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.

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Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of Friends

Today we are kicking off a week – A WEEK! – long series of posts exclusively dedicated to one of our personal favorite TV shows of all time – Friends. May 6th (tomorrow!) marks the 10th anniversary of the series finale airing, which drew in 52.5 million viewers, making it the fourth most watched finale in TV history. But more on that tomorrow.

This post is all about the people who walked into the world of our six favorite New Yorkers – and then walked out immediately. These guest stars aren’t people like Paul Rudd or Brad Pitt or even Julia Roberts for that matter, but rather the less high profile actors who were only in one episode and the ones you barely remember (or don’t remember at all).

Let’s go all the way back to 1994, shall we?

Melora Hardin (Celia)

TOW The Stoned Guy {Season 1, Episode 15}

Before she was crazy Jan Levinson who wooed Michael Scott on the office, she wooed Ross … in the most awkward way.

 Leah Remini (Lydia)

TOW The Birth {Season 1, Episode 23}

Somewhere in between being Stacey Carosi on Saved by the Bell: Malibu Sands and the King of Queens, Leah Remini stopped by NYC to have a baby. While the gang is in the hospital for the birth of Ben, Leah’s character Lydia had no one – so obviously Joey stepped in.

Lea DeLaria (Woman at Wedding)

TOW The Lesbian Wedding {Season 2, Episode 11}
lea delaria friends

This connection didn’t occur to me until writing this post – but the woman who hits on Pheebs at Carol & Susan’s wedding is Big Boo from Orange is the New Black!

Tahj Mowry (Kid)

TO After the Super Bowl {Season 2, Episode 12}

He’s a Smart Guyyyyy *doo doo dooo doo doo doo dooo* And also a kid who likes listening to inappropriate songs from Phoebe

Michael Bower (Roy Gublik)

TOW The Prom Video {Season 2, Episode 14}

Roy Gublik was Monica’s prom date in the famous video (you know, the guy who has seen Star Wards  317 times), but you may know him as Donkey Lips from Salute Your Shorts.

Charlie Sheen (Ryan)

TOW the Chicken Pox {Season 2, Episode 23}

Remember when Charlie Sheen wasn’t QUITE as crazy as he is now, and considered somewhat of a Hollywood heartthrob? Yeah this was then. He played a guy from the navy who was home for a couple weeks and had a thing with Phoebe. But he gets the chicken pox, which Pheebs had never had before and that explains the odd cow oven gloves.

Mae Whitman (Sarah Tuttle)

TOW Rachel Quits {Season 3, Episode 10}

One of TV’s best criers, Mae Whitman, was obviously a child star, but this role gave her the upperhand on Ross, who accidentally broke her leg. Because of this, he has to sell all her Christmas cookies a la the girl scouts. I mean that end scene with the fake space camp?? Come on.

Sherilyn Fenn (Ginger)

TOW Phoebe’s Ex-Partner {Season 3, Episode 14}

Chandler starts dating this chick Ginger and when he finds out she has an artificial leg, he Chandlers it and freaks out. But then she finds out he has a ‘nubbin’ and SHE’S too freaked out so she ditches him.  You know when she should’ve ditched everything? When she and her stupid daughter April came into the life of Luke Danes on Gilmore Girls and ruined everythingggg.

Sherri Shepherd (Rhonda)

TOW Phoebe’s Uterus {Season 4, Episode 11}

Did anyone else watch Less Than Perfect? Just Me? It’s the show where I thought Zachary Levi was really cute and then years later realized he was ZACHARY LEVI. Anyways, Sherri Shepherd is like the token black woman here, but oh dear lord is it good.

Iqbal Theba (Doctor)

The One Hundredth {Season 5, Episode 3}

Apparently Joey always needs to have his own separate story line when the episode is set in a hospital. While Pheebs is off having the triplets and dealing with the Fonz stan, Joey has kindey stones. Otherwise known as KIDNEY stones or kidney STONES.

Michael Winters (The Doctor)

TOW All The Thanksgivings {Season 5, Episode 8}

Michael Winters couldn’t put Chandler’s severed toe back on his foot mainly because it was a piece of carrot. You know who would have a lot to say about this? Taylor Doose from Gilmore Girls.

David Sutcliffe (Kyle)

TOW The Engagement Picture {Season 7, Episode 5}

Speaking of Gilmore Girls, Christopher also made his way from Boston via Stars Hollow to Greenwich Village, playing one half of troubled couple Kyle and Whitney. Pheebs dates Kyle, Ross dates Whitney and Pheebs and Ross end up having a fight on behalf of Kyle and Whitney – who end up working their problems out and start dating again.

Scott Adsit (Director)

TOW Ross and Monica’s Cousin (Season 7, Episode 19)

In which Pete Hornberger from 30 Rock has to stare at Joey’s fake… thing. Which falls embarrassingly to the floor.

Kevin Rahm (Tim)

TOW Rachel’s Date {Season 8, Episode 5}

Kevin Rahm may play stupid Ted Chaough on Mad Men now, but I will forever think of him as Tim, Monica’s sous chef (sous = under. I ‘soux stand’) who Phoebe begs Monica to date but then wants to break up with him because he’s totally annoying. Problem is that Monica wants to fire him too. There’s a part where Tim blows a kiss to Phoebe and she catches it, but when he walks away, she throws the invisible air kiss back at him in anger. I may or may not do this on a regular.

Emily Osment (Lelani Mayolanofavich)

TOW The Halloween Party {Season 8, Episode 6}

Little Emily Osment visits the gang as a trick-or-treater, but when Rachel runs out of candy, she offers a personal check… except pre-Hannah Montana Emily’s name is so hard to spell. Just make it out to ‘cash’.

Marla Sokoloff (Dina Tribbiani)

TOW Monica’s Boots {Season 8, Episode 10}

In a parallel universe, Gia, Stephanie’s rebel friend on Full House, grows up to be Joey’s sister who gets knocked up and asks Rachel for life advice.

Dan Bucatinsky (Waiter)

TOW Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner {Season 9, Episode 5}

James! Dear, dear James from Scandal. From waiter on Friends to White House Press Secretary, he really moved up in the world. Kinda. Fun fact: Dan Bucatinsky and Lisa Kudrow have been friends for a super long time and are producing partners together, and produce Lisa’s Web Therapy as well as the really cool genealogy show, Who Do You Think You Are?

Jim O’Heir (Adoption Agency Worker)

TOW the Birth Mother {Season 10, Episode 9}

I mean how crazy is it that Jerry/Garry/Larry/Terry helped Andy Dwyer’s IRL wife find her baby out of wedlock find a home with Chandler and Monica??

Ellen Pompeo (Missy Goldberg)

TOW The Stripper Cries {Season 10, Episode 11}

This role is weird because Ellen Pompeo is playing fairly nice and not as Type A as Meredith Grey. But she looked totally rad in the 80s flashback!

Craig Robinson (Clerk)

TOW Princess Consuela {Season 10, Episode 14}

Daryl Robinson pre-Dunder Mifflin was helping Phoebe legally change her name… you know, to Princess Consuela Bananahammock.

Jane Lynch (Ellen)

TOW Estelle Dies {Season 10, Episode 15}

Jane Lynch plays a realtor showing a house to Chan and Mon – but the other person looking at the same house? Hint: OH. MY. GOD.

Jim Rash (Nervous Male Passenger)

The Last One {Season 10, Episode 18}

Hey Dean Pelton, relax. There was no left phalange to begin with.