11-11-10 - Interviews with Jon Soltz and John Tartaglia

In case you missed it...

Rosie started today's program introducing who was in the studio (Deirdre, Bobby, Shoshana, Pete, etc.) and reminding listeners that Janette is out of the country on a MMFC mission.  You can follow Janette's journey on her blog where she is updating and posting videos from her travels.  She then played "Janette-isms" from previous radio shows including Janette saying "I got a job selling sea shells at a sea shell shop on South 17th Street."   

Bobby watched part of the Country Music Awards last night when Gwyneth Paltrow sang.  They played a clip from her singing last night.  She's promoting a new film she's in entitled Country Strong.  Bobby and Deirdre were sort of offended that the press made a big deal about Gwyneth packing on 20 pounds for the role.  They both couldn't even tell the difference in her before and after photos!  Pete started laughing hysterically during the clip of her singing because he said it sounded like she said "I made poopey's in the fall."  Rosie laughed at Pete's joke but thought she sounded pretty good and she commented on what a nice person she is.  Shoshana said she thinks about the Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors almost everyday.  In the movie Gwyneth starts the film as one character and then her character splits into two different characters.  One character gets on a train and one character misses the train.  The movie tells the story of both characters' lives and how they were different based off that event.  Shoshana likes the "everything happens for a reason" message of the film and often applies it to her own life. 

Last night Jim Breuer hosted a night of Comedy Covers at the Gotham Comedy club where comedians get up and do other comedians standup sets.  It pays homage to other comics.  And last night PETE PERFORMED!!!  Rosie said she did her first night of standup ever doing all of Seinfeld's material.  Pete did Bob Dylan doing Steve Martin's jokes!  He had a really good time doing it and did some of it for Rosie and the listeners at home (complete with harmonica!).   He described the night for Rosie and it sounded like most of the staff went to cheer Pete on!  Pete said he was pretty nervous.  But he thought it wasn't something he thinks he'll ever have the chance to do again so he thought, why not try?!

Pete had never tried standup and said he didn't think he could ever write his own material.  But Rosie said he totally could.  She said he has a point-of-view and a unique perspective and a specific voice.  She thought he totally could do it.  Brendan knew Pete was going last night and kind of freaked him out before he went to the event.  He told him he was going to go "shit on what people do for a living!"  He said that was strategic because Lou was concerned Pete was taking it too lightly.  They talked all about last night's event and who performed and Brendan told Rosie that Breuer wants to do Rosie's set next time!  Rosie thought that would be funny.  Rosie said she would like to go see it.  Everyone who saw Pete perform last night said he did great! 

Rosie went to get a breast MRI yesterday.  Typically she gets a mammogram and then an ultrasound and this year she chose to get an MRI.  She described the MRI and how it works.  She was surprised when the technicians gave her earplugs and headphones to cover her ears for the MRI and then she realized how LOUD it was.  She played what it sounds like for the listeners at home.  And I'm not kidding, I started to sweat during this conversation.  I too have a family history of breast cancer (mother and grandmother both had it) and I had a breast MRI a few years ago.  I got into that machine, which you go into feet first and when I tried to lift my head and couldn't I had a panic attack!  I pressed the panic button and had to get out.  I eventually finished after telling myself over and over that no one has ever suffocated in an MRI machine so surely I would not be the first.  Scary.  And when I was listening to Rosie describe it I had to get up and walk around the room. lol  Rosie said they found two "spots" on the MRI that they want to biopsy on Friday.   There was a spot on each breast and Rosie spent all of last night trying to find them in her breasts.  Rosie's going to see her doctor, Dr. Deborah Axelrod, who she co-wrote Bosum Buddies: Lessons and Laughter on Breast Health and Cancer with.  She is telling herself what she tells all of her other friends, that 80-90 % of things found on MRIs/Ultrasounds/Mammograms are nothing, but a little part of her is scared this might be something.  Deirdre said her Aunt died of breast cancer because she found a lump and ignored it so she was happy Rosie was having it looked at.  Rosie said "here's hoping that it's nothing" and said she would let everyone know on Monday how it turns out.

Rosie then introduced Captain Jon Soltz the Chairman and Co-founder of VoteVets.org.  VoteVets.org is organized as a non-partisan political action committee and non-profit composed of United States Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans that view defense policy as an American priority. The stated goal of VoteVets is to "put in Congress Afghanistan or Iraqi war veterans who are critical of the execution of the war in Iraq," hold politicians accountable and to "educate the American public on the war and military issues."  [source: wikipedia]

Jon is a member of the Army and served in both Kosovo and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He joined the Army in 1995 and he remembers thinking if you're an able-bodied American you should serve your country in some way.  For him, he was an Eagle Scout growing up and felt the military was the answer for how he could best serve his country.  He also went to Israel as a child and was inspired by the mandatory service.  Jon and Rosie talked about the small numbers of people who choose to serve this country in the military and the reasons people join such as family tradition and for college benefits.   Jon talked with Rosie about his frustrations he has that many people don't understand the sacrifices veterans make because there aren't enough people serving in the military today.

Jon said he was excited to fight in Operation Iraqi Freedom for his country but he was frustrated when President Bush said that combat missions were over in Iraq when there were still men and women fighting on the ground.  And he was also frustrated recently when President Obama said the same thing three months ago.  He said it's simply not true and even though we've taken out the combat brigades it is still dangerous and people are still dying over in Iraq.  Jon said that even though we're not on offensive operations, to say that combat missions are over is a dangerous statement.  He said the enemy ultimately decides if we're in combat.  Jon said until all U.S. troops are out, we're still in a war zone.

Vote Vets currently has 100,000 members and Jon said their purpose is going challenge the administration and political leaders when it comes to veterans issues.  He said they offer an alternative voice to the conversation and they don't fear or appease either political party that's in charge.  Vote Vets wants to hold political parties responsible for their actions.  Jon likes President Obama but said if he's going to sit and say U.S. troops aren't in combat, he's going to have to challenge him on that statement. 

Rosie talked with Jon about the Fisher House that helps individual military families in need with a variety of services. Jon was happy to mention that Rosie gave 1 million dollars to the Fisher House when she visited.  Rosie said she was stunned when she went to visit the Veterans.  She said until you look into the eyes of a 20 year-old boy who is missing both legs or holding his baby with a prosthetic arm it's hard to really feel the impact that the war has on our country's citizens.  Rosie said when she was a kid she remembers watching the news and seeing photos and video from the Vietnam war.  She said what we see about today's war is such a sanitized version of what is really going on.  And Jon said each war has new wounds because of the style of combat.  While we're saving more lives of soldiers who are wounded they are coming home with different injuries.  He mentioned the high suicide, unemployment and PTSD rates of our servicemen and women.  Rosie recommended to the listeners the documentary Tattooed Under Fire where they tattoo servicemen just as they're about to ship out and then again when they come home from serving.  She said the men and women come home as different people.  Jon agreed.  He said he was a different person when he returned from serving.  When he went to Iraq he supported the war and when he came home he felt angry and lied to.  He knew a lot of people who died and he wondered for what reason?
Jon told Rosie about a recent phone call he had with Pat Tillman's brother Kevin.  They discussed Bush's latest book and how Bush was so upset Kanye West called him a racist.  Kevin and Jon couldn't believe that Bush lied to them about his brother's death and practically used to promote the reasons for going to war and his biggest shame was being called a racist from a rapper.  Jon said the American public believes the Iraq war is over and there are still 50,000 US troops over there.  He said they're still on a dangerous mission and it's not over until all the troops come home. 

Jon talked with Rosie about how it's so important for him to speak out when he doesn't agree with something.  Rosie asked Jon what the average American can do for our service men and women?  Jon said simply welcoming them home and ask about how they're doing means a lot to many Veterans.  He said it's not about thanking them for their service because you're feeling guilty that you weren't able to do it.  He said he always approaches Vietnam Vets and welcomes them home when he sees them.   When they ask him why he said welcome home he tells them because no one welcomed them home.

Rosie told Jon about her son Parker who has always wanted to be in the Air Force.  For Parker it has always been about wanting to serve his country. Rosie thanked Jon for calling in and for his service to our country.  She then thanked all U.S. Veterans for their service and the families who lost someone in a war fighting for our country.  She said you have our eternal gratitude.

Rosie recommended that listeners look into In their Boots which she called overwhelming but necessary.  She said when she visited the Fisher House she remembered thinking she was going to drown in the grief she was feeling.  She could barely hold herself together in order to not cry in front of the men and women who were there.  Then she could barely stop crying afterward digesting the enormity of the damage that had been inflicted on many of our soldiers.  She said it's trite to say but there has to be a way to end a war. 

Rosie took some calls from listeners.  One caller told a story of hugging a soldier who had just come home from serving.  One caller had two sons serving, one of whom was on his way home.  She cried with Rosie as she spoke of her sons and their father's disinterest in their service. She told Rosie both her sons have told her if they had it to do over again they wouldn't have done it.  Rosie said many soldiers feel the same but many soldiers feel the opposite.  Rosie talked with the caller about Parker and how she lets him watch R-rated movies when there's a war message in them to show him the reality of war.  His answer to Rosie is always "Mom, someone has to do it. We need a strong military."    Parker is 15 and while she's proud of him she's scared to death at the idea that he might go to war.  She's thinking of sending Parker go to a summer camp for kids that want to go into the military so he can get an idea for it.  

Rosie then introduced John Tartaglia who is currently producing the musical Imaginocean! Imaginocean is currently playing at New World Stages where Rosie said there's a chance she may be broadcasting her new OWN show!  Rosie said she's heard the musical is really great!  Bobby agreed and has already seen it twice.  John said it's a musical for kids but it's great for adults too.  He chatted with Rosie about when he performed on the Rfamily cruise and what a fun time he had. 

John described ImaginOcean for the listeners at home and said it was a an interactive blacklight musical for kids.  He got the idea for the show when he was in St. John snorkeling.  He was watching the electric colored fish as they moved as if they were choreographed and he got the idea for the musical!  He said the show is only an hour long so it's great to take your kids to.  William Wade wrote the music for the play in only five days!  John said the show is interactive with the kids and he's a believer in bringing the show past the stage into the audience.

John also performed in Avenue Q on Broadway.  Rosie told John she wishes she could play the song "If You Were Gay" from the musical for every kid out there who's being bullied for being gay today. 

Rosie asked John about how he got into puppets.  John said he grew up doing theater and at seven years old he saw Fraggle Rock.  He became obsessed with wanting to find out how they did it.  He even made his own puppets as a child.  He loved the idea of becoming something else and no one knowing it was him.  When he was only 8 years-old he remembers walking into his kitchen and telling his mom "Just so you know, I'm moving to NYC and becoming a puppeteer for the Muppets."  And that's exactly what happened.  John and Rosie talked about the magic of Broadway and what it's like to be  on the cast of a Broadway show. Rosie told John she is begging to be Miss Hannigan in Annie on Broadway when it comes back but that every day she remembers someone who would be better than her in the role.

Rosie thanked John for the interview and said she hopes to see it soon with her kids! 

An Anti-Bullying Message from John

If you were gay that'd be okay. 

Brendan named two actors and the player had to guess what war movie they were in.  Each player would get two points if they could name the movie by the actors.  Brendan could give them a hint if they didn't know the movie by telling them what war the movie was about.  Then the player got one point. 

Rosie: Tom Hanks and Matt Damon.  She said Saving Private Ryan which was correct.  2 points
Shoshana: Liam Neeson and Ray Fiennes.  She guessed Schindler's List which was correct.  2 points
Pete: Clark Gable and Vivian Lee.  He guessed Gone With the Wind which was correct.  2 points
Bobby: Robin Williams and Forest Whitaker.  He guessed Good Morning Vietnam which was correct. 2 points
caller: Kevin Costner and Mary McDonald.  He couldn't guess it.  It was Dances With Wolves.  2 points

Rosie: Brad Pitt and Samuel L. Jackson.  She guessed Inglorious Bastards which was correct. 2 points
Shoshana: Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Berman.  She guessed Casablanca which was correct. 2 points
Pete: Tom Cruise and Kira Sedgewick.  He guessed Born on the Forth of July after Brendan gave him the war (Vietnam).  1 point
Bobby: Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington.  Brendan gave him the Civil War as a clue.  He couldn't guess it.  It was Glory. 0 points

Rosie: Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif.  She guessed Laurence of Arabia which was correct.  2 points.  Shoshana: George Clooney and Mark Walberg.  She couldn't guess Three Kings so she got 0 points.
Pete: Martin Sheen and Marlin Brando.  He guessed Apocalypse Now which was correct.
Bobby: Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. Brendan gave the hint the Vietnam War and he guessed Platoon which was correct for 1 point.

Rosie: Donald Sutherland and Elliot Gould.  She guessed Mash which was correct. 2 points
Shoshana:  Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr.  She had no idea.  It was From Here To Eternity.  0 points
Pete: Humphry Bogart and Katherine Hepburn.  He guessed African Queen. 2 points
Bobby: Jude Law and Nicole Kidman. The Civial War was given a a clue.  He had no idea.  It was Cold Mountain. 0 points

Rosie: Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger.  The Revolutionary War was given as a clue.  She had no idea.  It was The Patriot.  0 points
Shoshana: George C. Scott and Carl Mulden. She had no idea.  It was Patton.  0 points
Pete: (for the win) Matthew Modine and Vincent Denafrio.  He guessed Full Metal Jacket and WON! 

Rosie closed the show wishing all the Veterans the best.  She told a story of her mom who hung a sheet outside that said "Welcome Home Charlie" on the day Charlie Kosik came home from Vietnam.  She remembered going to his house and seeing a bullet hole in his helmet and asking him if he killed anyone.  She wonders where he is today.  She said thank you to everyone serving and to everyone who has anyone serving in the military.  She wished all our families of Veterans and Veterans themselves peace and said Happy Veterans Day.

and that's what you missed -kw


  1. I agree with everyone else, love the PINK ;-) hahaha


  2. Deirdre (and any fans following her lead) might want to take a look at this: