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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.

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Comments
  • She needs to go now. She was funny at first. Now she seems mean. Nothing she gives away is her money. It is from sponsors.

    August 9, 2020
  • First off, all these requirements are the same for any show, I’ve been to a few and it’s the same for all of them. And the prank they did was all in fun, people try to take a joke and turn it into something cynical.

    August 9, 2020
  • Years ago watched ellen now and then and she genuinely enjoyed or itblooked thatbway to be there.
    Dont watch it anymore. She looks over it even as she walks out, bored with interviewing her guests and the games are just tiresome.
    If she is nice or nasty the show has had its run. When she pulled the lady out for taking two peices of merchandise and humiliated her ellen lost me completely.
    Would love to see james gordon take over her time slot and pack up the ellen set for good.
    If the host isnt interested anymore im certainly not interested in watching a bored host going through the motions.

    August 9, 2020
  • Ok, so… I’ve been to many shows and they ALL have rules in line with all of these rules. Every single show. These rules are not “Ellen Show” specific. Geez…
    And as far as her treatment of that young lady, yes it was unkind. I happened to see that episode as well. I honestly thought it was a skit and not an attack of the woman. Now I know and agree that it was unkind, but the woman did take more than she was allowed to take. She could have just gotten up and left the show if she was that humiliated. Ellen is a comedian, and they are known to push buttons and go too far sometimes. You get what you get.

    August 9, 2020
  • I was in the audience a few years ago and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. And NONE of these rules seem unreasonable to me. Do ANY talk shows reimburse audience members travel expenses for cancelled shows? I never saw anybody FORCED to dance, certainly NOT the disabled. I have been on a few TV sets and they are ALL cold – keeping the studio at 72 degrees sounds great, but with all of the lights and equipment, being on the stage would be unbearable. As far as the woman being shamed, maybe that bit of comedy WAS in poor taste, but it has to be difficult to come up with new stuff all the time, and Ellen’s staff most likely comes up with these bits. I think that some of the complaints ARE legit, but now everyone seems to be throwing the kitchen sink at her.

    August 9, 2020
  • IT’S NOT ABOUT THE RULES. I also stopped watching Ellen b/c of her nastiness even to her guests! But that taping of the gal taking more than one item and then Ellen publicly filming, humiliating and moving her away from any source of comfort was awful to watch. She loves the shaming so much she now has a game show that allows her to continue it.

    August 9, 2020
  • Why is it that ppl find it so hard to believe that many of these morons are fake! To them it’s just a job & then they get caught & ppl go ape sh_t as if they really know them? Shaming a person is never ok! That’s just sick and humiliating, what happened to her so called compassion? Ellen I believe is cruel & a vengeful person,that in itself is very sad!

    August 9, 2020
  • First of all, the rules are completely normal. Have you seen the rules of other talk shows? Some make this list look simple. Some were
    Def legitimate too, such as ; Breaking up groups of friends and families is actually a good idea. Have u ever watched a show and saw the group of friends all leaning into each other whispering and talking? So rude! Most shows have dress codes. I went to the Riki Lake show many years ago and there was even a dress code there. I don’t feel that woman was “shamed” in a cruel way. She was laughing and loved the attention she was getting by Ellen and getting on TV. I don’t think Ellen is being evil, I think she just has a sense of humor some don’t understand. I find her hilarious. However, I am very disappointed to hear about all the negative things that happen on set. I hope everything works out for all involved.

    August 9, 2020
  • I’m reading these rules and they don’t seem all that drastic to me. Not being allowed to coordinate outfits might be a bit ridiculous, but otherwise, the rules seem fine to me.

    August 9, 2020
  • Wow come on…I’ve been to the show twice and it was soo much fun both times…ofcourse they have to have structure and rules…she was fun and funny and she interacts with her audience and staff…she is a comedian people get offended for everything these days..leave her alone already

    August 9, 2020
  • These are pretty standard rules for all TV show tapings. If you got the rules for The Price is Right or The View, they would be very similar.

    August 9, 2020
  • Overall I think Ellen is a remarkable person. She has been the host of her own show for two-decades. Anyone else want to try and put on a fresh show 5-days a week for that long? It is extremely difficult but Ellen has always made it look easy. The rules for the show seem reasonable enough. I do think Ellen has high standards and that’s how she got famous. Anything about her being mean is being highly exaggerated. If anyone is being mean it is the people who started this witch Hunt. Please leave Ellen alone. Nobody’s perfect and the truth is Ellen has proven over and over again that she likes to make people happy. Why do Americans like to destroy celebrities? All of this is as bad as the National Enquirer. Keep on hosting the show Ellen, you worked very hard to get where you are and showed tremendous courage when you came out on your sitcom.
    Praying for you. 🙏✝️💜

    August 10, 2020
  • Is no one bothered by the fact that when Barack Obama was on her show, she called the first lady Michelle Obama a liar right to his face. Her ego is bigger than her career. She was just showing us that she is friendly? ..with the President and Michelle. She was so disrespectful, it was disgusting. And no one called her out on that!

    August 10, 2020
  • I think what needs to be looked at that is more important than the ‘shaming’ of Ellen is the exposing of the corruptness, manipulative, elitism and down right discusting behaviour of so called celebrities. Just putting that out there, do we need them and at such a high cost?? Xx

    August 10, 2020
  • The rules are similar to other talk shows. Although the woman who was caught stealing was embarrassed, this is what happens when you are caught with your hands in the cookie jar. Next time, she won’t do the crime.

    August 10, 2020
  • Most of these rules sound pretty standard. I went to see Jay Leno a couple of times and I’ve been to Conan O’Brien’s show. The only difference is queuing for Conan was inside the parking garage. All studios are cool for reasons others have stated.

    August 10, 2020
  • The rules are pretty reasonable! Most shows have the same rules, I went to a taping of her show ,it was pretty fun !
    As for the woman who took 2 items she was asking for it , she should have known how strict these shows are

    August 10, 2020
  • I may not be in the majority on this one, but although I think “Ellen Jail” and the calling out was a bit harsh, the woman should not have gotten extra freebies and abided by the rules. She was greedy and basically stole extra stuff, let’s face it. I see a lot of sympathy for her and don’t know why. While what she did wasn’t up there with a Bonnie and Clyde style robbery, it wasn’t something to be commended for either. You tried to take extra stuff, you got called out, put on your Big Girl Pants and deal with it.

    August 10, 2020
  • I’ve never liked Ellen or thought she was even a little funny. These rules probably are similar to other talk shows, that’s why it takes a certain personality to want to be in the audience in the first place. I definitely don’t have that personality. My sister once asked me to go to The Price is Right with her. I declined when I found out they won’t let you in the building if you aren’t jumping up and down with excitement like an over-enthusiastic lunatic.

    August 10, 2020
  • I always thought that her show game of games was overly sadistic dropping, yanking people offstage for wrong answers. All with at the master control board

    August 10, 2020
  • There aren’t many, even in L.A.,with an ego like this woman. I can’t stand her, she isn’t even close to being funny. Stupid comedic/ joke style. But the skits where she has something/someone jump out/at her guests on the show to scare the hell out of them or more her style, make them look stupid, will hopefully get her punched in the mouth one day soon. Luckily I’m quick enough on channel changing that I don’t often have to witness this ignorance.

    August 10, 2020
  • I have watched the show, you can clearly see that Ellen is a bully. She will talk about being kind to one another if you really pay attention to the show she is right down mean, I think it’s her way of getting back at people because she has never been accepted in life, she should practice what she preaches. Yes Ellens show is all about hurting people..this is what people will pay for to see others get hurt, to me she has never accepted herself in life you can see she is not happy in her own life, why can’t she just be honest with herself & stop hiding behind her own demones.

    August 10, 2020
  • I remember this show. Could feel that women’s embarrassment and worst it was going world wide. Decided then that Ellen was a bully and nasty. Never watched her show again.

    August 10, 2020
  • I think Ellen has bunions, one on each foot.

    August 10, 2020
  • I said it years ago on a post that she was a mean person, got blasted by Ellen fans. I wasn’t so wrong eh?

    August 10, 2020
  • I think that this whole thing has been blown so far out of preportion…. One spark and everyone wants their moment in the light even if they are being irresponsible and petty. This is so American… To take a small thing that could have been sorted out months ago, but no! Find the ignorant people to add some more fuel to the fire. I think it’s stupid. Ellen, should sort out her house and get on with it. Love you Ellen! The good far outshines the bad.

    August 10, 2020
  • I never liked the show but occasionally watched it. I didn’t like what seemed to me were constant barbs at guests. After reading comments I see that is funny to some people. Not me, at least not kind.

    August 10, 2020
  • Sorry but Ellen is a hypocrite, after all this BLM happened she all of a sudden is an advocate for them, Having the Politicians from different states & stars on her show talking about how the country needs to stand up and take notice Yet it’s ok for her to mock people of color in her skits. Sorry not a fan anymore.

    August 10, 2020
  • I wated Ellen every day since I retired. I wish she could go back to the studio. The shoud is so much better there. One of these days after my husband is retired we hope to go to the show.

    August 10, 2020
  • Hey everyone out their in T.V. land ! I’ve been too the Ellen show 3 times with friends and Family, each time during the 5 year period when I was blessed to go it was a blast !! Ellen was ingageing with the audience and quite funny . After the shows I attended Ellen came out after and signed autographs and took photos . I personally found her to be very welcoming and generally happy to meet her fans ! This was after she had taped her show which must be exhausting and she couldn’t have been cooler !! I must’ve hit her show on 3 of her good days because this happened after the shows I and company attended !! Have photos and my tickets to prove it . People may say I’m an Ellen nut , not true, I’m a 58 yr old grandfather who’s kids are crazy about her and each time we went it was great !! I do wish Ellen the best , thanks for bringing joy and much needed laughter !! Peace and kindness we really need more!!

    August 10, 2020
  • I watch her show, she’s usually pretty funny. There have been a handful of times I’ve said out loud, “ I bet she has quite the temper.” I’ve told my husband a couple times, “ She seems like she has a mean streak for sure.” But in all honesty it’s never kept me from watching her show. We’re all imperfect , hopefully like all of us need to do, she will learn a thing or two from this. I’m glad I’m not under a microscope, yikes!

