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.

Remember When Glee Wasn’t That Bad?

After hundreds of musical numbers, endless hookups between characters and dozens of Slushees wasted, Glee ends its six-season run on Friday. What’s that? You didn’t realize Glee was still on? Or that it’s been six seasons? Or that it’s managed to stay on this long? Yeah, you’re not the only one.

Back when Ryan Murphy’s campy musical comedy made its debut in 2009, it became the hottest show on TV. They earned numerous awards (including a Golden Globe Award for Best TV Series, had best-selling albums, a successful concert tour, a series of young adult books and even a reality competition show to be on Glee.

And then it jumped the shark. And then it jumped the shark again. And then it did a semi-serious episode about school shootings. And then Cory Monteith tragically died and it was never the same again. But through all this, for some reason I’ve managed to stick with it. I would consider myself a high-functioning Gleek circa season 1 and 2, even going to said concert tour and meeting some of the cast during a CD signing. But as the show wavered, so did my dedication as a fan, and I put Glee somewhere in the middle to low end of my TV priority list.

As the show comes to an end, the writers are obviously (and rightfully so) trying to tie everything up in a nice bow and have things come full circle, while still creating a hopeful future for its characters. The show is called Glee, after all. As the glee club takes its final bow, I have been reminded that the show was actually really good at times, and I think that’s the legacy any series wants to leave, no matter how horrible it got towards the end. If a show’s good, it’s good, and how about we remember just how good those times were, shall we?

Halo/Walking on Sunshine

{Season 1, Episode 6}

Early on, Glee was known for taking hit songs and putting them together in “mashups”, which obviously isn’t a new idea, but the show brought the practice back into mainstream pop culture. Not only did they do that, but they did it well, and this was just the first of many. *This is also the ep where all the Glee club members are high on some nasal decongestant drug, which explains why they’re acting insane. See, it used to be hilar!

Jump

{Season 1, Episode 12}

I remember watching this thinking A) That looks like so much fun B) This is actually airing on network TV right now. Glee helped usher in musicals into the small screen, and this definitely helped it become as huge as it did.

Since U Been Gone

{Season 1, Episode 13}

In an effort to pay tribute to their teach Mr. Shue, the New Directions put together this number, and for eagle-eyed Gleeks, you’ll remember that choreo from all the numbers they had done up until that point were put into this performance, and I still see the image of Will running through the hall to confess his love to Emma burned in my memory.

Dream On

{Season 1, Episode 19}

Neil Patrick Harris won an Emmy for this guest starring role. I think that speaks for itself.

Faithfully

{Season 1, Episode 22}

Both Cory and Lea name this song their favorite from all the numbers they’ve done on the show, and it’s clear why.

Teenage Dream

{Season 2, Episode 6}

Remember when we didn’t know who Darren Criss was unless you saw him in the Harry Potter musical on the YouTube? Well this number marked the time he changed our lives forever.

Marry You

{Season 2, Episode 8}

Basically any scene between Finn and Rachel that give me romantical feels makes me cry because Cory’s gone, and this is a particularly sweet scene right before his mom marries Kurt’s dad.

Valerie

{Season 2, Episode 9}

I find myself saying ‘Santana is the only reason I’m still watching this show’, because she’s got a great voice but also her sass meter is off the charts, and she’s often the only one who can spit some realness into Lima, Ohio.

Last Christmas

{Season 2, Episode 10}

Yeah. Finn and Rachel forever.

Thriller/Heads Will Roll

{Season 2, Episode 11}

This was from the episode that aired right after the Super Bowl, and as customary for any network show that airs after the most-watched show of the year, the episode needs to pull out all the stops to keep people watching. This was a little weird because, zombies, but also great because it’s Michael Jackson AND it’s a mashup, which we know, Glee does so well.

Dreams

{Season 2, Episode 19}

Ah April Rhodes/Kristin Chenoweth. My favorite alcoholic on the show. Because of its popularity, Glee had the opportunity to perform songs out of sacred songbooks, including this episode, which was dedicated to Fleetwood Mac, and I’m glad this song was put in the hands of Cheno and Matt Morrison, a couple that will not fuck it up.

Let Me Love You

{Season 3, Episode 13}

I have said from the beginning that Artie/Kevin McHale is one of the best male singers on the show. It’s probably because I have a thing for R&B sounding voices, but I always hoped he would get more solos.

How Will I Know

{Season 3, Episode 17}

Because Glee is the show you watch to see it tackle hard-hitting issues and current events, they dedicated a whole ep to Whitney Houston following her death. They opened the show with this number, an acappella version of one of my personal favorite Whitney songs. It set the right tone for the rest of the show, and also proved bigger is not always better when it comes to musical numbers.

Don’t Stop Believin’

{Season 5, Episode 13}

File under: one of the times Glee could have ended but didn’t. This was from the 100th episode that aired last year, when a bunch of old Glee club members came back to pay tribute to Mr. Shue. And in full Full Circle moment, they sang the last song from the Pilot, and one of the show’s most well-known numbers, Don’t Stop Believin’. The original had Cory singing opposite Lea, but obviously the rest filled in, and as they all surround each other on that stage, I couldn’t help but tear up – and think it would’ve been a satisfying ending to the series.

