Liza Minnelli Says Ellen’s Oscar Joke Went ‘Astray’ (Video)



Minnelli oddly unenthusiastic about being called “sir” in front of millions of people

Surprisingly, Liza Minnelli wasn’t thrilled to be referred to as a man during the Oscars on Sunday night.

Minnelli, who was jokingly referred to as “sir” during host Ellen DeGeneres‘ opening monologue, offered her thoughts about the joke when approached by TMZ.

Also read: Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscars Pizza Party Sparks Sales Surge for Big Mama’s & Papa’s

Minnelli didn’t exactly give DeGeneres a glowing review.

“I think she thought it would be funny, but she never stopped after she said it and said, ‘My friend, Liza Minnelli,” the actress/singer said. “I think it went a little astray on her.”

See photos: 26 Best & Worst Moments of Oscars 2014

DeGeneres made Minnelli the target of one of her most piercing jokes during the monologue, referring to her as “one of the best Liza Minnelli impersomators I’ve ever seen in my life” and adding, “Good job, sir.”

But lest anyone think that the moment had created bad blood between the two, Minnelli told TMZ that Ellen is “a wonderful lady, and I think she did great.”

Way to keep it classy, Liza. You even got DeGeneres’ gender straight.

Watch the video below.

  • Delsey

    I’ve always had the feeling that something slightly less nice lurks beneath the oh-so-nice Ellen exterior.

    • Samual

      Delsey, remember how sweet and nice that other talk show host (Rosie O’Donnell!) was before the real her came out? I wonder….

    • astralislux

      Ask Anne Heche.

  • Victoria Heim

    Never fun when some are put in the hot seat. Ellen still could use a coach.

  • lulucaliente

    It was a hilarious joke, one which back in the day when Liza still had her faculties and her sense of humor, she might have appreciated.


    The remark was rather tacky – it surprised me that it came out of Ellen’s mouth.

  • Samual

    I agree with resylvanus, that joke was rather tacky. I don’t have a dog in this hunt but I know a mean spirited joke when I hear one. That sounded like something Joan Rivers would have said.

  • Samual

    Delsey, remember how sweet and nice that other talk show host (Rosie O’Donnell) was before the real her came out? I wonder….

  • Bradgina

    The joke wasn’t at the expense of Liza Minelli, it was at the expense of Minelli impersonators, many of whom are men.

  • Ridgid

    What happened to…”be kind to one another Ms DeGeneres” ….how embarassing for poor Liza..

  • Seeker 42

    I guess de Generes can get away with a joke like that because she’s gay. I think it was in terribly bad taste, especially given the health problems Liza has had over the years. I was thinking how well she looked with more restrained make-up; she looked more relaxed and less manic — and then Ellen drops her bomb. Even the audience seemed hesitant in their reaction. The show got better, but Ellen seemed way off key in the opening monologue.

  • Corky Goldstein

    Ellen was great. This one joke was hurtful to Liza Minnelli,and they are friends,so I really don’t think Ellen was intentionally trying to embarrass her–live TV–and it came out rather offensive,but I really think Liza Minnelli is less disturbed about it then everyone else. Let’s face it, Liza Minnelli has certainly been the brunt of many many jokes from the late night hosts,like Jay Leno,especially when she last married that “unusual” guy!! Let’s lighten up. It was one of the better Oscar shows. Frankly, Minnelli did look very “strange”!!

  • Doug

    Well, Liza doesn’t have a sense of humor. And, actually, she did look like a drag queen impression of herself.

  • Oscar

    The people who are saying it was hilarious because she did look terrible are true creeps.

    It was simply not a funny joke, offensiveness aside. Ellen and whoever wrote that line broke rules of comedy picking Minnelli as a target.

    What made it worse was Ellen’s fumbling delivery. Then she dragged it out and you could see Minnelli’s reaction to just move on. Ellen has a creepiness to her, a fake nice with an icy mean and it surfaced in this “joke.” Doubtful they are true friends, or still friends but of course Minnelli is a true professional and isn’t going to go screeching about it online.

  • dianeselwin

    Ellen sucked the whole night. A pizza and a selfie. Classless. This isn’t daytime TV honey.

    • diurnal

      Cannot watch that daytime show. It’s actually angering and depressing it is so stupid and bad. Also, all these hosts who do cheesy audience give aways (a widget for everyone!) seem to have ripped the idea from Rosie who used to do it on her show but she did it with a genuine joyfulness and generosity not as pandering shtick. Ellen used to be a good stand-up, but is not a good dancer.

  • astralislux

    It was hilarious, but she didn’t get it’s about the transvestites who impersonate her, not her. But that was funny too.

  • Alexander Gonta

    I thought that the joke against Liza Minelli was in poor taste. I also thought this whole idea of Pizzas was plain stupid. You took a classy show, with people wearing tuxedos and designer dresses ,and very highest classiest outfits, with the most glamorous of Hollywood and try to reduce to like a regular family dinner with Pizza. It took the show down to a much lower level than what it deserves