Rosie and the staff began today's program talking about last night's episode of America's Got Talent. Rosie said she almost called Janette after Prince Poppycock was eliminated. The Prince was Janette's favorite and she can't believe how invested she became in this season. Janette was happy that Michael Grimm won and happy that the little girl didn't. Bobby originally wanted the little girl to win and then he was happy when she didn't because he was worried about her becoming that famous at such a young age. Rosie thought that Michael's back-story was compelling and liked how sweet he was to the little girl when she didn't win.
Someone mentioned that it has been confirmed that Jennifer Lopez will be the new judge on American Idol and Deirdre read that J-Lo will be getting 12 million dollars a year for that job! Rosie was shocked at the 12 million and joked that she should have thrown her hat into the ring. She's happy for J-Lo though and she likes her a lot. The other judge is rumored to be Steven Tyler who Brendan said was not confirmed yet. Deirdre said she has heard that he has been confirmed and will be the next judge.
They discussed the prize for the winner of America's Got Talent which is a million dollars. It comes to the winner in an annuity that pays out $25,000 over 40 years. If they take it at face value they only get somewhere between $375,000-$450,000. They played a clip of Michael Grimm singing a duet with Jewel and someone brought up a YouTube video they once saw of Jewel doing undercover karaoke.
Rosie loves all the judges on America's Got Talent and she loves Sharon Osbourne. Except Rosie said she recently read an article on Perez Hilton from Vince Neil saying that Sharon was a horrible person. In response, Sharon has said that she always wanted to keep Ozzy away from Vince because he was a bad influence. They discussed his drunk driving accident in which he killed the passenger in his car and seriously injured the people that he hit. Rosie, Janette and Deirdre all said how much they loved Sharon and Rosie called her feisty and tenacious.
Janette thinks that 'America's Got Talent' is better than 'American Idol.' Pete agreed. Piers Morgan is staying on the show but is also taking over for Larry King which Rosie thinks is a good thing. Rosie said that Larry King was done the day he asked Pamela Anderson if her boobs were real. Pete once passed Larry King on the street and he thought he had just passed someone who was about to die and then he realized it was Larry King. Janette was on Larry King once to talk about her recovery from pain. Janette's doctor, Dr. John Sarno, was doing a segment on Larry King on pain and they asked Janette if she would participate. There was a time when Janette suffered from so much pain in her ankles that she couldn't walk and had to ride a scooter/wheelchair. This was when she was a producer at The Rosie O'Donnell Show. One doctor told her she would never get better and they would have to fuse her ankles. One sports doctor for the NY Giants told her she needed to get used to the pain because she wasn't ever going to walk again. Eventually Rosie had Janette on the show and told the public of her plight and asked for viewers suggestions. A previous guest called another producer on the show and told her to tell Janette and Rosie about Dr. John Sarno. Janette had heard of him but the title of his book was Healing Back Pain so she thought his methods wouldn't work for her. She decided to call Dr. Sarno and over the phone he told her he thought she was somaticizing the pain (that her emotional issues were expressing themselves physically in her body). Dr. Sarno asked Janette if she would be part of a 20/20 special he was doing and she said she would do it because she thought if her story was going to be on T.V. she thought he would try harder in curing her. And he did. After three years of chronic pain she was cured. She was diagnosed with TMS Tension Myositis Syndrome. If any listeners feel that they might have a stress related condition Janette recommended people go to TmsWiki Online. Janette says that she is "here by choice" meaning that she chooses to not let suicide be her out in this world. Rosie said that her kids are her "life-raft" and although she may have considered suicide once in her life, it's not an option now because of her kids. She discussed her own depression that she's been battling and how she's been feeling better now, but not totally back to normal.
Deirdre found a website called SecretsRegrets.com where an author asked readers what is the biggest regret of their lives. He has since made it into a book. Deirdre found it interesting that most of the regrets were about past relationships and she read a few of them to the listening audience. It made Deirdre ask herself if she has any regrets in her life. Deirdre sees her mistakes as learning experiences and says she doesn't necessarily regret those experiences because she is who she is today because of the decisions she has made. Rosie said that no one can ever just look back at their life regretting because it's a waste of time and the past is the past. Janette has a list of regrets but doesn't waste time on any of them.
Deirdre fears she might regret that she didn't have children. She's 44 now and Rosie said she could still get pregnant or adopt. Rosie tried to think of some regrets but couldn't really think of any that she would choose to share with the public. She did say that she regrets not putting more time into the variety show that they did in 2008. Rosie said it was thrown together at the last minute when she was busy filming America during a particularly bad time of her separation from Kelli. She also regrets her "non-existent" relationship with her sister.
Janette said she regrets that she stopped doing stand-up. Rosie argued with Janette and said that she hated doing stand-up at the time that she stopped and she was miserable. Janette said she had been doing stand-up for almost 10 years and she was burnt out. Rosie said that that is why regrets are stupid. She said you forget where you were when you made the decision in the first place. Bobby doesn't have any regrets. He said he's happy with everything that's happened in his life because that's brought him to where he is now. He said he did wish he would have paid more attention in Spanish class so that he could now speak another language.
Pete said he regrets that he didn't go to Astronaut Camp during the summer of 8th grade because he was having panic attacks and too worried that they would affect him at camp. I always wanted to go to Space Camp after I saw that movie! I tried to make my parents pay for me to go but we couldn't afford it at the time. Looking back now, I'm incredibly claustrophobic and had a panic attack once in an MRI machine so I'm not sure what I was thinking. Rosie said she's always wanted to go to Australia and now she's supposed to go to Costa Rica but she always ends up canceling. She said she worries she'd feel panicked and wouldn't feel good there so she ends up not going. She's not sure she regrets not going but she regrets what it does to her kids! Though they are sadly used to it now. Deirdre remembered that she had panic attacks in her 20s and it caused her to not do a lot of things that she wishes she would have now. Janette said she's very happy with who and where she is today though she does regret that she didn't stop hating herself earlier in life.
Rosie took several callers on the topic. The regrets from callers ranged from regrets about getting in debt with credit cards, to regretting being a bully as a child, to regretting committing an armed robbery! One caller regretted telling her father that she hated him the night he died of a heart attack. She knows her dad knew she loved him but she regrets that those were the last words she said to him.
MORE ABOUT THE OTHER O'DONNELL AND ROSIE'S TEETH ARE DONE
Rosie said that yesterday Brendan tried to explain to the studio and the listening audience how Christine O'Donnell getting elected (in the primary) is a good thing for the Democrats. Here we go again, I'm sure I'm going to eff this up. Brendan said that there's a lot of information on Christine and her opinions because she's been on news for years as the "token right-wing Christian conservative." Rosie said that Christine has said some crazy shit and asked Brendan to play it. Brendan then played Christine O'Donnell speaking against AIDS education. Brendan said the most interesting things about this clip is that it wasn't that long ago, unlike her views on masturbation that they played on the air yesterday. He thinks it's interesting that we are still having the discussion as to whether condoms fight the AIDS virus. Brendan said that O'Donnell's opponent needs to now step up his game since she's gotten so much media exposure lately. Brendan compared her rise to that of Sarah Palin who he said now is the main backer of candidates that are winning their primaries. Rosie said speaking of regrets, how much do you think John McCain regrets picking Sarah Palin as his running mate?!
Someone (I believe it was Rosie) briefly mentioned that they saw Kathy Griffin on Jimmy Kimmel. Rosie said she loves her and called her a riot. Everyone in the studio agreed.
Kathy Griffin on Jimmy Kimmel
Rosie said her teeth are finally done. She said they're not "done, done" and she still needs an implant but they're practically done. Rosie joked about how much it bothers Tess, the dental assistant, when she curses. Tess even went to church on a Wednesday and prayed that Rosie wouldn't curse. Rosie said it's hard not to curse when you've been at the dentist every week since January!
RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH
Rosie then introduced Rabbi Shmuley Boteach from Shalom in the Home who was in the studio for the interview. Rosie told Rabbi, with a bit of humor, that she's wanted to be a Jew since she was a little kid and that people often accuse her of being a Jewish mother today. Rosie said that she grew up in an Irish Catholic family without a lot of love and she always envied seeing all the Jewish mothers dote on their children. Rabbi Shmuley said that he's always felt a little Irish and goes to Ireland often! He said that Ireland is very intrigued by the Jewish interpretations of sexuality. Rabbi Shmuley said he doesn't understand religious condemnation of human sexuality and said it's the only time in life when we shed all inhibition and awaken a fire within us that leaves us transformed. Yet religions only sees it as good for procreation.
Rabbi Shmuley's parents divorced when he was 8 and he said it robbed him of a feeling of stability. He said that he councils many couples and relationships aren't based on what you believe, they're based on what you do. He said his father worked very hard and he thinks his mother was very lonely. Rabbi Shmuley said the greatest sin in a marriage is neglecting your spouse. He talked about the importance of married couples modeling loving behavior towards each other because it gives children the sense that love is real and not mythical.