Playlist of the Month: A Very Cookies + Sangria Christmas

Can you believe that Christmas is just DAYS away, you guys??? Unless you’re Jewish, or celebrate Kwanzaa or are the Grinch, so this doesn’t really apply to you. For this month’s playlist, the last and final one of 2013, we decided to stick with a traditional theme and go with our favorite holiday songs. I’m sure by now you’ve heard plenty of them on rotation already, but what’s a few more? Happy listening! And Merry Christmas/Happy Belated Hanukkah/Happy Kwanzaa/Happy December to all!!!

Click here to listen to the entire playlist on Spotify!
spotify:user:122917273:playlist:2SiQGCxAAb7WB1jPEf7nU9

Traci’s Picks

If Everyday Could Be Christmas – 98 Degrees

I’m warning y’all now, my portion of the playlist will be pop heavy and seem like a tween in 2000 made it. Mainly because I still feel like I am. I’m starting off with 98 Degrees, because I think this album was overlooked by a lot of people (I don’t blame you), but I think it’s actually their second best album out of anything they’ve ever released. Their strong suit was always their acappella skills, and it’s prominently shown in this song.

(PS: That video is ridic but the only version I could find!)

Maybe This Christmas – Ron Sexsmith

Anyone out there celebrate Chrismukkah? Anyone out there celebrate Christmukkah because of Seth Cohen? Well we can thank our fave faux Newport Beach resident for bringing that term into our lives, and we can also thank The OC for bringing great songs into our lives. Music was always an integral part of the show, and come Chrismukkah time, it was no different. I’ve been listening to this song ever since it was on one of the holiday eps and it never gets old.

Last Christmas – Glee Cast Version

Last Christmas is possibly my favorite modern day holiday song, and obviously many artists have covered it. I opted to choose this song featuring Lea Michele and Cory Monteith. I’ve never been a real hard core fan of the show, but for some reason his death really got to me and still gets me to this day. But it’s nice to know his talent and legacy will live on through the show and its music.

My Only Wish (This Year) – Britney Spears

This song was featured on the Platinum Christmas album which was released in 2000. For those who didn’t grow up listening to this like I did, it featured the biggest names in pop music including my beloved BSB, ‘N Sync, Christina Aguilera, TLC, Monica and more. I personally think this track by Brit Brit is one of her best in general, it’s just so fun and uplifting and you can’t help but dance to it. Speaking of dance to it, my friend and I may or may not have made up a ridiculous dance to this song in college. Private viewings available for a fee.

What Christmas Means to Me – Hanson

Snowed In. Classic Christmas album of the 90s and beyond. Zak sounds like a baby here, but hey, they still sound better than I ever did as a teenager.

*Ed. Note: We usually pick 5 songs each, but I couldn’t decide, so here are two bonus songs for as your Christmas bonus this year 🙂

It’s Christmas Time Again – Backstreet Boys

I like the Backstreet Boys and you can’t stop me from putting them on this list. So suck it. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson

It’s about time KC did a Christmas album and her lead single is reminiscent of Mariah’s All I Want for Christmas is You. Although it’s nowhere near the popularity of MC, Kelly is giving her a run for her money with this jam.

Molly’s Picks

I Wish It Was Christmas Today by Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan

In the 2000 years of Christmas songs, is this really one of the best EVER? If you go by the giddy Christmas-y feeling you get every time it airs on the SNL Christmas episode, maybe it is. The great thing about this song – and I’d say this of the original SNL cast performing Winter Wonderland as well – is that while it somewhat pokes fun at stupid Christmas songs, it does so without being nasty or cynical. It’s pure holiday happiness.

All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey

90s kids know what I’m talking about. If you can, get your hands on All I Want For Christmas Is You (Extra Festive). How can you make this song MORE festive, you may ask? Well,  add some bells and shit and make the beginning of it sound like a song from Beauty And The Beast: The Musical. By the way, of course Ariana Grande has covered this and of course it’s amazing.

Once In Royal David’s City by Sufjan Stevens (cover)

I won’t fill the playlist with them, but my real favorite Christmas songs are all traditional hymns that are a little less common than Silent Night and Adeste Fidelis. So, imagine my delight that Sufjan Stevens has covered Lo How A Rose E’er Blooming, The Friendly Beasts, Once In Royal David’s City, Bring A Torch Jeanette, Isabella, and I Saw Three Ships

The Rebel Jesus by Jackson Browne

Leave it to Jackson Browne to cut through all of the sap and remind us what we message we really should be taking from the Christmas story.

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues

Sometimes you need a Christmas song with lyrics like  “you’re a bum, you’re a punk/ you’re an old slut on junk”.” Besides, I’m making my list first and in the spirit of the holiday, I should probably leave some of the White Christmas/Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas-like classics for my friend.