With former rival Howard Stern, Rosie O’Donnell talks career, love life and 9/11

Shock-jock Howard Stern, in part known for participating in celebrity feuds with personalities ranging from Elaine Boosler to Kathie Lee Gifford, continued his recent fence-mending trend this morning.

howard.jpgFollowing a volatile two-decade feud with Bedford resident Chevy Chase, the two buried the hatchet on-air last year. And this morning, Stern fans — possibly for the first time on the radio — heard the deejay who launched his pro career in Briarcliff Manor chatting it up with South Nyack resident Rosie O’Donnell.

Back in its hey-day, the throwdown got downright nasty, at times making O’Donnell’s feud with Westchester real estate maven Donald Trump look like rock-paper-scissors by comparison. On Stern’s show in 1998, the staff once estimated the size of O’Donnell’s noggin, filled what was deemed a comparable container with jellybeans and challenged visiting celebrities and listeners to guess the number. And O’Donnell always had some choice words about Stern whenever his more militant fans prank-called her self-titled talk show.

rosie.jpgIn recent years, however, Stern’s rants about Rosie subsided, particularly after he admitted on the air a year or two ago that they had a nice chat when bumping into each other at a restaurant.

Today, O’Donnell called from her home — presumably in South Nyack — to chat it up with Howard and the gang. The gripping interview, which lasted almost an hour, covered her career, her love life and her controversial theory about 9/11.

On quitting her own talk show: “I left because I could no longer enjoy it the way one should enjoy their work, and I was sort of paying someone else to raise my kids and (hated) not having time to live my life.”

On ‘The View’: O’Donnell said she respects her successor, Whoopi Goldberg, because of her ability to be real; remains friendly with Sarah Lawrence College grad Barbara Walters; but was never completely embraced by Joy Behar (for whom O’Donnell opened early in her career as a stand-up comedian). The liberal O’Donnell said she has only exchanged a few baby-related e-mails with conservative “View” cohost Elisabeth Hasselbeck since O’Donnell left the show. Then O’Donnell admitted that Hasselbeck was the most attractive woman on the show.

On her celebrity crushes: O’Donnell, a lesbian, said she really did have a crush on Tom Cruise and revealed that Matthew McConaughey also turned her on while slow-talking his way through a description on how to make beer-can chicken. She said her current celebrity crushes include Angelina Jolie, Angela Bassett, Penélope Cruz, Salma Hayek and Diane Lane. Not on that list, however, is Stern’s fiancée, Beth Ostrosky, whom O’Donnell complimented and described as a “too perfect … Barbie doll.”

On her love life: She said she was sexually abused as a child, lost her virginity when she was 21 to a man, and could count her number of sexual conquests on “two hands.” She added that rumors of a wild life as a single woman had been greatly exaggerated, adding, “I’m not even nude in the shower.”

After the break, find out O’Donnell’s take on Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, her current tour and her curiosity about the Twin Towers’ collapse. Continue reading

Now we know where Barry Manilow stands on the whole Rosie-Elisabeth catfight

manilow.jpgIt’s not clear whether Manilow’s decision not to appear on today’s episode of “The View” was more of an insult to Elisabeth Hasselbeck (who he refused to be interviewed by), a show of solidarity with Rosie O’Donnell (who Manilow is good friends with), or actually a dis of Manilow himself. But, well, I’m going to bet it’s explanation No. 3.

Apparently Manilow demanded that the show not have right-winger Hasselbeck on the stage at the same time and the folks at ABC said, basically, nuh-uh. As producer Bill Geddie put it on Barbara Walters’ weekly SIRIUS radio show, “He said, ‘I’ll do Barbara and Whoopi or I’ll do Whoopi and Sherri or some combination, but I won’t sit with Elisabeth,’ and I said ‘Well, then you won’t be on the show. It’s that simple. And that was the end of it. He’s not going to call the shots. You’re not going to tell me how to produce the show.”

Could this be the start of a trend? Will other left-leaning celebs like Susan Sarandon start canceling their appearances? Is a Rosie-inspired boycott in the offing?

Most important of all, Does anyone even watch “The View” anymore?

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Rosie O’Donnell wanted to ‘gay up’ Price is Right, belly rub Trump

Drumroll, please. Here, with a heavy heart and a pained grimace, I present you with the 100th Suburbarazzi post about Rosie O’Donnell. Yes, we counted.

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The latest news on the South Nyack rabble-rouser is that, while doing stand-up before a 1,500-person audience on her cruise for gay and lesbian families, she explained part of the reason she didn’t get “The Price is Right” gig.

Naturally, she also lashed out, again, against her twin nemiseses (nemisee?) Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Donald Trump. Which of course is hardly news. But what did shock a few was the persistent level of vitriolic hate fir Hasselbeck and the bizarre threat she made towards The Donald. Us Weekly even shows a giant photo of the former that she doctored up to look like the devil.

