« Previous Post | Show Tracker Home | Next Post »

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)

PU! What's that smell? Did something die or what? PU!

This was a really stale Holliday Fruitcake.....frosted with
bitterness only Rosie knows how to deliver....embarrassing to watch.

Has anyone else noticed that Rosie no longer knows how to smile or laugh?
At one time she had a beautiful smile but now it's forced with
an underlying loneliness and bitterness. Hard to be entertained in any way by THat.!

L O S E R !!!

NOTE TO WRITERS: Are there any fans of Rosie who don't know that Rosie and Clay are gay? RULE NUMBER ONE: If you're going to write a joke, it's important that everyone doesn't already know the punchline.

I'm trying to figure out how to make this show worse. Unfortunately, I can't. It seems that Rosie, the producers and writers of this show have already done it for me.

I wish this much energy could have been devoted to reviewing Barack Obama's national health care plan.

Only if only ... a hit variety show would be one hosted by Sarah Palin that included a Rosie O'Donnell joke.

The ratings are in and this show was in the toilet - where it belongs.
Note to NBC - It's one thing to turn your 60 watt cable outlet MSNBC
into a 24 hour lib-fest, where you're fighting over scraps for ratings.
But this is primetime network TV. No one wants to see this sort of
political crap, which is RO incarnate. And I'm a lib! We watch mainline
network shows to get our minds away from issues.
Great programming minds you got their, Zuck.

This was the absolute Worst. I had to turn it off. I was embarrassed for Rosie and the rest of the "cast." I cannot remember ever seeing anything that Bad on TV. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?


Sorry, but Rosie is a hateful, sexist bigot. She isn't open minded to others that oppose her views which is sad. Not everyone has to agree to your life-style and her political views period. However she has a history of being pushy, offensive and closed minded, so what should one expect other then more of the same?

I only turned it on to hear clay Aiken sing which he did not -just buzzin and out. Such a disappointment.
I waited the whole time for him to come out and sing..
I can't stand her!

As a gay man, Im convinced the Morman church was behind this show. Thanks to Rosie, another broad swath of Americans are now against gay marriage. Rosie, do us all a favor and leave the country.

I'm gay and was rooting for Rosie to hit it out of the park. But this was borrrrrrrring. What you thinking girlfriend?

I'm not a big Rosie fan, but honest to Pete, people. Once I found an ant in my house. I've lived in this house for 40 years. I've never had an invasion of ants, or even seen another one. Not every "first" is an indication of everything that's going to come after. Sometimes you need to give people a little break. I'd be willing to bet that most of the people who wrote, particularly SZ with his "barf bag" (I'm so sorry for his wife), have tried something a first time and didn't do very well. But if they were smart, they tried again and probably did much better. That's how the winners actually win. The quitters never try a second time.

"Saturday Night Live" had a first show in 1975 that was rather odd. It didn't garner a lot of attention in the beginning. But I'll bet even SZ has heard of that show.


I could end with that question.. but I will continue.

Why on earth would they give such a person a platform? Why have this show on their line-up of shows? It is an embarrassment and an insult to our viewer intelligence to have this woman host a show on that network. Controversy? I hardly think so. It is plain ignorance that they would allow her to be a part of an amazing network’s line-up. She can add nothing except a bump up of interest and then when it wanes.. she will fall and the show will fail. There will eventually be some issue or some outrageous controversial subject and she has a platform for her hatred and spewing her mouth full of disgusting views on things which simply make the public sick of it. We are tired of her beligerence. She is just not “with the times” nor is she “on target” with her views. The concept of the show is good but the host was the wrong choice by far. Time for another selection NBC. I surely won’t be tuning in.. nor will many of my colleagues. Simply NOT what that network should be about my friends.. simply the wrong choice for today’s point of view and an intelligent market. Pull the plug, I say. ..(and don’t give Rosie the satisfaction of a platform for her oversized mouth).

I did not watch this show, and that was not on accident.
Rosie long ago allowed the poison in her heart to suffuse her entire person, especially withering her personality.
Long ago, even during her "warm fuzzy Rosie" days, I found her abrasive.
Then, she had her famous Tom Selleck ambush interview, which singlehandledly showed the rest of the population exactly what kind of spiteful person she really was.
I will shed no tears for Rosie when this show is ushered into the bin.
And Rosie would not make a festering puswart on Carol Burnett's backside.

The real question is what was NBC thinking? What a stupid move!
Why don't they pick up two cancelled shows I liked, The 4400 and The Dead Zone from USA Network. At least if ratings dropped they'd go with class.

What I don't understand is why people keep putting their hopes in Rosie bringing up ratings.

The only reason Rosie doesn't speak for all gay people is that only the skinny and agile were able to escape those jaws. The rest of gaydom has been consumed. Rosie is a USDA prime example of you are what you eat.

The show may have stunk, but so does taking another cheap shot at Governor Palin. Do you never tire of this?

I like Rosie in general, but this was awful, and I mean AWFUL. I was wincing, trying to cover my face. And then I changed the channel.

« | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 14 15 | »


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: