Friday, April 28, 2006

The Rosie O’Donnell Anecdote

Rosie O’Donnell is in the news today, so it’s time to roll the Rosie O’Donnell anecdote. First, you have to know, I’m a serial applicant. As a freelance writer I apply to everything, especially back in the days when this anecdote happened. The key to applying to a lot of different jobs is not to get discouraged no matter what happens, and don’t go crazy giving them everything they ask. In fact, don’t even wait for them to ask. Just send them a letter or call and as long as your personal story is interesting enough, you have a chance.
When Rosie O’Donnell first got her talk show, things in the office were a little chaotic. It was the first week and everyone was excited. When I called to apply, the secretary gave me the FAX number for the writers. I imagine by Week 2 that wasn’t happening. I sent Rosie a bunch of my jokes as a welcome gift kind of thing: Use them if you want. They were from a periodically-updated backup file for the radio gig. Part of that deal was to provide a couple of weeks of jokes, in case I got hit by a bus. The radio people were nervous. They had never met me and they didn’t know how reliable I was. Ten years later, we still haven’t met but we’re still in business.
Anyway, one of the jokes was, “In France, they’ve discovered prehistoric drawings in caves of some of the game that was hunted thousands of years ago. And you can tell it was the beginning of French culture, because each animal had a little drawing of what wine to go with it.”
Somewhere in the early days of that show, Rosie used a very similar joke, and I believe I still have it in the Box of Many Video Tapes. Now, she could have come up with it herself, but there’s two reasons I think it was mine. First, they were in chaos mode early in the show and they needed help. And second, she presented it as if it had been taken right out of the daily paper, but I knew for a fact it was months old. That was it though. I didn’t get the job, but I did get the story. As I recall, Rosie would later bag the prepared material bit and just come out and pretty much wing it.
I bring this up because Rosie just landed the gig on “The View.” I’m not a fan of the show, but whatever that show used to be, it just got a lot better. You can dislike Rosie if you want, but she is a comedy force. She’s funny no matter if it’s movies or talk shows or whatever. Rosie is comedy gold. Hey, I wonder if she’ll still pretend to be in love with Tom Cruise anymore? She must have been heartbroken when Katie Holmes had the kid. That could have been her carrying Tom Cruise’s baby. Mmm…Maybe not. Talk about your Mission Impossible.
Anyway, I predict Rosie will do well. I’m not going to watch but remember the backup joke file? Well, I also have one for anecdotes. This has been your Rosie O’Donnell anecdote.


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