04-28-11 - The 300th Show and Saving the Soaps with Robin Strasser

In case you missed it...

Rosie started today's broadcast talking about how tired she was because she went out last night and she's almost 50, don't forget!  She went to see House of Blue Leaves which she said was wonderfully done but very sad.  Rosie didn't want to ruin what the play was about for those who haven't seen it but she did say it's about mental illness.  Since the play was written in 1966, she thought it was truly ahead of its time!  She said it was very well done but very sad.  The audience laughed at some parts which confused Rosie's girlfriend Tracy, who was crying.  She couldn't understand why everyone was laughing!  Rosie said she cried so hard it reminded her of the time she saw The Beauty Queen of Leenane.  During that show Rosie said she audibly grieved and "talked" to the cast on the stage.   Janette doesn't like sad plays and said the last sad play she saw was The Long Day's Journey Into Night.  She said when she left the building after the performance it felt like everyone was wearing lead underwear.  This was Tracy's first play (as opposed to musical) and Tracy couldn't believe they were sitting so close to stars like Ben Stiller!  Rosie said that's "the beauty of Broadway" that you can see your favorite stars in such an intimate setting.   Rosie went to one of her favorite restaurants 44th and x before the show where she had the Mac and Cheese with truffle oil!  Rosie said this Mac and Cheese is the best thing she's ever eaten.  Rosie heard they're going to come out with a version of it that you can purchase at the supermarket which will come with a truffle oil spray pump so you can spritz it, right before you put it in the oven.  YUM!

The rest of the staff watched American Idol last night and they all thought the duets were awful.  The American Idol contestants sang Carole King songs and the staff played James Durbin's performance from last night for Rosie.  She loved it.  Rosie said people keep writing to her saying James is just ripping off Adam Lambert but Rosie said she wouldn't know because she didn't watch the year Adam Lambert was on.  Janette thought Jacob's outfit alone should be the reason he should leave.  She described what he wore which included a yellow shirt, plaid tie and a checkered jacket.  Rosie thinks Jacob is often off pitch and Bobby confirmed that he is.  Bobby said Jacob has a problem with control.  And Janette spoke about how she finds Lauren so unbelievably adorable. 

Rosie said it seems the world has finally caught on to what she's been saying about Trump all along!  Even the President referred to him (in a roundabout way) as a "carnival barker."  But still, Fox News won't put the birth certificate controversy to rest so James put together all the audio from yesterday's Fox News of them doubting the authenticity of the birth certificate.  Fox News is claiming the birth certificate is photoshopped and the President is playing the victim.  Rosie took several callers.   One caller suggested she watch Lawrence O'Donnell from last night.  She said Rosie would have jumped on her bed and screamed at the television!  The caller said Lawrence "lost his shit" and kicked out Orly Taitz (the original birther) whom he was interviewing.  See video clip below.   

Lawrence "loses his shit" on Orly.

Rosie took a call from a listener who believes the so-called birthers are racists.  Rosie actually agreed.  She said Rosie has to see the end of Rachel Maddow's show from last night where she interviewed a person at the end of her program who says the birther campaign brings her back to the time when her own grandfather and other black men were stopped and arrested for not showing their papers.   Rosie said she isn't so sure all this publicity is having a good outcome on Trump's image and his brand.  Janette thinks Trump probably loves it because every media outlet is talking about him, good or bad.  Rosie said this is what she has always been saying about Trump and sounded frustrated that no one ever publicly came to her defense years ago.  And now everyone is seeing everything she said was all true!  Rosie thinks Trump is a racist, a misogynist and an elitist.  Janette agrees that Trump is a racist but doesn't necessarily think the birther issue was racially motivated.  She thinks this is how the GOP plays, they make up a scandal and they go after it. Janette agreed maybe Trump's gone too far this time after Rosie listed the many spokespeople in the media who are speaking out against him. 

Rosie took a call from a listener who was completely repulsed when Oprah had Trump and his family on her show.  Rosie, however, enjoyed the Trump interview on Oprah and felt as if she  was willing to reassess her opinion of him after it.  Not anymore.

Bobby was an assistant to Marla Maples (one of Trump's former wives) and used to make clothes for her so he was very familiar with the whole family.  There were some things Bobby respected about Trump like how he put a suit on and went to work every day (even when he didn't have to), how he treated his kids, and how he had a swingset on the roof of his building for his kids.  Then Bobby said, Trump would do these asinine things which made him rethink his views of him.

Rosie then read portions of a blog written by Kathryn J. Scags that someone sent her through Twitter and said she was done discussing the topic.

