being in ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ audience is like

2020 was not Ellen DeGeneres’s year. She has faced all kinds of criticism for a whole variety of behaviors, such as complaining about being stuck in her mansion during quarantine, acting like a tyrant on set, treating employees poorly, and now, the same accusations are coming from her audience members. Turns out, being an audience member at The Ellen DeGeneres Show might not be the fun & games it seems. 

An incident, in particular, has been highlighted as being particularly heinous & improper. Although the incident was aired under the guise of good fun, as both Ellen & the audience member that was targeted smiled while the cameras were rolling, a closer examination of what happened reveals the truth: Ellen is downright mean. 

In an incident that occurred a little while ago, Ellen set up a desk at the front of her studio to “see how honest the audience was”. She laid out Ellen’s merchandise and told audience members they were allowed to take one item each, at no cost. While the event looked like a gift, the intention was actually a little more sinister. Ellen clearly states she wanted to see if she could catch anyone violating the terms of the giveaway. In other words, she was looking for people to call out. 

Ellen did say that the majority of her audience members that day did actually adhere to the guidelines and take only one item each. However, the daytime host wasted absolutely no time publicly shaming an audience member that didn’t. 

Ellen’s team set up the table, rigged it with hidden cameras, and did not tell the incoming audience members that they were currently being filmed. The hidden cameras captured an audience member clearly taking more than the one gift item. Ellen used the footage of this occurring, without the woman’s permission, and aired it during the show, shaming the woman on national television for her actions. 

As Ellen calls this woman out as the show is airing, she is smiling and giggling. However, the language she is using clearly denotes her true feelings on the issue. She uses the words “stolen items” and suggests that the audience member probably shoplifts and steals in other situations too. Ellen lectures the audience member, who we learn is called Nancy, about being a good person. 

The audience aren’t alone in suffering the wrath of Ellen. Here’s our article bringing you the most cringeworthy interviews hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

As if the humiliation of being publicly called out on camera wasn’t enough, Ellen then demands that the audience member move from her seat and sit in “Ellen jail”. The audience member is moved to a prominent location at the front of the set, ensuring everyone can see her at all times. Ellen appeared to delight in the public humiliation of her fans.

Have you always wanted to go and participate in a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show? Well, we found the rules the show has created for members of its audience. Check out this exhaustive list of do’s and don’ts that you must adhere to if you’re sitting in one of her coveted audience seats. We gotta say, some of them are pretty out there, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show appears unapologetic about them all!

Do you want to see just how mean Ellen can be? Here’s our article focused on the most problematic episodes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Rules for audience

  • Leave your knitting needles at home – meaning you can’t bring in weapons
  • No shouting out things – even if you’re showing love to guest onstage
  • Metal detectors are used – they say it’s tighter than airport security
  • Prepare to be cold – they keep the temp pretty low in the studio
  • No autographs – the size of the audience and lack of time are cited as reasons
  • Arrive in the biggest car you can – you could be the one taking home the massive amount of freebies Ellen gives away
  • Fans have to dress for the occasion – “dressy jeans” at a minimum and you should wear bright colors
  • Coordinating outfits isn’t allowed – you can’t coordinate outfits with your friends for reasons unknown. You do have the opportunity to purchase Ellen-related clothes in the backstage hangout area but you cannot wear that during the show taping either

  • The audience must be prepared to dance – it seems just as much time is spent on your feet as it is in your seat
  • Even celebrities have to dance – even in the 30-second commercial breaks fans are told to dance and even the celebrity guests aren’t safe from the constant demands
  • You must take care of your own accommodation – the show’s online FAQs section doesn’t even offer suggestions
  • Fans with special needs must give two weeks’ notice – although this rule may seem a little excessive during this lengthy period of notice the producers can ensure any potential issues are ironed out
  • Anyone under 14 is out of luck – you must provide a valid ID showing your age. Event celebrity guests under the age of 14 can’t technically sit in the audience
  • Fans have to line up outside – luckily the weather in LA is mild but fans have reported waiting hours before producers let them in

  • Fans need to be there super early – if you don’t have guaranteed seats then you better be in line early
  • Snacks are forbidden – If you try to sneak food in be prepared for some severe consequences
  • Fans might be separated from their family and friends – you get a number and that’s the order in which you can enter the studio so you may end up by strangers
  • Info about the show is kept top secret – you have an idea of what you’re going to get but most of it is kept secret. The first time you find out which celeb is coming is when they walk out on the stage
  • Each row has to devise their own dance – the rows are asked to devise their own dance moves and perform it in unison
  • Front row fans must know today’s pop hits – you gotta bust out your best dance moves and also be singing along to the hit that’s playing. I hope you’re good at multi-tasking
  • Game players must be super chipper – no surprise here. No one wants to watch a dud onstage

