Big Red Machine Helps Ellen, Clooney Hook Up

Since most of our readers are male, I am going to assume that you have never watched an episode of Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show. Apparently, she has been obsessed with getting George Clooney on the show since she moved into a new studio in Burbank on the same lot as the Oscar-winning actor. (Seriously, what’s up with lesbian daytime talk show hosts and their crushes on leading men? First it was Rosie O’Donnell and Tom Cruise, and now Ellen and Clooney.)

Ellen DeGeneres with guests Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and George Clooney

Calling on friends and co-stars of Clooney such as Brad Pitt and Noah Wylie didn’t help Ellen get her man (insert joke here), but Wylie did give her a useful suggestion: Clooney’s nuts for the Cincinnati Reds, so why not get some members of the old Big Red Machine to help you out. And it turns out that was exactly the hook that was needed, as reports that Clooney taped an appearance on the show along with Hall of Famers Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench that is scheduled to air on Monday.

Most people know that Clooney’s dad was a longtime news anchor and reporter in Cincinnati, and growing up in the area helped foster a lifetime obsession with the team. In fact, before embarking on his acting career, Clooney tried out for the organization in 1977, but didn’t make the cut. (The Reds’ loss is the the gain of the later seasons of “The Facts of Life.”)

After the Reds’ front office staff heard about Wylie’s suggestion to DeGeneres that the Big Red Machine might tempt Clooney into an appearance, they worked overtime to make it happen on short notice. (Apparently they don’t have better things to do, such as try to improve their mediocre team.) Bench travelled the two hours from his home in Palm Springs (enough time for the Krylon-painted bench he was working on to dry) while Morgan was flown down from San Francisco for the day.

The appearance was reportedly a bit of a downer, as Morgan butted in with a rambling, inaccurate answer to every question DeGeneres asked Clooney. But on the plus side, the interview ended on a high note as the San Diego Chicken and The Dugout Wizrd burst through the doors and all sorts of baseball-themed wackiness ensued.