In 1996, at a picnic table beside the playground of my old elementary school, I started my first business venture. My friend Sarah and I created what we were certain would be the first unofficial Rosie O’Donnell fan magazine. We developed a thorough business plan—photos would be cut from other magazines, finished issues could be generated on the copying machine at my father’s office—but like many startups, our idea never came to fruition. I watched The Rosie O’Donnell Show every single day it was aired, and most days I recorded it on VHS that I would rewatch until I wore the tape thin.
Rosie’s show gave mainstream attention to Broadway musicals. She spent time with smart people, and she played silly games and told stupid jokes and belly laughed at ridiculous sound effects, which is to say that Rosie O’Donnell’s quirky little television show shaped much of who I am. I’m not really the praying type, but every once in a while I throw one up to the sky just asking for The Rosie O’Donnell Show to be brought back exactly the way it was.
See, I am a television person. It started with my envy of Punky Brewster’s rickety flower cart bed and spreads to the present day, in which I often have to bite my tongue as my peers explain how much happier they are that they don’t even own a TV.