Ellen’s Funny JC Penney Ads Show Why She Was a Good Choice

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Among the highest points during what was a snooze-a-thon of an Oscar broadcast was something that happened between the boring speeches and bits of  Billy Crystal‘s schtick: Ellen DeGeneres‘s new commercials for JC Penney.

If you recall, when DeGeneres’s spokesperson deal with JCP was announced, an organization called One Million Moms lodged their objections, calling on people to call the retailer’s headquarters and demand that they drop Ellen because of her sexual orientation. Lots of people rushed to the comedian’s defense, including Bill O’Reilly.

But no one really needed to do that, because Ellen is a pro who brings lighthearted fun to the commercials she’s done — people still watch her American Express ads on YouTube — and the JCP ads are no exception. In the series of five ads, DeGeneres imagined what it would be like to deal with today’s shopping hassles during different periods of history.

In one ad, she is in a Fifties sitcom-style bedroom, with a husband and wife (all three in separate beds) waking up at 6 am for a doorbuster sale. In another ad, she’s in ancient Rome trying to return a toga that “just isn’t me” and she’s asked for a receipt. All of them point out JCP’s new pricing and return policies, which is part of a massive makeover for the venerable chain that includes a new logo and simplified pricing.

But in all of them, viewers can see why JCP hired her, including her improvisational skills — which are even more on display in the outtakes she aired on her show last week (see above) — and a likability that makes her an expert spokesperson. What we’re wondering, besides what the big deal was, is why the Moms got their dander up to begin with. Ellen’s a comedian doing funny ads, something she’s done for at least fifteen years.

If these moms are so into “family values” why not protest Cover Girl, whom Ellen has been endorsing for years ? Why not call for Sears, another “All-American” brand, to drop their clothing line endorsed by the divorce-happy Kim Kardashian? Because it was a publicity stunt, one that is likely to dissolve into thin air now that Ellen’s ads are on the air.

Watch two of Ellen’s JC Penney ads below:

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