The Way They Were: Today’s Stars on The Rosie O’Donnell Show

The Rosie O’Donnell Show ran from 1996 to 2002, and even though we watched it to the bitter end we somehow always associate it with the ’90s. When I think of Rosie guests, it’s people like Macy Gray, cast members from Ally McBeal, and throwbacks to Rosie’s 1970s childhood like the Osmonds. However, there are some modern stars we always forget were active in the Rosie era, so it feels like a total time warp seeing them as guests on The Rosie O’Donnell Show.

The Cast Of Harry Potter

Harry Potter and The Rosie O’Donnell Show had a brief overlap – Rosie even campaigned to play Molly Weasley, and while Julie Walters defined the role I bet she would have been great. However, with the last movie coming out in 2011 I tend to forget that Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone was a 2001 release: firmly in the early 2000s. It doesn’t seem possible that it has been 15 years since Harry Potter first hit the big screen, until you see how tiny the kids were here and it feels like when one of your friends posts a #TBT baby picture.

Mae Whitman

We have long loved Mae Whitman as Parenthood’s Amber Braverman, a real-life Friday Night Lights superfan, Ann Veal (her?), and a Dawson’s Creek Live Reading participant. But let’s not forget that before all this, she was one of those 90s child actors who was in EVERYTHING. You might remember Mae from One Fine Day, When A Man Loves A Woman, Independence Day, and as Sandra Bullock’s daughter in Hope Floats. It’s rare that a child actor maintains such a solid career through adolescence and adulthood. It’s even more rare to create such distinct child and adult personas that we almost forget this adorable moppet is the same cool girl who cracks us up on Twitter on a weekly basis.

Lea Michele

Lea Michele first entered our consciousness thanks to Spring Awakening, but there’s a wide audience who didn’t really know who she was until Glee. We didn’t know it, but we were actually familiar with little Lea long before that. In 1998, Ragtime was all the rage (in our circles, anyway) and Lea was the wide-eyed, precocious little girl. Also: AUDRA.

Jimmy Fallon

We certainly knew Jimmy was around in 2001 – we had massive crushes on him that we’d discuss in study hall and at lunch – but it was early in his SNL career and he wasn’t really doing much press yet, so it’s surprising that he was on Rosie. We had no clue he’d be a wildly popular talk show host in his own right over ten years later.

Alas, there is no video of the appearance, so enjoy this photo of Jimmy and Horatio Sanz as Rosie.

Lil Bow Wow

I know he was  lil when he started, but Bow Wow as an actual child rapper on Rosie is something I cannot quite remember. But it’s true, he was there – sadly, with no video to prove it. Woof.

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer may be a rom-com and movie mom favorite now, but in the early 2000s she was best known as the star of Alias … to other people. To us she was primarily the flirty, 30 and thriving Jenna Rink in 13 Going On 30, which didn’t come out until 2004. That’s why it feels so weird knowing that Garner was on Rosie in 2001 promoting Alias, a show I admittedly never watched.

Lauren Graham

We briefly mentioned Lauren’s appearance earlier this week, as she showed off her “skills” during a craft corner segment on Rosie’s last show of the series. But months before, and nearing the end of season two of Gilmore Girls, Lauren appeared on the show for the first time, and Lo and Ro kicked it off right away. I have always been a fan of LG’s TV interviews because she always comes off charismatic, fun and awkward all at the same time (see: all Ellen interviews), and in 2002, this was just the beginning of Lauren’s rise to fame and her journey with Gilmore Girls. BECAUSE I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S HAPPENING.

Hayden Panettiere

I sometimes forget Hayden was a child actor. But then I remember she played Ally McBeal’s daughter and it all comes screaming back to me. Before she played a country music star on Nashville, she proved she had the chops to be a pop star by singing Britney’s (You Drive Me) Crazy during this interview and bless her heart, it feels like she’s been practicing the bit with her stage mom, whom she keeps looking at off camera. Young Hayden is cute, but I think I prefer confident adult Hayden much better.

Josh Groban

Speaking of Ally McBeal… actually, let’s back up a bit. Josh Groban was just 17 years old when superproducer David Foster called Josh’s vocal coach asking if he had any students good enough to rehearse with Celine Dion at the 1999 Grammys. She was set to perform The Prayer with Andrea Boccelli, but because he couldn’t make it, Josh filled in, and Rosie was in awe after hearing him during rehearsals – this was the year she hosted the Grammys. She invited him to her show, as seen above, and because of this interview, Ally McBeal creator David E. Kelley created a role for Josh on his show, and the rest is history. Also, Josh is so nervous and shy here it’s adorable and nothing like what he is now.