  • Even the clapping is choreographed – The audience is told exactly when and how to respond by a designated staff member
  • No t-shirts or shorts – no flip flops or hats either
  • Producers check your excitement – if you want to increase your chances of being chosen as a participant during the show then you better bring your A-game when it comes to energy
  • Fans must get gifts checked by security – no one gets to deliver a present by hand to Ellen and they must all go through security before getting to her
  • Fans get just one freebie – don’t try to take home more than one freebie. You may just get caught and called out in front of everyone

  • Chewing gum is forbidden – gum is a no-no as it’s not attractive on the screen and may keep you from singing those pop hits when Ellen enters. Oh yeah it’s a pain to clean up too
  • You can’t sell your tickets – if you’re lucky enough to get tickets don’t even try reselling them to make money. If the person who shows up isn’t the person on the ticket then they won’t get in
  • Recording the show is a no-no – fans can keep their cell phones but they must be switched off while in the studio
  • Travel expenses aren’t reimbursed after a canceled show – if you live in the area you’re probably fine but if you’re coming from out of town you might be losing a small fortune

Tickets to tapings of Ellen’s show have been sought after, and ridiculously hard to get for a decade now. Have you been to a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show? We’d love to hear about your experiences in her audience.

Things appear to be going from bad to worse for Ellen DeGeneres. Check out the details of Ellen and Portia’s potential divorce.

Share via:
  • The rules above are not unreasonable. I attended Dr. Phil & Dancing with the Stars. Same kinds of protocol & it needs to be cold for equipment.
    I heard about Ellen being mean years ago from someone working on the show. And don’t dare look at her. Heard she fired an entire crew once early on.
    Shaming this woman that took more than 1 item is despicable. Who knows what circumstances she was going through? Is it even legal to secretly film someone like that & broadcast it? And all the stars coming forward supporting Ellen are irrelevant. She was nice to people she likes. Hello? I stopped watching years ago. Over her.

    August 10, 2020
  • Ellen Degenerate is mean person. Wow. Who would a thought that?

    August 10, 2020
  • I have been to many show tapings, including Ellen, and the “rules” are the same across the board. However, some of these “rules” mentioned in this article are not true at all. As far as waiting outside, the Ellen Show has the most comfortable accommodations that I’ve experienced. You are sitting (not standing for hours in the sun, heat, cold air or rain) in an area on the street level of the parking garage. A kiosk with snacks and drinks is available.
    The only con I have is that Ellen does not interact with her audience at all. Other tapings I have been to this is not the case and you leave with a positive feeling about the host(s).

    August 10, 2020
  • I used to watch Ellen and started to notice that the front rows were filled with young, usually white, women. Why? Because that is the demographic that would know and sing today’s popular songs. To me that was a way of excluding older women and men from the more visible and better seats in the audience. Also, has any one else found it a bit appalling how frequently male guests and stage assistants are objectified by being asked to remove their shirts for the audience? Yeah, no, don’t watch any longer and the allegations are not at all surprising.

    August 10, 2020
  • Okay. I believe Ellen is mean. (Just watch her glee at causing misfortune for the contestants on Game of Games. Too real.). Shaming an audience member? That’s a step too far.

    BUT, even with that said, these rules are very standard for live audiences. There is nothing in here that is way out of line. Mean? Yes. Crazy rules? No.

    August 10, 2020
  • I’ve been to her show 2 times and we had a great time!!!! Yes there are alot of rules but it didn’t bother us ..and I love dancing so that didn’t bother us either …we had a great time and she was funny I would go again in a heart beat …me and my sisters sat together too…best time ever

    August 10, 2020
  • I don’t understand the concern re: the audience rules. I went to a Tonight Show taping and the rules were nearly identical.

    August 10, 2020
  • I cant even imagine people going this far Ellen has done nothing but good things for people its pretty hard to act and pretend to be nice and to be fake as long as her show is on come on and she never slipped up thats even harder they doing a talk show everyday. I always look at old videos of the children and special thing she has done for many many many people and it has got me through some rough days in the last two years because of her shows and stories and the people that she changed their life i see faith and hope that anything is possible. No one said she never had a bad day but I don’t believe she is a evil nasty person. And I love how 🤔 out of no where this becomes a thing I am grateful for Ellen her show,people she has helped peoples lifes she has changed all the kids she has given a chance to accomplish their dreams and goals so i don’t believe anything negative about ellen.