As for “The Price is Right,” part of the reason CBS passed is that she wanted to “gay it up.” Some excerpts from the show are after the break.

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Suburbarazzi Week in Review on RNN: Stone rolls, Kalter quips and Rosie not the closest to the actual retail price without going over

After the break, find out the answer to this week’s quiz question: Which local stand-up comedian received early show business advice from the late father of Tarrytown product and fellow stand-up Greg Fitzsimmons?


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Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Rosie O’Donnell: ‘I don’t know if I would define us as friends’

Yolanda Perez/ABC

In an “Access Hollywood” segment slated to air tonight, “The View” panelist Elisabeth Hasselbeck says she is questioning her friendship with South Nyack resident Rosie O’Donnell, People magazine is reporting.

Here’s Hasselbeck’s take on the situation:


Truthfully, I think a friend is someone who you have positive communications with, so I don’t know if I would define us as friends right now. I did define us as friends, but I’m not going to make the leap to assume that we will or will not be friends in the future.


Assuming they are still “friends,” together they are about as enjoyable as the former NBC sitcom of the same name: Fun for the first year, intolerable every year after that. (Just kidding. “Friends” wasn’t that bad; I just didn’t care for it.)

‘Fire Elisabeth Hasselbeck’ petition closes in on 25,000 signatures

54872_51_7_pre.jpgSouth Nyack’s Rosie O’Donnell and her former “View” co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck may have moved past their week-old feud, but their fans sure haven’t. Witness FireElisabethHasselbeck.com, a website with the goal of convincing “ABC to fire Elisabeth Hasselbeck from The View to ensure that all reasonable views can continue to be heard.”

As of noon today, the site already had 24,200 signatures in its online petition.

via TV Squad

(Photo: Yolanda Perez/ABC)

Suburbarazzi Week in Review on RNN

Yesterday on RNN, Suburbarazzi’s Chris Serico talked about Rosie O’Donnell’s “Nuclear Wednesday” and the fallout from her feud with Elisabeth Hasselbeck, as well as John Schneider’s quest to sell the General Lee and Jimmy Fink’s 1980 firing from WPLJ.

Check it out below:

Download the full RNN segment:

Is Rosie O’Donnell vying to be the next ‘American Idol’?

rosie-mic.jpgMarch 6: South Nyack’s Rosie O’Donnell discusses “American Idol,” which hasn’t had a Lower Hudson Valley resident make the Top 24 since the previous season. On “The View,” the full-figured O’Donnell says “Idol” is “weight-ist” in light of producers’ lenient treatment of the lean Antonella Barba versus its quick disposal of the plus-sized Frenchie Davis.

April 25: O’Donnell, who later is named the country’s sixth-most charitable celebrity, announces she’ll be leaving “The View”; the announcement comes mere hours before the first “Idol Gives Back” charity episode airs.

May 22: On her blog, O’Donnell posts herself singing along with a remix of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.” Later that day, “Idol” contestants sing for the last time before producers voters pick a champ.

May 23: O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck get into an epic 10-minute argument on “The View.” Another epic battle comes to an end later that day, when Jordin Sparks becomes the new “American Idol” — and inspires singers nationwide to audition for Season 7.

May 25: O’Donnell quits “The View.” Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this.

(AP file photo by Jim Sulley)

Say it ain’t so, Ro! O’Donnell confirms that producer did deface Hasselbeck photo

rblog.jpegIn a video post to her r blog, Rosie O’Donnell confirmed rumors that her friend and “View” producer Janette Barber did indeed draw a mustache onto a photo of Elisabeth Hasselbeck following last Wednesday’s on-air feud — or as O’Donnell called it, “Nuclear Wednesday.”

Janette is in the naughty corner, she explained. “It was only one photo, people, and it was a magazine cut-out.” The producer was turned in by another staffer and was soon after escorted out of the building. “Poor Janette was crying,” O’Donnell said, adding that it was a “cute little joke on the way out. … It was really a spur of the moment, on the way out – she couldn’t resist.”

O’Donnell also spoke openly for the first time about her tumultuous last week on the show, especially her bitterness about the producers going to split-screen, refusing to go to commercial, and her co-star’s refusal to defend her. “It was shocking to me. When you’re in a Broadway show, that spirit of community and teamwork — if somebody makes a mistake, you cover their line. Everybody works in unison for one common show. But not on that show. It was odd.”

Rosie also posted another of her trademark free-verse poems, describing the beautiful spring scenery near her South Nyack home … and her desire to move on:


the air by west point
past the bear mountain bridge
smells like seattle
green and glorious …

the ?s will b back soon
but no more view ones
as we all try to move on

peace out</div></blockquote>

Rosie O’Donnell leaves ‘The View’ weeks before her contract is up

tjndc5-5eis0aessjo1md0wjj0i_layout.jpgLet us all have a moment of silence.

