Ellen DeGeneres’s unfortunate commitment to “pranks” means that at some point she’s gonna piss you off by tormenting one of your favorite celebrities. Here it is for me.

Sarah Paulson would be the love of my life if she weren’t already living a dream romance with Holland Taylor. Watching Ellen make this sensitive artist scream with fear until she almost cries not once, but three times, is hideous! First, Ellen jumps out at her in her dressing room, which should be a safe space for celebrities. That’s where you go to collect yourself, and pick your nose. There shouldn’t be cameras set up for a daytime talk show bit.


Then Ellen scares her on air, with the help of a silent, complicit audience and a man in tights who is dressed up for no reason because Paulson doesn’t even see him. The only momentarily funny part is when Paulson calls Ellen out on her predictable bullshit and asks about the clown in the side desk, which of course jumps out at her. If your segment ends with a guest curled up under a table in fear, you are a bad host. Great promotion for American Horror Story, though.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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