Vote for your favorite Dish of the Week

Battle of the Movie Stars #110: 1969-72

Battle of the Broadway Stars #5: 2002-03 Season

The Groovy List wants Finn Wittrock as a Mystery Date

Soap Dish (in which Dr. Miles makes a house call)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Rosie the Lesbian Ed Sullivan


I just have to add my two cents worth about Rosie Live, Rosie O'Donnell's attempt to revive the variety show genre that aired on NBC on Thanksgiving Eve. I didn't hate it as much as some people--like TV Guide's Matt Roush, who said "the entire hour landed with a sickening, sad, ill-conceived thud." Anything with Liza Minnelli channeling her mother's spirit can't be all bad. But if you're not a Liza fan, there wasn't much else to recommend about the show, which will probably go down in history as a famous flop with a few fun moments.

Rosie looked fabulous. The best I've seen her look in years. And her duet with Liza of "City Lights" from Minnelli's 1977 Broadway musical, The Act, was entertaining. I also liked that some gay fans threw flowers at Liza's feet when they finished their song (I don't know any straight men who are Liza fans so I am making a stereotypical assumption here).

My partner described Rosie Live as "hyper"--and I would have to agree. There was a helluva lot going on during her hour of primetime, but Ed Sullivan's show was very much like that with guest stars galore. I would've preferred a more Sonny and Cher/Carol Burnett-inspired take on the variety show genre as those series successfully combined their musical numbers with full-fledged comedy sketches--and they were funny. Rosie's bizarre Urinetown sketch with Little Sally left me going "What the . . .?" I didn't understand the inclusion of this scene until I saw in the credits that actor/playwright Hunter Foster (who starred on Broadway in Urinetown) was one of Rosie's writers--along with Seth Rudetsky (whose first novel, Broadway Nights, I enjoyed reading last year). I guess Rosie wanted her show to be more Ed Sullivan-like, but I think it might have been better if she'd conjured up old memories of Cher and Carol.

And how could she resist not having Kathy Griffin come out (so to speak) during Clay Aiken's appearance? Did Clay not want to appear with Kathy, who loves to make fun of him during her act? I was waiting for some divine comedy to occur between these two guest stars, and, unfortunately, it never came to pass. Instead, Griffin did a bizarre Nancy Grace impersonation. "What the . . .?" was uttered a second time. And poor Jane Krakowski, looking quite lovely, got stuck singing about the many gifts the audience was going to receive. Everyone was hooting and hollering during her number--but they all couldn't have cared less who was crooning the tune. I felt bad for the actress.

It's doubtful that we'll ever see another Rosie Live, since it majorly tanked in the ratings. Five million people tuned in, tieing the show with ABC's canceled Pushing Daisies for third place in the timeslot. Two hours later Barbara Walters' interview with Barack Obama nabbed 11 million viewers. I'm sure ol' Babs is having a good chuckle about this.

It is a shame that Rosie's show wasn't better--considering all the talented folks that crossed the stage of the Little Shubert Theatre in New York. But I'm still glad I tuned in. It would be wonderful to have a weekly variety show on the air again. Hey, what's Cher doing these days? Do you think she might . . . no, probably not.

10 comments:

KentClark said...

Marc,
I'll agree with you on the point that Rosie looked good, but the show was horrible. We watched it today on the DVR and quite frankly enjoyed getting caught up on the last two episodes of The View.

Jeff said...

It was a weird show.

I was hoping for something akin to our daytime show, which was usually a cool mix of Broadway, music acts and stars. She also did cool, original musical numbers on the show.

Here she certainly had the stars (only Alains and Liza came off not looking too silly). But it didn't quite hang together as a package.

That said, I found it completely watchable and on the fun side. That's a minority group for sure because everything I've read about it was scathing.

Too bad because I agree with you that a new variety show on TV would be excellent. If Rosie can't pull it off, who can?

Anonymous said...

I wanted to love the show, and I agree with you, it wasn't as bad as most people said, but it didn't quite get where it wanted to go, I don't think.

BTW, I doubt Clay didn't want to appear with Kathy, they've actually appeared on TV together before, at some awards show, and she said in her act once that she'd been backstage after one of his concerts. It's the Claymates who don't like Kathy, not Clay.

Anonymous said...

I thought the show was very disjointed. Conceptually, it's a great idea but for some reason, it just didn't work.

Even though she uses him in her act, Clay and Kathy Griffin are very friendly. He's always been a good sport about her jokes, even when he was in the closet. He told her he wanted a commission. lol

doug said...

I was really looking forward to this - not because I'm a big fan of Rosie's (I'm not) but because all her recent talk of her being a "huge fan of the variety format" (which I am as well) - I would think that she would at least honor the tradition rather than create such a giant mess.

I did like Liza's appearance - though I wish she looked more, um human. I also thought that Jane K. was great - too bad she was singing about audience giveaways (wtf?). The Alec Baldwin, Conan, Clay Aiken and Kathy G. appearances were all anguish-inducing.

The biggest problem was probably that the show was broadcast "live" - which I guess was intended to create an "event" feeling, but didn't help. It felt like live coverage of a disaster.

If NBC does give Rosie a second chance (they have nothing to lose) I would hope that she watches some old shows (specifically Carol Burnett) to see where she (and the show) went wrong and start from scratch.

After watching this I had to erase the bad taste with some Andy Williams shows, the PBS Mitzi Gaynor retrospective and a Raquel Welch special - all brilliant. Ah- that's Variety!

Lance said...

Well, since I was at rehearsal, I didn't get to see the show. I guess I'm glad now that I didn't.

Oh how I long for Carol Burnett type programming again. Now THAT was some great TV. Sigh...

Deep Dish said...

I agree with you, Doug, that Rosie should've watched more Carol Burnett when preparing her show. Not sure if NBC will give her a second chance. I won't hold my breath.

And I agree that watching Andy Williams and Mitzi Gaynor are fabulous ways to erase away the bad taste--but Raquel is brilliant? Perhaps I should check out her special on DVD.

Venetian Lover said...

Rosie needs to just give it up and go back into hiding, she acting is horrible, she is very tacky, her political views only makes her seem like all she does is rant rant rant with no validity in her words and well, accept it Rosie, you're a hasbeen!

doug said...

Yes "Raquel" is AMAZING!
Take a trip down memory lane with two pop-culture icons as Raquel Welch welcomes Tom Jones to her 1970 TV special. Filmed around the world from Paris to Mexico as the multi-talented Raquel sings, swings, jokes and looks fabulous!

you can order it for $14.95 from View Video...
www.view.com

Deep Dish said...

Thanks for the Raquel recommendation, Doug! And I do love Tom Jones!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...