Howard Stern and Beth Ostrosky on 5/4/08
If I hadn’t heard it for myself, I never would have believed it. The “King of All Media,” Howard Stern, and the former “Queen of Nice,” Rosie O’Donnell, could end up working together on Sirius. The pair were once engaged in a vicious war of words, but all that changed when Stern saw her documentary “All Aboard.” He was impressed with the work she was doing with foster kids and children with special needs, and said so on the air- much to the disgust of many listeners. The unlikely pair have been quietly patching things up, and on Tuesday, Rosie called into Howard’s show on Sirius. Stern offered Rosie an hour-long talk special on his channel, Howard 101.
On Stern’s show in 1998, the staff once estimated the size of O’Donnell’s noggin, filled what was deemed a comparable container with jellybeans and challenged visiting celebrities and listeners to guess the number. And O’Donnell always had some choice words about Stern whenever his more militant fans prank-called her self-titled talk show.
In recent years, however, Stern’s rants about Rosie subsided, particularly after he admitted on the air a year or two ago that they had a nice chat when bumping into each other at a restaurant.
Today, O’Donnell called from her home—presumably in South Nyack—to chat it up with Howard and the gang. The gripping interview, which lasted almost an hour, covered her career, her love life and her controversial theory about 9/11.
On quitting her own talk show: “I left because I could no longer enjoy it the way one should enjoy their work, and I was sort of paying someone else to raise my kids and (hated) not having time to live my life.”
On ‘The View’: O’Donnell said she respects her successor, Whoopi Goldberg, because of her ability to be real; remains friendly with Sarah Lawrence College grad Barbara Walters; but was never completely embraced by Joy Behar (for whom O’Donnell opened early in her career as a stand-up comedian). The liberal O’Donnell said she has only exchanged a few baby-related e-mails with conservative “View” cohost Elisabeth Hasselbeck since O’Donnell left the show. Then O’Donnell admitted that Hasselbeck was the most attractive woman on the show.
On her celebrity crushes: O’Donnell, a lesbian, said she really did have a crush on Tom Cruise and revealed that Matthew McConaughey also turned her on while slow-talking his way through a description on how to make beer-can chicken. She said her current celebrity crushes include Angelina Jolie, Angela Bassett, Penelope Cruz, Salma Hayek and Diane Lane. Not on that list, however, is Stern’s fiancée, Beth Ostrosky, whom O’Donnell complimented and described as a “too perfect … Barbie doll.”
On her love life: She said she was sexually abused as a child, lost her virginity when she was 21 to a man, and could count her number of sexual conquests on “two hands.” She added that rumors of a wild life as a single woman had been greatly exaggerated, adding, “I’m not even nude in the shower.”
That was way more than I want to know about Rosie. Still: if these two can make up, anyone can. Last year, when Stern sidekick Artie Lange contemplated leaving the show, Stern actually considered replacing him with O’Donnell. At that time, he said, “Hey, Rosie really mixed it up on The View, she caused controversy on a daily basis and I’m a big fan of controversy. Controversy brings listeners. Much of my career has been based on lesbians and controversy, Rosie is a double whammy.” That may be true, but I don’t know if I could tune in and listen to an hour of Rosie every morning.
Rosie O’Donnell and Kelli Carpenter O’Donnell are shown below at the PS 122 Spring Gala on 5/15/08. All images thanks to WENN.