TV

11 Moments From “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” That’ll Lift Your Spirits

"This is the biggest, gayest celebration since Liza's wedding!"

Start practicing your Koosh ball flinging skills because The Rosie O’Donnell Show is back! That’s right, this Sunday, March 22, the classic talk show returns as a one-night-only fundraiser for The Actors Fund.

To prepare for this momentous occasion, here are 11 fun—and super gay—moments from the series’ original run that are sure to lift your spirits.

  1. Yoga with Madonna

    What’s better than having Ray of Light-era Madonna on your show? Try watching Ray of Light-era Madonna teach Rosie how to do yoga. Maybe Madonna should have taught her how to vogue, too.

  2. Brandy and the cast of Cinderella

    Fact: Cinderella is a gay icon. Another fact: The 1997 Disney TV version starring Brandy and Whitney Houston is a classic. The cast—including Bernadette Peters!—sits down with Ro, and Brandy even performs “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful” from the musical.

  3. A tribute to Dick Van Dyke

    Need a laugh? Watching Rosie try to keep up with Broadway dancers during a tribute to screen legend Dick Van Dyke is funnier than it should be.

  4. 500th episode spectacular with Bette Midler

    Having Bette Midler as a guest is always a cause for celebration, so what better way to celebrate 500 episodes than with the Divine Miss M?

  5. Hedwig Heaven

    Missed John Cameron Mitchell in the original off-Broadway run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch? Luckily, Rosie has him perform one of the show’s numbers, “Origin of Love,” live on her show.

  6. Ellen “comes out”

    “Maybe I’m Lebanese!”

  7. Mary Tyler War

    It’s a Mary Tyler Moore Show trivia game show—hosted by MTM herself!—between Rosie and Davina, an MTA worker from Staten Island. Spoiler alert: Rosie loses, and in a later episode she takes Davina to The People’s Court, where the judge is… former New York mayor Ed Koch?

  8. A Rosie-ified version of Rent

    “525,600 Ring Dings!”

  9. Sharing with Cher

    When Cher swings by to promote her latest album, Living Proof, the ultimate gay icon talks about everything from her new blonde wig to finding inspiration after 9/11. She also admits she never actually watched her classic Will & Grace cameo! Can you believe?

  10. The final show

    “This is the biggest, gayest celebration since Liza’s wedding,” guest Nathan Lane remarks on the final episode of Rosie’s talk show. And he wasn’t kidding. We knew Rosie would go out with a bang!

  11. Barbra Streisand: Hello, Gorgeous!

    One of the greatest episodes of television ever? We dare you not to tear up when Rosie, right before welcoming her idol Barbra Streisand, tells the audience, “To every boy and girl out there, dreams really do come true.”

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was "just the cutest thing ever."
@chrisreindeer