Rosie O’Donnell helps Yonkers man win $50K on ‘Million Dollar Password’

Say what you will about Rosie O’Donnell — we certainly have for 150 posts and counting! — but her prowess on “Million Dollar Password” cannot be disputed.

rosie2.jpgThe South Nyack celebrity helped Yonkers resident Dante Mercadante win $50,000 on last night’s episode of the CBS game show. And yours truly witnessed the magic first-hand back in March.

Back then, I couldn’t really go into details that Rosie herself didn’t reveal the same day, because I fear lawyers and I signed so much of my life away when I attended the taping. But now I can reveal more. Hooray!

I sat in the front row right next to two women who said they were Mercadante’s relatives. They were very sweet, enthusiastic and thrilled with how well he did on the show.

One of the highlights that was tailor-made for O’Donnell was when she had to give clues to Mercadante for the word “Trump.” While frowning, she muttered “Donald” and Mercadante nailed it on the first try.

I was shocked that Mercadante didn’t opt to keep going in the money round. His chemistry with Ro was unlike any I’d ever seen in game show history. Both were exceptionally good clue-givers and receivers — a perfect 10-for-10 going into the money round. Instead of trying for $100,000, he took the guaranteed $50,000, knowing that if he didn’t successfully deliver enough clues in the $100,000 round, he’d leave with $25,000.

But Mercadante told host Regis Philbin in vague terms that he owed some people some money, which prompted an “eek” face from O’Donnell and laughs among members of the audience. I have no idea to whom Mercadante owed cash and I won’t be making any jokes about that here. But when he was mulling it over, O’Donnell pleaded, “Think about your life,” and that seemed to convince him to take the money and run.

Despite the fact that Mercadante was the closest prospect the show probably has to win the cool million, he and Rosie were a lot of fun to watch. And Ro had a good time as well, describing Mercadante as “completely” adorable in her Ask Ro blog mailbag.

Want to see the whole episode? Check it out right here (legally!), thanks to CBS:

<embed src=’×3.swf’ FlashVars=’partner=userembed&vert=Entertainment&autoPlayVid=false&releaseURL=’ width=’380′ height=’290′ type=’application/x-shockwave-flash’ pluginspage=’’></embed>

(AP Photo/Peter Kramer)

NY Post: David Letterman foots Don Rickles’ birthday bill

dave1.jpgDavid Letterman didn’t make it to Don Rickles’ 81st birthday celebration at Le Cirque, but the North Salem talk show host made his presence known by paying for the evening festivities, according to yesterday’s New York Post.

The Post doesn’t mention who, other than fellow talk show icon Regis Philbin, joined Rickles at the event, or how much Dave’s birthday gift was worth. But something tells me Rickles won’t be as quick to do a Top 10 list of Letterman insults when Dave’s birthday rolls around again April 12.

Oh, who am I kidding? Rickles probably saves the most vicious stuff for his friends!

(Associated Press file photo by Adam Rountree.)