updated 12/20/2013 AT 3:20 PM ET
•originally published 12/20/2013 AT 10:25 AM ET
Both singers need frequent vocal rest – Mayer has needed it critically due to his serious vocal-cord problems – and so, quite often, their home can be oddly quiet.
“I understood that he couldn’t talk, and the only way he could communicate was through an iPad,” Perry, 29, says in an interview airing Friday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “Some days I have to go on complete vocal rest, like no anything, no whispering. Whispering is actually really bad. There’s just a lot of silence in our house most of the time.”
When DeGeneres suggests playing Pictionary, Perry comes back with a better idea: “We should just learn sign language,” she says.
Later, Mayer, 36, surprises Perry on the set. And after Perry makes a joke about Kanye West’s “”Bound – saying Kim Kardashian’s hair was blowing the wrong way – Mayer jokes that her humor is all the talking they need at home.
“This is why voice rest is just fine,” he says. “You get these chestnuts.”