Rosie and the staff discussed how it's one of the worst tornado seasons in this nation's history!  Over 200 people died yesterday from a string of deadly tornadoes that hit the South.  Rosie never remembered a lot of tornadoes growing up and said she couldn't imagine what it's like to live with them as your reality day in and day out.  She remembered once the anxiety from just one tornado scare in her childhood neighborhood when her mother was alive.  Also, there was a time when she was working at a comedy club and there was a tornado warning.  Rosie said the sky looked terrifying!  She wasn't sure she'd be able to live in a place where tornadoes were a regular occurrence.  Rosie took a call from a truck driver who drove through a tornado last night in Arkansas.  He said his truck was shaking back and forth, they had to pull over and next thing they knew they were in the midst of a flash flood and the police had to rescue them!  Rosie gave him and his partner a Snuggie.  Rosie took a call from a listener from Virginia who has been terrified by the latest tornado warnings in her neighborhood.  Rosie wished her the best and to stay safe. Rosie said it always surprises her when she hears of people dying of weather related causes and Janette couldn't imagine the stress people must be under in those affected areas.  Rosie took a call from a listener who has been spending hours with her daughters hiding in the closet during all these tornado scares!  Rosie said after looking at the images of the homes that have been destroyed she wasn't sure hiding in the closet was going to protect her.  Rosie wished her well and gave her a gift for Mother's Day. 

Pete had taken his daughter to work today and Rosie talked with her for a few minutes before the break.  Sophia is five years old and Rosie asked her a bunch of questions.  Rosie asked her what she wanted to do when she grows up and she said be on Rosie's show!  OMG, she was cute. 

Rosie said she watched an interesting documentary yesterday about Crop Circles in England entitled What On Earth.  Rosie described the movie in detail to the listening audience at home.  She said some unexplainable things happened in these crop circles like if you enter the circle the signal on your cell phone dies and people would group meditate in them all thinking about the same shape and the next day that shape would appear.  Rosie thought it possibly proves the existence of a parallel universe and said she would love everyone to see it.  She said after seeing the documentary I AM it has made her want to pay more attention to how energy passes and facilitates itself on Earth.  Janette said after just seeing Independence Day it scares her!  lol  

Rosie said she read an article that says the Producer of Atlas Shurgged has stated  he's not going to produce part two and three because of the mean critics.  Rosie said she's not a critic but it was the worst film she ever saw!   

Before Rosie began the interview with Robin she told a story about a charity auction she once went to.  Rosie bid on a photograph that she really wanted but had to leave and then found out she didn't win the item.  And Rosie specifically bid a lot of money thinking she would win the item for sure.  It was a picture of a Broadway actress fanning herself that Rosie loved.  Then, about two months later a box arrived in the mail and it was the framed photograph with a note from Robin Strasser!  When Robin heard Rosie was the other person who wanted the photograph she asked the photographer to print another one for her and had it mailed to her as a gift! 

Rosie then introduced Robin Strasser, who plays Dorian Lord on One Life To Live, who was on the telephone to talk with Rosie about the recent cancellations of All My Children and One Life to Live.  Robin was so excited to talk to Rosie!  She was a big fan of The Rosie O'Donnell Show and said it was Rosie who always reminded her every year to get her mammogram and remember to be crafty!  Robin also hopes Rosie gets the credit she deserves for putting a spotlight on Broadway when she did. 

Robin and Rosie then talked about the cancellations of the shows.  Robin said the suits at ABC aren't being crafty enough!  She said the show could have used a warning so they could have tried to revamp the show to make it more economical or to bring in more ratings but they were cancelled without even getting notice.  Robin said they have as many viewers as MadMen and they didn't get a chance to self-resuscitate and that isn't fair.  Rosie said she cannot remember her life without soaps and said for her it's been a devastating blow almost like a death.   

Rosie asked Robin how they found out they were going to be canceled.  Robin wasn't there that day but she said the day the announcement happened there was a large meeting with suits and they just came in and told them.  Rosie asked if the show was given notes and suggestions over the years with ways to get the ratings up.  Robin said that's not something the actors would have been privy to but she's sure it's probably true because the network executives always have to approve storylines, etc. 

Robin said she's hoping the fans will stick with them until the end.  She doesn't want fans to boycott ABC because she wants them to go out with great ratings and their heads held high! She said if the shows have a glorious finish it will make it even easier for people to get new jobs post-production.  Robin said not to let "them" trivialize you for loving soap operas, it's storytelling at it's best! 

Robin said fans can write to "savethesoaps (@) Hoover.com" and they've promised to deliver all the emails to ABC personally!  Robin said it's not too late to send a strong message about how much we love our soap operas!  Rosie said she remembered crying when Ryan's Hope went off the air and now she's trying to catch up on OLTL and AMC before they're gone! 

Rosie asked Robin how the network feels about her speaking out about this topic.  Robin said she  hasn't heard anything in protest but feels at this point being silent would be too devastating.  Robin said to look at all social networking has done to change our world.  She said it is still possible!  And if in seven months from now it's over, and they're actually leaving she wants them to end on a good note. 

