Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Rosie O'Donnell story

Jimmy Fallon has Rosie O'Donnell on as a guest tonight and it reminded me of my encounter with Rosie back in 1991.

I was the morning deejay on Kix 106 in Providence, Rhode Island.  I was asked if I would have Rosie on as a guest.  She was doing her stand-up act at a local comedy club and was making the rounds on local radio stations to promote the show.

At the time, she was the host of VH1's "Stand Up Spotlight".  She did a little standup comedy on each show and then brought other comedians on.  VH1 still played a lot of music videos at the time so it was a show that kind of stood out and was a big help in giving her national exposure.

My show was on from 5-10 a.m.  She came in with the promoter from the club who was appointed as her driver at around 7 a.m.

Rosie was wearing overalls and immediately announced she was tired and didn't know how I could be so cheery that early.  It made sense at the time -- she was primarily a stand-up comedienne and that meant working late nights at comedy clubs doing her routine.

She was gracious and funny.  We were on about 4-5 minutes and then I had to get a commercial break and traffic report on before chatting with her some more.

During the break, she looked at me and said "I know you make a lot of money".  I stared at her in disbelief.  I asked "Did I leave my paystub lying around?"

She said, "No.  But I just turned down an offer to be on the Howard and Stephanie morning show on Hot 97 in New York for $500,000.  I thought it would tie me down too much from my stand-up and TV career which is really taking off so I turned it down.  Plus, I'm working on some possible movie deals."

I was making $27,000 a year at the time.

We finished up her time on the air and after she left I wondered if she made the right choice.

I think its obvious looking back... that she did.