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Rosie O'Donnell's 'Rosie Live': What was she thinking?

Rosie Two words: Dancing food. “Rosie Live” ended with dancing food. There’s nothing else to say, really except perhaps, Liza Minnelli. “Rosie Live” opened with a little song and dance from Liza Minnelli, who rose to the stage, as if from the grave, to sing a duet with O’Donnell, in a luminous white suit, complete with fetching Broadway hat. Liza, we love you, we will always love you, but there is no shame in retirement.

In between we were treated to Harry Connick Jr. in a Santa hat, Conan O’Brien taking a pie in the face, and Jane Krakowski singing about all the free stuff audience members would get. Some of the items were pretty swell, but I’m here to tell you it wasn’t enough. Rosie made jokes about Spanx, Alec Baldwin appeared in a jacket two sizes too small with weird Einstein hair -- neither of which were part of a gag. Clay Aiken strolled over from “Spamalot” to participate in the world’s most painfully long gay joke ("What was the other thing we have in common," Rosie mused, "oh yeah, we're both Gaaa ... briel Byrne fans.") and Alanis Morissette sang a song referencing the 12 Steps in front of, I kid you not, an endless loop of geese flying through a sunset.

Flying geese! There are not enough free video cameras or White Castle burgers in the world to make up for that. And what about the viewers at home? Where are our new cellphones and white strips products?
Rosie, Rosie, what on earth were you thinking? Were you thinking camp? Were you thinking this will be big and brassy and so-over-the-top even the dancing cupcakes will be irresistible? For those of us who are, and remain, Rosie fans, who think “The View” will never quite recover from her departure, who think her desire to resurrect the variety show was, and is, a great idea, disappointment does not even begin to describe it. For weeks now NBC has seduced and tantalized with the promise of a cross between Carol Burnett and “Sonny and Cher.” And this is what we get? Rosie in a glitter top having Baldwin speak into her cleavage and making jokes about her weight? Someone get a hold of Tim Conaway, stat.

To be fair, not everything on the show fell as flat as a turkey at a Sarah Palin picnic, or whatever the line was—yes, there was a Sarah Palin joke but Rosie was in a policeman’s costume at this point and I had my fingers in my ears. The Argentinian Lombard Twins were very good, and never have I been so glad to hear “You Spin Me Round” as when Anti-gravity took the stage with their giant tea cups and their hula hoops. But then we had to endure Kathy Griffin as Nancy Grace and Gloria Estefan making a joke about the turkey being the only one not hungry on Thanksgiving (because, you know, he’s stuffed). Estefan was the final act, but whatever collective relief that fact provided was immediately wiped away by a song  about eating and then, of course, the dancing food. Men and women dressed as slices of cake and giant cookies topped off by Rachael Ray making an appearance with a giant rubber turkey.

“Rosie Live” may enter the realm of unsolved mysteries, along with the fate of Amelia Earhart and the design team of the pyramids. O’Donnell was clearly attempting to recapture the uplifting unapologetic wonder of the big Broadway musical and the television variety show. But having a bunch of talented guests does not a terrific show make—you have to actually give them something interesting to do. Otherwise you're left with, well, a rubber turkey.

-- Mary McNamara

Photo: NBC

Comments () | Archives (298)

It is not over until the fat lady sings, sorry Ro, it is over.

Roise can no longer hide her angry and hate. She has fans but not enough to be marketable . Rosie is GAY, and you better be alright with that or you are a evil, bigotted, repubilcan. The problen is not that you are gay, the problem is that you have a problem being gay. Tying to piss off the straights is not funny anymore. There is gay content on almost every TV show, movie magazine ect. It is in our face everywhere and it is boring.

To sum up this story and comments.

Finally, the Fat lady has sung.

Poor Rosie, letting the homophobes at NBC derail her comeback like they did. She deserves better. NBC should be sued so she gets a nightly show to vent her frustrations at all of the straight people trying to keep her down. You can do it Rosie!! We believe in you. Keep hating on those straights right back to the top!!!

Poor Rosie. Like President Carter, she is bitter and it shows. She and President Carter should retire from public life and try to find a meaningful new life.

I deliberately did not watch Rosie's show. I was sure it was going to simply be another platform for her to spew her angry, hate-filled, political, personal and social activist agenda.