    August 10, 2020
  • Ellen DeGeneres has much bigger problems than just being mean. She’s under house arrest, wearing an ankle bracelet, because of the life she’s led. Hint: Her “set” is decorated like the “Temple” on Epstein Island.
    Ellen is not returning to a TV show.

    August 10, 2020
  • I don’t find her entertaining. Humiliation is cruel and she does a lot of humiliating. When I have seen her show She always has this I’m smarter than everyone attitude. I’ve seen her try to humiliate even young children and found that was disrespectful, disgustingly and out right dispicable. I think she was funny and nice at some point in the past many many years ago, but now Ellen is a just a horrible bully., now people are coming forward to Express their feelings about their bad experiences and I believe they shouldn’t be shunned for that.

    August 10, 2020
  • These rules are the same as Oprah’s audience rules. No controversy here. Yet I do agree that Ellen’s comedy can come across as mean spirited at times.

    August 10, 2020
  • The episode that was taped showing a woman taking more than “one free item”, was not recently… that aired a couple years back. I remember watching it.
    As for the “audience rules”… yes, every live talk show, no matter which host (The View, Oprah, Dr Phil, etc.), has rules for the audience members. Can you imagine if they didn’t?!

    August 10, 2020
  • I noticed awhile ago how much she liked humiliating people on her shows so not surprised about all this coming out. Stopped watching when I got tired of her obvious meanness.

    August 10, 2020
  • I think she is pure evil oh yeah how about
    wayfair website where she is selling cabinets w/ child names that match same names as the missing children , I hope they cancel her show and her hot wife divorces her, ,,
    she is not a pimp

    August 10, 2020
  • Even if the rules are accurate, which I highly doubt, anyone with a brain can see they are there for the protection and/or benefit of Ellen and her audience. Amazingly, the rules, as written here, specifically say “don’t take more than one gift or you’ll be called out” and that woman STILL did it. Why would you NOT expect to get called out?

    August 10, 2020
  • I still can not believe that you’re doing this to her…
    She is adorable and lovely and funny…
    Why? Why? Why?

    August 10, 2020
  • Shes a comedian most of them have no filter. If there are hidden cameras at Walmart why wouldn’t she have any on her set? Duh! Could she be a brat because covid has been a biotch to us all, im sure! Is she ungrateful? Hell I dont know and I really dont care! Its her show she can do as she pleases! Do I agree with some of her lifestyle choices, NO but again who am I to judge! The list goes on lol if you dont want to follow rules, don’t be a Linda, Karen, or a Jim Billy its that simple. If I ever had the opportunity to be on her set I would definitely jive as hard as I could! Periotttttt.

    August 10, 2020
  • I saw the stealing episode. She deserved it. Take one. She got snagged. As far as no pictures, at least you keep your phone. Dr. Phil doesn’t allow anything. It is put in lockers and you get it after the taping. Very ling. He does two shows. 1 (escorted by a page) bathroom break and a capri sun. We got there at 9am and didn’t leave until 430pm. Ellen anyday!

    August 10, 2020
  • I have attended over two dozen shows from Carson to Letterman and believe me the rules are pretty much the same on each show – hurry up and wait. First outside, then in a containment area, and all studios are cold. Maybe no dancing on other shows but the rules keep things orderly. No big deal!

    August 10, 2020
  • The rules sound reasonable to me.

    August 10, 2020
  • I see nothing wrong with the rules. They make sense to me. Except the rows dancing in unison, I’m a lousy dancer. 😆

    August 10, 2020
  • I went to a show and it was a pleasure.
    I had a great time.

    August 10, 2020
  • Ellen lost me the time she was with Michelle Obama at Michelle’s book signing. Ellen acted like a spoiled child and just didn’t know when to quit with her foolishness. Ellen’s over the top antics were humiliating and I give Mrs. Obama all the respect in the world for putting up with Ellen’s disrespectful antics.
    At our house we have noticed the glee with which Ellen loves to torment & humiliate people. We seldom watch anymore.

    August 10, 2020
  • I dont think these rules are excessive for a live on air show. I do however believe all the behind the scenes behavior.

    August 10, 2020
  • Most people could care less about the dang rules. It’s the cruelty ,and the hateful rude additude towards people. Even tho the girl was wrong for taking to much stuff she didn’t deserve to be humiliated on national tv.Even her game show can be cruel. Ellen better be out there doing something to fix this mess,or out she will go. Personally I have lost all respect for her after the girl incident.

    August 10, 2020
  • I was in the audience in February 2017 as a VIP guest. I can tell you that that they had us wait in a covered garage and it was during this time we were told Demi Lovato would be the guest. There was no metal detector and no one checking IDs for kids. (We had 2 14 year olds with us and brought their birth certificates just in case. They never even asked). We did not have to do a choreographed dance with our row.

    August 10, 2020
  • Why do I care? Oh wait I don’t. Don’t take more than one lol. I think ellen is weird in other ways like forcing guests to compliment her is very weird.

    August 10, 2020

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