All My Children will go off in September and One Life To Live will be done in January which means they'll be finished taping episodes around Thanksgiving.  Robin still hopes something might change and another network might step up. Rosie said she has tremendous admiration and respect for soap opera actors and all the talent they have.  She said she has tremendous gratitude for the soaps and doesn't remember life without them.  Rosie made Robin promise to call them if anything changes and thanked Robin for calling in and wished her luck. 

Rosie took a few phone calls following the interview.  One caller told Rosie the fans are not boycotting the soaps on ABC, they're only boycotting all other ABC shows, shows on ABC Family and shows on Disney.  The caller has watched soaps since she was a little girl and was very upset at the news of their cancellation.  Rosie remembered cutting out of school whenever something big was going to happen on Ryan's Hope.  Her Nana used to tape the audio from it so she could listen to it but Rosie's Nana wasn't a very functional Nana she was more of a "sit-in-the-kitchen-and-smoke Chesterfields-while-leaning-slightly-to-the-left" type of Nana so she wasn't very good at it.  Rosie took a call from a listener who said if the viewers aren't there the advertisers won't pay to advertise on them and that is really what the cancellation is all about.  And Janette pointed out that advertisers only care about the 18-49 demographic.  Janette said it makes her wonder if there's still value in entertainment.  She said people get attached to their entertainment, just look at how upset the listeners of Rosie Radio have gotten since they've announced they're leaving at the end of May!  Rosie totally gets it and said she used to be that dedicated to her entertainment too.  Rosie mentioned Oprah's statement about not being able to save the soaps  and said she's sure Oprah researched it because she's an incredibly smart business woman!

Janette said they're celebrating their 300th show today! 

Rosie said Naomi and Wynonna Judd will be on tomorrow's show and she's going to see Good People tonight. 

Rosie closed the show.

and that's what you missed - kw


  1. Can it really be the 300th show? Oh how I am going to miss Rosie Radio this summer. What a ride this show has been. It started with Howard suggesting Rosie have the show and is ending with Rosie going to work for/with Oprah. Heady company. Not to mention the incredible guests over the past year and a half, and getting to know Janette, Bobby, Deirdre, Shoshanna, Pete, James, Jeanne and Brendan. Plus Kelly W....and the wonderful Blogtourage. So enjoyable. Happy 300th and thanks for the smiles, giggles, tears and a-ha moments!

    Alison (Alderella)

  2. I second all of that Alison!

    Dennis - Fort Lauderdale

  3. I just want to tell you, Kelly. You rock.

    : ) P

  4. hey fans of rosie radio and this fabulous blog –

    the show today had me cheering, laughing, on the verge of tears, and cursing, by turns – agree, alison, am going to miss it like crazy when it’s over.

    bloody hell – adam sang ‘whole lotta love’ on idol! it’s fine for them to constantly praise james, but don’t even try to talk about adam lambert’s performances on the show if you bloody didn’t watch them! [/end glambert rant]

    enjoyed the calling out of trump. but if janette doubts that racism is fueling this whole ‘birther’ nonsense, then she hasn’t read any of the comments sections online from right-wing folks, where the racism is rampant.

    btw, the woman on rachel maddow’s show from the grio web site was goldie taylor, and here’s the link to that segment of the show (only):


    re: soap viewership – it’s not as simple as just the proliferation of cable and other forms of viewing (e.g. online). for an academic paper i was writing (i’m a media studies scholar), i came across a really good article analyzing the state of daytime soaps, by elana levine (highly recommend; will paste in biblio info below). as she explains, these excuses are inaccurate; the hemorrhaging of viewers from soaps in recent years is acknowledged by fans and those in the soap industry to be based upon changes in content (robin strasser also alluded to network control in her interview). there are also class and race implications of the reasons soaps are not valued – that is, advertisers have a preference for reaching ‘a *certain* kind of woman via the soaps: young, affluent, and white’, precisely the demographic who is more likely to be at work during the day (Levine, 2008: 40).

    & can i give a shout out to amanda, the show’s call screener? she’s really doing a fantastic job, as all of the callers on recent shows have been very interesting and provocative, often producing deeper and more fruitful discussion by rosie and the staff.

    love from memphis (where we’re expecting a dangerously flooding mississippi river in the coming days, so send your prayers this way, too, when you’re praying for southerners affected by these devastating storms),

    Levine, Elana. “Like Sands Through the Hourglass: The Changing Fortunes of the Daytime Television Soap Opera.” In _Beyond Prime Time: Television Programming in the Post-Network Era_. Amanda D. Lotz, Ed. New York and London: Routledge, 2009. 36-54.

  5. Thank you so much Kelly. I was out all day yesterday and never got to watch this one, and this morning missed the rerun. And now if you miss the rerun there is no chance to hear it. I barely got on today's show in time due to the Royal Wedding stuff. I missed the first 15 minutes. Listening to Wy and Naomi right now.