Comedians love heart jokes

7:44 PM, Sep 27, 2011   |    comments
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Ellen DeGeneres

By Jeanne Moos

New York (CNN) - When Ellen DeGeneres had chest pains and called 911 this week, it soon turned into a laughing matter, and Ellen ended up in the club of comedians milking their hearts for humor.

Ellen DeGeneres may have called paramedics for chest pains, but that didn't stop her from dancing.

She described how she felt in the middle of the night.

"A tightness in chest and all scary things like something was heavy on my chest and it was a cat so I moved it," joked DeGeneres.

She joked about her heart, and she joked about the firemen who came to the Warner Brothers lot where she tapes her show.

"Then they came in with axe break door down which it was open, I don't know why they did that," she said.

And thus she joined the ranks of comedians who take heart by using heart trouble for material.

"Normal hearts sound like [imitates normal rhythm] mine's like [funny erratic rhythm]," said Robin Williams.

Williams had a heart valve replaced with a cow valve.

"I can't eat meat now 'cause it's one of us," said Williams.

Remember David Letterman the first day back from his own surgery?

"While I was gone I had quintuple bypass on my heart plus I got a haircut," joked Letterman.

There's a lot of show and tell after celebrities have heart surgery. Regis and Letterman for instance, compared legs.

"They take arteries, you know the stuff to that they bypass your clogged arteries," said Regis.

"What, did you think they go to Home Depot," responded Letterman.

"This thing will not heal. Look at this all the way up my leg," said Regis.

And Dick Cheney has been practically giving people heart attacks with his show and tell.

"Mr. Vice President, I want to talk about this little bulge here," said Barbara Walters.

The former VP has an implanted pump that helps his own heart.

"It's battery operated," said Cheney. "This is the control element."

He's been setting the thing off in interview after interview.

"And when you take them out, it beeps," said Cheney.

Robin Williams talks about how emotional he got after his heart attack. Wait a minute. Are those palpitations, or is that a punch line I hear?

"I thought instead of a valve, they gave me a tiny vagina," Williams said.


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