Renaissance Comedian Turns to Only Format That Can Contain Her

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Grrr! Photo: Getty Images

Having tried her hand at talk shows, painting, blogging, and mud-wrestling Donald Trump in the tabloids, Rosie O'Donnell is now taking the next logical step: a live TV variety special. The mouthy comedian will be the star of Rosie's Variety Show, which is apparently molded in the classic tradition of Ed Sullivan and Carol Burnett. It's set to air the night before Thanksgiving on NBC and said to be an audition for a regular series. We think this could be awesome if only for the opportunity the live format offers Rosie to go off script, but we can't remember anyone pulling this off since Tracey Ullman back in the eighties — it's tough to transcend the hokey nostalgia inherent to the entire premise. Still, there's a low modern bar to clear: Remember Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey?

Rosie Is Back on TV [NYT]