    August 10, 2020
    • hahaha, like she never took acting classes

      July 11, 2022
  • STOP THE MADNESS PEOPLE! And where are the celeb friends and colleagues? Idk why they would sit idly by while this happens. Andy has publicly stepped up but he’s one of a few. This is grown-ups acting badly; name calling, hurling insults and casting aspersions. Rules, so what! They exist for a reason and can be found in all facets of life. So…with all the atrocities occurring in this country and around the world, Ellen DeGeneres has become the distraction. No cure for cancer because too much money is being made from the treatments and dying…and that Ellen DeGeneres is a meanie. Coronavirus, children hungry, homelessness, education…oh wait, that Ellen DeGeneres has supported all such causes. PERFECT? NO, BUT WHICH ONE OF US ARE? Everyone has dirt. I guess Ellen DeGeneres’ dirt is dirtier…

    August 10, 2020
  • I Love Ellen and think that her show is all in fun and happiness.
    Anyone that watches and knows Ellen should know that she loves to do funny things to people.
    I would go to her show anytime and any day.
    The rules she has in place sound about right.

    August 10, 2020
  • It doesn’t have to be cold for the equipment, 70-80 degrees is perfectly acceptable…. and if you’re the last one in a movie theater, maybe you should have gotten there sooner.

    August 10, 2020
  • These are standard audience rules for show tapings it’s no different at any other talk show. If you’re a thief then pay the price that audience member was dishonest that’s her fault not Ellen’s

    August 10, 2020
  • Well I just love her I would care if I had to sit in the back or on the floor with all the things going on everybody needs a little Ellen in there lives

    August 10, 2020
  • The rules all seem reasonable. However, Ellen’s delight in humiliating others—including her prime time game show contestants or the audience member who did exactly what Ellen hoped for—is weird. Is it an overblown ego that makes her think this is all okay?

    Don’t forget to “be kind to one another”—unless your Ellen.

    August 10, 2020
  • Seriously, it just appears everyone is jumping on the band wagon of being unkind. Check out the rules for any show that has an audience, very similar to these. You’ve been asked to take one item, you didn’t, you get caught. There’s bound to be consequences.

    August 10, 2020
  • I stopped watching Ellen a long time ago. What kind of person likes to scare everyone? She gets completely delighted when someone loses at one of her games and has to be dunked or pie in face or some other demeaning gesture. I saw the meanness in her personality some time ago.

    August 10, 2020
  • And I thought she was fun, but naahhh!!!

    August 10, 2020
  • I love how people are always ready to point fingers and say negative things once someone gets them going. One thing is said about Ellen and now she’s been just awful to everyone, I don’t believe it. She has given and given to make life easier for so many. The good she does can’t just be explained away because that comes from a good heart. I am sure she is not perfect and has probably had a few off days when others are around but excuse the last time I looked she was still just human. My mother always told me if I have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all. I don’t think I would want the world looking at me with a magnifying glass because I would not look my best at times. Thank goodness no one cares if I yell at someone or act moody or just want to be myself for a while where is the crime?Lets get off our high horses and stopping pointing fingers a throwing out all these accusations . I love watching Ellen she is a comedian first so if you can’t take be razzed then don’t go to her shows. Her heart is what see shine through with the good she does and THAT TRUMPS EVERYTHING ELSE. Sorry for saying Trump

    August 10, 2020
  • Ellen seems to have problems for sure. But it is stupid to write a article where the facts are laid out to deceive
    The procedures are pretty much the same for any show. BEFORE any guest enters they have been given info (tickets/signs) that they can can be taped at any time.
    Lines are long and waiting can be for hours.

    August 10, 2020
  • Nothing wrong at all with those rules. She (They) have every right to ask those things of the audience.

    August 10, 2020
  • The show rules for the most part are standard for all shows. Your ticket states you may not get in and states a arrival time. And yes you can’t shout out or approach the host or guest this is not a meet and greet.

    August 10, 2020
  • Who cares if she said that she’s not perfect.. it’s wrong for her to embarrass a fan. And it’s about her and what she’s a loud to happen with her staff. I don’t care if you like her, wrong is wrong. Fire her ass

    August 10, 2020
  • I have been to the show and while we did wait it was not that bad, people were friendly and everyone was excited to see her. The rules are the same for every show. Jay Leno was exactly the same. David Letterman was the same, even Broadway was the same. She does so many great things for people at no one’s expense. People are so whiney today, and everyone just wants to jump on the hate Ellen wagon. You know why the tickets are hard to get? Because she gives away so much stuff. People are greedy just like the woman she caught stealing, and she was stealing. She was entitled to one thing. Period. Look how insane people get on the 12 days of Xmas giveaway. They are there because they are greedy. People even try to sell the stuff. It is the public that sucks, not Ellen. Sad washed up celebrities aside, where the hell are all the celebrities that acted like her friends, that is who you should find disgusting.

    August 10, 2020
  • Come on. Apart from the secret filming and the consequences for Nancy, everything else here is okay. She isn’t an angel just human and better than many Americans. Gid bless her and guide us all.

    August 10, 2020
  • These are all standard for any TV show. It’s not an “Ellen” thing. Check out any show, exactly the same.

