"It's The Rosie Show!" shouts a blonde lady sitting at a desk in the middle of the studio formerly known for hosting Oprah Winfrey's talk show during the Monday premiere of Rosie O'Donnell's latest foray into the genre. We cut to Rosie on a stage, doing stand-up that's eerily reminiscent of the early Seinfeld days. Except that jokes about puffy shirts and Halloween candy are funny, and this is not. I was hoping to include Rosie's funniest one-liner here, but there weren't any.
She takes audience questions. "What are you most proud of?" asks Richard, from Canada. "The fact that I'm not wearing Spanx right now. They're horrible. They're a torture device. I'm sure they used them in Guantanamo."
Then, the first sign of an ill-prepared live show: "Who else has a microphone, how are we doing this?" she asks the confused audience. "We change it every time — we had six practice shows, and I think the reason we went live is because all of them were two-and-a-half hours. I just kept going, and going, and going."
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We're now at the painful 11-minute-mark of unfunny stand-up torture, and Suze Orman just happens to appear. A Chicago native, the personal finance expert is casually planted to ask Rosie how she "ended up in Chicago." Rosie then breaks into song (I should mention she has zero ability in this arena). At this point, I can't help but think: when will it end? There are shirtless men prancing around the stage rubbing Rosie down, and I'm just hoping that she reverts back to the bad stand-up act or that I will go to sleep and never wake up — preferably the latter.
FINALLY! It's a commercial break! I've just barely survived, and now find myself reciting this prayer: Holy Russell Brand gods above, please let a British sex-crazed recovering meth addict save this nasty, nasty mess we've gotten ourselves into...
After the commercial, we get a glimpse of the set for the first time. It's kind of like Oprah's, but with a bit more of a "cheesy neon hotel pool in outer space" vibe. Brand comes out, looking bug-eyed as usual, and they go back and forth about a bunch of boring nonsense. I would summarize what was discussed, but to be honest I completely zoned out and have no idea.
Sigh. Another commercial.
We're back, and now discussing the topic of vegetarianism. Did you know Brand has been a vegetarian for 20 years? Here's a little snippet of their profound conversation, in case you missed it.
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Russell Brand: Meat. It does taste nice. But the poor animal...
Rosie O'Donnell: It's also bad for like, the whole green...they say if we didn't eat meat, we could sort of save all of the ozone crap.
Then mid-meat conversation, Brand runs into the audience and accosts a random kid — literally lifts the child like a hot potato, and sits him down on his lap. Who is this child? Is he going to cry? Brand then inexplicably commands the child to recite a line from Oliver, as if he were a puppet.
After another commercial break -- I have become eternally grateful for these — we find Brand is in a sober-living house. While at first it seems like he'll be giving a tour of the place that finally got him sober (that would have been quite interesting), we instead realize it is a women-only facility. So why is Russell there? Still trying to figure that out. If anyone knows, please comment below.
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And then we transition from rehab to...a game show? "The Ro Game," as it is cleverly called, is basically a head-to-head trivia competition that looks like Family Feud. A Stanford-grad doctor beats a blonde receptionist, and viewers everywhere (those that are left) are dumbfounded.
AND THEN OPRAH COMES OUT! Thank heavens for sweet Oprah! Is she going to give everyone cars? Sadly, it seems, she is not. But confetti falls from the sky, Ro and O hug it out, and we can only hope that we'll soon wake up from this terrible, horrible dream.
Did you watch The Rosie Show? What did you think of it?