Rabbi Shmuley said he was bullied at the Jewish day school he attended because he wanted to fit in and wanted to be liked so badly that he tried too hard. He said he's amazed at some of the things he did and was even embarrassed to tell his wife some of the things he did to be liked as a child such as use his pocket money to buy pencils for other children so they would like him. He realized that all men want to be a hero to their wives and often don't want to admit their faults.
Rabbi Shmuley and his wife have 9 children and he said having a large family is the last acceptable prejudice. He said people oftentimes see families with many kids as backwards, etc. He loves having 9 kids and said they are the joy of his life. He and his family also live only about 15 minutes away from Rosie and they ride their bikes past where she lives often! Rosie and Tracy also have 9 kids living with them and she said she enjoys it but said it's often overwhelming for her.
Rabbi Shmuley said he's wanted to meet Rosie for a very long time. He said he's always deeply respected her because she's such a champion of the family and because she's so authentic and real. He was astonished at the way that Donald Trump was allowed to insult her in the way that he did. He said it shocked him that America thought it was okay the way Donald Trump spoke about her and called his behavior absolute misogyny. He said he had no manners and no decency. He said that Donald Trump crossed the line and should have been called out on it. He also loves Rosie's specials she's done on the Rfamily Cruises and on children and families. Here are some links to two if you would like to watch them: All Aboard and A Family Is A Family Is A Family.
Rabbi Shmuley said 'Shalom in the Home' did the first ever TV show highlighting two children of a lesbian couple that were bullied at school. He said that they ignored the issue that it was a lesbian family and dealt with only the issue in the family and about the bullying. The Rabbi said he has a strong evangelical Christian base which he appreciates but the homophobia that enters into religion startles him. He said the word abomination is used 122 times in the bible and if you're going to use it for homosexuality then it has to be the same for everything they call an abomination. He said we can disagree but we must agree that all families are special and all parents love their children. And Rosie said that homosexuality doesn't negate you from morality or from living a normal life. Rabbi Shmuley's brother is a gay and an Orthodox Jew. He said that it's been very challenging for him but he's very devout and a far better son and brother than he is.
Rabbi Shmuley said that when Dr. Laura converted to Orthodox Judaism and she became a huge champion and people in his religion were very grateful. Rabbi Shmuley felt differently because he said that he didn't want her to be the face of Judaism. He said that Judaism is not condemnatory and they don't curse people out. When Dr. Laura said that homosexuality was a "biological error" he published an article speaking out against her. She then told their mutual friends how much she dislikes him. He had guessed that she would leave the religion and one and half years later she did. She said she didn't find it as fulfilling as she thought it would be.
The Rabbi talked with Rosie about whether she would consider becoming one of the celebrities that endorse their Friday Family nights. Rosie said that she and her family have been doing Friday family nights for years. Rabbi Shmuley discussed his frustrations that there are often two issues that keep people away from religion - opposition to abortion and opposition to gay marriage. He talked about his frustrations that religions can be so condemnatory. He said he's torn over sexuality because the Torah says homosexuality is wrong but he doesn't want his brother to be alone for the rest of his life. Rosie once asked Kelli's mother when they were first dating if she would prefer if Kelli were alone for the rest of her life rather than be gay and she said yes!
Rabbi Shmuley seemed surprised that Rosie is a soccer mom and that she's not carried away with the whole fame thing. She explained that she never felt like she fit into the fame thing and she always felt like she connected more with "the help." Rabbi Shmuley said that fame is the ultimate form of idolatry and that's what killed Michael Jackson. Rabbi Shmuley knew Michael and said he was a decent man but he could no longer accept his own imperfections and flaws. When Rabbi Shmuley would point them out to him (as we all have imperfections and flaws) it unraveled their friendship. He also had no peer group.
You can go see Rabbi Shmuley debate the afterlife with Christopher Hitchens at Cooper Union NYC at 7pm tonight! Here is a link to a debate on God between Rabbi Shmuley and Christopher Hitchens if you cannot attend this evening's debate.
Rosie closed the show saying she would love for him to come back. I loved this interview. I have always felt lost when it comes to religion and listening to Rabbi Shmuley talk about his religion made me almost feel like I could belong somewhere. I would love for Rosie to have him on again. He sounded like such a loving man. One of my favorite interviews.
and that's what you missed - kw