    August 11, 2020
  • I like Ellen but then again, I don’t put celebs on pedestals. They’re for entertainment value only. What is not acceptable today was very acceptable in the past. Pranks were part of humor culture. I guess no one ever watched Candid Camera?

    August 11, 2020
  • Idk about her being mean to her staff but the time she “shamed” the audience member was funny to everyone it didn’t feel mean at all. The lady thought it was funny too. The episode where she takes Michelle Obama to CVS was just weird n awkward tho. Also those rules aren’t weird.

    August 11, 2020
  • I don’t have an issue with Ellen calling out a thief. She is generous enough to let you take onnne free gift. Be thankful that you get one free gift. She has a right to establish whatever rules she likes and from the expressions on the faces of all her guests, they seem happy to be there. I love Ellen!

    August 11, 2020
  • I’ve seen the show several times, and had nothing but fun!! Just my experience!

    August 11, 2020
  • This isn’t at all outlandish for a TV audience Do’s and Don’ts list. I’ve never been to the Ellen show, but I’ve been in the audience for other shows, and they all had a list almost identical to this one. The only thing I see here that isn’t on other shows requirements, is the mandatory dancing. As it’s one of her gimmicks, it makes sense.

    Disclaimer: this isn’t me sticking up for ellen… I think shes a corporate shill who is “nice” to boost her own image. I think the money has gotten to her, just like everyone else. I’m just saying, that calling her audience requirements “out there” is incorrect.

    August 11, 2020
  • Sure Ellen treats others in the business kindly and they in turn are sticking up for her now. It’s the everyday people that she is so mean, rude and enjoys bringing down. She puts herself above everyone who is not what she believes her equal. The money etc. given does not come out of her pocket. She loves to humiliate and shame. Why would anyone go on her game show. Her jokes are lame and she is just not funny. She flaunts her wealth . Her standup on Netflix was a bomb. I am glad to see all her real self coming to light. BE KIND————give me a break. I would love to see her ride off into them sunset and enjoy her many millions.

    August 12, 2020
  • I agree that none of the rules seem unreasonable, but the fact that she purposely recorded her audience members taking the free items tells you that she was seeking out someone to humiliate. It’s be one thing if the person was caught under normal circumstances, but she was looking for it. That’s effed up. I always heard Ellen was a raging b**** and I can totally see it now. I hope she goes down! All these people sticking up for her DO NOT know what it’s like to work underneath her so your opinion is meaningless!

    August 13, 2020
  • I have been to a couple tapings of Ellen over the years, but one specific one stands out to me. I had tickets for my mother and I to see what would be an episode around the time Prince William and Kate were to be married. She actually gifted the entire audience with a replica necklace just like Kate’s engagement ring that she later sold on her site. A few days before the taping I had broken my foot. Since time lets to Ellen are so hard to come by, I still wanted to attend crutches and all. We ended up checking in early around 7am, took a nap in my car, and then waited another 3 or so hours before getting in. And just my luck, my mother and I were the first ones not to make it into the audience. That meant we were in the green room watching the show on monitors, but still expected to dance. Which I did my best. Now because we were the first two cut off, it meant we would be seat fillers for audience members who were chosen for games and such. When two seats became empty at commercial, the staff asked my mom and I to be seat fillers. I happily said yes! Then realized what I got myself into. We had to walk up these steep narrow stairs behind the audience to get to the back. I hobbled up with my cast and crutches while staff just looked on and asked me to hurry before commercial ended. Once at the top my mom and I were split up and I was ushered to the empty seat midway down more stairs and told by the staff to hide my crutches under the seat and dance with the audience. I was sweating my booty off already, but so excited. So I got up and on one leg danced and clapped and cheered. Sat down. Segment ended, and staff brought the lady back and stood there until I managed to get up and out, then had me follow her back down those steep stairs to stand with the other standbys in the green room. I was like 32 at the time and of capable body, so it wasn’t a tragedy of unjust. But it did show me an indifferent side to the Ellen Show. Not once did staff offer to assist me, nor advise me that safety wise it might not be a good idea (as I did almost lose my balance on the stairs twice.), nor even acknowledge I was incapacitated in any way. I understand the rules of 2 weeks notice if you have special needs, but I did not have 2 weeks notice to give. Life happens and you adjust. Just not at the Ellen Show. You go with the flow or don’t go. I can’t speak for anyone else but myself, and from my experience my personal opinion is that yes, I believe Ellen was probably guilty of turning a blind eye to the abuse around her so that her well oiled machine ran well. I don’t believe it was intentional but standing by and doing nothing, like with how her staff did with me…it is just as bad if not worse since you had the power to fix it for others but chose your own success of the show over others. She honestly should have been kinder to all, not just the camera.

    June 10, 2021

Leave a Comment