As many here have posted, I grew up with the comedy/variety show: Laugh-In, Hee-Haw, The Dean Martin Show, The Flip Wilson Show, The Carol Burnett Show, The Sonny and Cher Show, The Donny and Marie Show, the Bob Hope specials, etc. My all time favorite has to be The Carol Burnett Show. I'll never forget the Gone With The Wind parody!

These shows were and are classics. A bit hokey? Yes. A bit silly? Yes. A bit cutesy? At times.

But - these shows were funny, the hosts were talented, and the writers wrote skits based upon what was fun and what was funny. And, I couldn’t wait for next weeks show!

These classics poked fun at practically everything without being angry, belligerent, nasty, mean, degrading, or political. They weren't designed to sway public opinion or spew a particular political or social agenda. They weren't deliberately demeaning towards anyone, and this was BEFORE the political correctness movement. They were designed as entertainment for everyone.

Because of Rosie’s political and social agenda and her numerous angry public tirades and feuds, practically everyone knows she’s merely an angry, gay, hate-filled liberal that uses every platform she can find to spew this diatribe to the masses.

What’s next? The Rev. Wright comedy/variety hour?

Oh my God, it just sooooo painful to see this woman on TV. Please just go away.

What is wrong with NBC, totally clueless.

What is going on over at NBC anyway?? Whats next, Al Frankin going to get his own show? I'm just suprised they didn't have Sean Penn as a quest.
Could this network be any more out of touch or what? GOOD LORD!!

R.O. is a classless idiot. I'm not at all surprised. Hopefully, this will end her career.

Everything on NBC is complete garbage -- from this really unfortunate mess to their corrupt and unethical "news" department.

This woman should be given a chance to appear in Reality TV - along with another looser -Tanya Harding .
She does not belong in the variety entertainment section of any channel.
Her bitter-sarcastic personality may fit with the losers that appear on some of the Fox network "Reality" shows.
The Web photo showing her with a side-man on each side of her gave
the impression that sheis entering a wrestling ring.
Maybe that could be an option for her now. She is mean enough

i think rosie is the sexiest women alive

Please, please don't put this woman on the air anymore.
She is an untalented bore, who is uneducated and whose opinions no one cares about.

I have never been so embarrassed in my life...and I was just watching.

For crying out loud, who makes the decision to air this tripe? Every agent should be aware of when the shark is jumped for a performer. When the celebrity believes that every piece of matter falling from their body is pleasingly fragrant.

Look Rosie, sometimes a show is rejected by America because it is bad. It isn't because you are gay or your show is gay themed. It isn't because you are a woman. It isn't because you are outspoken. It is because the show is bad.

Again, who greenlights this stuff? I suggest NBC hold a contest. "Send in a 25 word essay on why you should pick next year's programs" and then award the winner the job.

Here's my entry; I promise to never ever let Rosie O'Donnell near a show on NBC ever, ever again.

There's nothing I could say about Rosie's new show that could be more accurate, funny, and cruel than what everybody else is saying. But I can say plenty about NBC. In a few short years it has gone from programming like The West Wing, which I loved because its writers presumed the existence of an audience as hip and intelligent as they were, to stuff like this, which assumes that everybody out there in Teevee Land is a drooling brain-dead zombie. In a few years, in other words, the bozo programmers at NBC have managed to make the network completely irrelevant. With the occasional exception of Sunday Night Football, I can't offhand think of any of their programming I watch even occasionally, most of the network stuff I look at is on CBS and Fox. If I owned any shares of NBC stock, right about here I'd be selling them off.

Reviving will just speed up the demise of NBC. Rosie symbolize obnoxiousness , meaness of a person. People had long memory in what happened in the View. It's like watching a brawl instead of a wholesome entertainment . It is just one degree below Jerry springer show. Rosie is not only nasty and mean but she is vulgar . No redeaming trait in her. I have not problem with gay people. i have great friends and relatives who are gay but Rosie push her sexual and political agenda in a way that really turns off people just like the way she ambushed Tom Sellect and this is not entertainment.

It's Tim Conway, you silly woman

Rosie O'Donnell is an offensive mediocrity. That 5 million people tuned in to watch this porcine individual make a fool of herself astounds me.

Those of you who insist this was a good show need serious help. I'd like to know what kind of drugs you're taking. Representing this pile of bull excrement as anything better than horrid is simply dishonest. Sorry, but you have to have a pretty dull life to find a tragedy like this entertaining. With shows like this, you do not change the channel. You flush it.

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