OK, now what the hell happened?

Rosie O’Donnell wasn’t supposed to exit “The View” until June 20, her one-year anniversary. And indeed, even on last Wednesday’s show, in which the South Nyack resident got into her now-infamous war of words with Elisabeth Hasselbeck over the Iraq war, she was still talking about her three remaining weeks on the show.

O’Donnell even asked guest Elizabeth Mitchell, of “Lost,” how she pulls off her icy “Others” death stare — in part because she suggested it would come in handy while dealing with her conservative co-host in the coming days. But yesterday, ABC dropped another Rosie bombshell: Brian Frons, the president of the network’s daytime television group, said that O’Donnell would not be returning after Memorial Day weekend.

After Wednesday’s heated exchange between O’Donnell and Hasselbeck, she didn’t return on air for the rest of the week. Thursday’s show was preempted for a White House news conference with the President, and Friday’s show was pretaped. Barbara Walters had issued a statement late in the week saying that O’Donnell had asked for time off to celebrate her partner’s birthday, and that all would be peaceful in the kingdom of “The View” next week. In retrospect, Walters comments now seem more like a verdict than obsequious optimism.

“We had hoped that Rosie would be with us until the end of her contract three weeks from now, but Rosie has informed us that she would like an early leave,â€? Mr. Frons explained. “Therefore we part ways, thank her for her tremendous contribution to ‘The View’ and wish her well.â€?

In her own statement, also released through ABC, O’Donnell said, “I’m extremely grateful. It’s been an amazing year, and I love all three women.” And as hard as that may be to believe on the surface, in a video posted to her rblog yesterday, she recapped her tumultuous year at “The View” in a kind of scrapbook montage of clippings and photos. Titled “True Colors 2007,” the vid even including many of Hasselbeck right near the beginning (none of Trump that I could see, though). Cyndi Lauper’s “Sisters of Avalon” played in the background.

So folks, you know it’s true. If you’re hearing Cyndi Lauper-scored retrospectives, it’s over for good. A tear.

Godspeed, Rosie.

“Rosie fights last fight on ‘The View'” [LoHud]

Rossielbeck ’07 Update


When I posted a new poll yesterday, asking who won the latest bout of O’Donnell vs. Hasselbeck, I added a few jokey answers like Jordin and Trump. Turns out the latter actually wasn’t so tongue in cheek afterall. Last night on Extra, Trump chimed in:

<blockquote><div>”Elisabeth [Haselbeck] is not a very smart person… one of the dumber people in television. To see that she supports the war… only an imbecile could do that.”</div></blockquote>

In other words, with Rosie all but out of the picture, Trump may have found his newest whipping gal on The View. Awesome.

Also of interest, The New York Post reports that after Wednesday’s shouting match between Rosie and Elisabeth, Rosie’s chief writer, Janette Barber, allegedly began turning all the photos of Hasselbeck hanging around the ABC office into Captain Morgan ads. Which is to say, she was drawing mustaches over that pretty little mouth, and then was reportedly escorted from the building. Even more awesome.

Finally, as to whether this is just a clever ratings ploy (shudder to think!), TV Guide says that Barbara Walters calls that theory “just absurd.” Never mind that it all went down on the final day of sweeps.

(Trump: AP Photo/Stephen Chernin-File; O’Donnell: AP/Norwegian Cruise Lines; Hasselbeck: ABC, Yolanda Perez)

Rosie O’Donnell vs. ‘Poor little Elisabeth’ – Who won?

tjndc5-5ex7njynmv41asxjrmv8_layout.jpgWhat follows is a line by line review of yesterday’s ten-minute smackdown, with points awarded to all those involved. Did your favorite win? Keep reading…
* In the beginning, when Joy tries to say something, Rosie responds: “Wait, Joy.�

1 point for Rosie. Way to control the table.
-1 point for Joy. She actually �waited� when Rosie told her to.

* When Rosie tries to get Elisabeth to answer, “Did Iraq attack us on 9/11?� she snaps, “I’m saying our enemies, Al Quaeda [attacked us]. Are you hearing that?� Rosie appears to be taken back by the blonde’s sudden attack. “Um, I hear it…�

1 point for Elisabeth…for that added bit of rudeness. Why stay civil?
-1 point for Rosie…for stuttering. The ‘pure little Christian� got the better of her there.

* Elisabeth uses the analogy: “If you’re playing a game, and you’re going to say, okay I’m going to throw to my wide receiver, wide right. Do you do that? I’m going to do that in two seconds. What does that do for your enemy? Rosie responds, “Well you know what Elisabeth? If the enemies are innocent civilians I don’t want to play that kind of football.�

-1 point for Elisabeth, for recycling tired political talking point mumbo jumbo… the war as a sport’s game? Please.
1 point for Rosie for choosing not to play. I only like to play football with military combatants as well!

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