Rosie O'Donnell on the Possibility of Reviving Her Talk Show After Coronavirus Benefit

Rosie O'Donnell
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for GLAAD

Rosie O'Donnell is thinking about making her talk show comeback. 

The actress revived The Rosie O'Donnell Show for one-night only on Sunday, bringing together a slew of celebs and performers to raise money for The Actors Fund. However, as O'Donnell toldVariety on Monday, she's thinking about making it a more regular gig. 

"We'll see what happens," she said. "I do think in times like this people crave nostalgia and they crave to feel good. You put both of those together and somebody like me who wears her heart on her sleeve, it’s a good combination." 

"So, I don’t know what will happen. Maybe we’ll keep doing them on the internet or who knows what TV is going to look like when we get through all of this. You see all the late-night people trying to come up with content now," O'Donnell continued, adding that staff members on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert called her up after the show asking how she made it work. "How the hell does CBS not know how to do it? It’s an app you could put on your computer and anyone could broadcast from their house. It wasn’t like a big plot I was telling them. It’s an app, just a basic app."

Produced by Madam Secretary star Erich Bergen, O'Donnell's stand-alone show, which was broadcast on and the website’s YouTube channel, ended up raising $600,000 for actors amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down many productions. 

Stars like Kristin Chenoweth, Patti LuPone, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Billy Porter, Ben Platt and more joined Sunday's show, and if O'Donnell were to revive her talk show, she's not too worried about booking guests. 

"Everyone is so willing because first of all, everyone is free. Everyone is at home. Nobody is shooting, nobody is away. Every person who Erich asked said yes right away. That’s how we ended up with this huge list," she shared. "I think that anyone would be willing to step up and help during this time of crises in any way. But the performances are what made this all worthwhile. We need people who would perform and not just be interviewed." 

"It was so fun. We raised so much money," O'Donnell gushed of Sunday's show. "I'm so glad it all worked out. It's still running on YouTube and so you can watch the whole thing still. People are watching it now and still donating. People stepped up who weren't just moved by the performances, but the feeling of the whole event." 

The performer said Sunday's show worked so well because it flowed naturally -- audio glitches or not. 

"I know how to do that job. I remembered how long I did it and I remember leaving because my child was going into the first grade. Well, he's now 24 years old and in the Marines. My whole world is different now but my instinct for doing that is still fresh as ever," she said. "I was happy it was still there. I thought it would be because that’s not necessarily about interviewing people as much as it’s just about being open-hearted and taking what comes out at you and dealing with whatever it is." 

See more in the video below. 


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