Lea DeLaria and Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Sometimes when you know actors from two completely different shows, it throws you off when you hear they’ve been friends for years. That is the case for Orange is the New Black’s Lea DeLaria and Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who both starred on Broadway long before their respective award-winning shows. Here they are performing a number from On the Town, and it’s nothing like you’ve seen them before. Ok, maybe excluding Jesse.

Kobe Bryant

When doing research for this, I saw the third guest in a season one episode titled as “High school student and NBA draftee Kobe Bryant”. I’m not even a big basketball fan, but this is iconic. Kobe, 18 at the time, had signed a three-year $3.5 million contract with the Lakers and he hadn’t even played college basketball. Again, like Bow Wow video from 1998 is scarce, so just trust he was on the show.

Kate Winslet

Technically Kate had a few films under her belt before this interview, but it’s just a treasure of a vid because she is actually doing press for Titanic. It’s her first time on the show, and Rosie wishes her the best of luck as an actress. And like we all knew in that steerage party when she went up on her toes, she’s been knocking it out ever since. Also she talks about Leo and their true love.

BONUS:

When the maybe first female president sings a Bye Bye Birdie song. Also note Rosie in her Rosie-est getup.

Bill Clinton Converses with Celebrities

Yesterday was the 42nd President’s 66th birthday, and it’s not just because I like the guy, but I always remember his birthday because he shares it with my dad. So I mean, you could consider me as the Asian Chelsea Clinton. We have a lot of similarities.

Anyways, Billy C has had a storied life, bringing him all over the world and meeting hundreds of thousands of people of every walk of life. I recently came across this pic of a young William Jefferson Clinton meeting then President John F. Kennedy at The White House in 1963.

bill clinton jfk

He was just a teen in this iconic pic but can you even imagine their conversation?! ‘Oh hey Mr. President. I’m going to be the President one day and have an affair with an intern and my wife’s gonna forgive me and so will America and people will still like me. How’s Marilyn?’ (not verbatim)

Throughout the years of his Presidency, Billy has met a plethora of famous people, and if only we could hear what they were saying …

Billy C: Hey, that goatee looks great on you. I should grow one out too, don’t you think?
Brad Pitt: … No offense sir, but I was sexiest man alive 1995. I can pull anything off. You? Not so much.

Billy C: Great job tonight son. Nice hair.
Justin Bieber: Thanks man. Who are you again?

Billy C: Hilary and I listen to your slow jamz all the time. If you know what I mean *wink*
Usher: Yeah, I got you, sir. No need to wink.

Billy C: Y’all want to start a supergroup?!
Bono & Jon Bon Jovi: … No.

Billy C: Kobe, you and I have a lot in common.
Kobe: Don’t I know it, sir!
Kobe’s Wife: *flashes diamond ring*

Mick Jagger: Let’s go team-m, let’s go!
Billy C: You’re clapping off beat.

Betty White: Oh! Mr. President!!
Billy C: This is the most action I’ve gotten in 2 years. Let this happen.

Billy C: Jennifer, thanks so much for my award. Such a pleasure to meet you!
Jennifer Lawrence: HAHAHA I’m such a big fan I loved you in the White House I mean as the President not like ‘IN the White House’ like I’m a fan of you when you were the leader of the free world not like I was stalking you in the White House… you’re from Arkansas and I’m from Kentucky, we’re both from the south, isn’t that great?! *falls flat on her face*

Billy C: Charlize! Have you met Matt Bomer? He’s convinced me to do Magic Mike 2!
Matt: It’s true! I didn’t convince him to wear that fedora though…
Charlize: Are you sure you’re gay??

Bill Cosby: Now sir…. have you heard the joke about the penguin and the spaghetti…
Jerry Seinfeld: What’s the deal with the spaghetti?
Billy C: I honestly have no idea what either of you are saying right now.

Billy C: Hey Mikey, how’s that monkey of yours doing?
Michael Jackson: Not here, Mr. President. Not here.

Michael Jordan: I love you man, thanks so much for coming out to play golf with me.
Billy C: This picture is going to be framed and hung up in my Harlem office.

Billy C: Bruuuce! Can I bring out my saxophone now?
Bruce Springsteen: Alright man, but only on Born to Run.

Lyle Lovett: *mumbles*
Willie Nelson: Hey Pres, I got some realllly nice pot backstage if you wanna take a few hits before we go back out there.
Billy C: I don’t trust your pot, Willie… Let’s use mine.
Whoopi Goldberg: Child, this is NOT The View that I signed up for.
Eric Clapton: WTF am I doing here, I’m not even American.

Billy C: I can’t believe I’m hugging THE Meryl Streep!
Meryl Streep: Someone take this peasant off of me.

Tom Cruise: So now that you’re not the President anymore, how are your stress levels? Can I interest you in a free test? All the celebrities are doing it…
Billy C: Nice try, Tommy.

Billy C: *thumbs up*