It’s hard to believe that over the 19 years The Ellen DeGeneres Show was on the air, Rosie O’Donnell was never a guest. (Jennifer Aniston was on 20 times! Justin Bieber a whopping 27!) So why was it that the comedian-actress never made her way to Ellen’s couch?
The two have a lot in common as veterans of daytime television, with O’Donnell hosting The Rosie O’Donnell Show from 1996-2002, and as fellow openly gay comedians. So it’s a bit odd to consider O’Donnell never joining DeGeneres as a guest, and we found out exactly why when O’Donnell was a guest on Watch What Happens Live! with Andy Cohen this week.
When Cohen read a fan-submitted question asking why O’Donnell never appeared on Ellen show, the American Gigolo star revealed that, years ago, DeGeneres hurt her feelings.
“We had a little bit of a weird thing, and after my show went off the air and hers was coming on the air,” O’Donnell began. “Larry King was on Ellen’s show and he said, ‘Whatever happened to Rosie O’Donnell? Her show went down the tubes! She came out as a lesbian and disappeared!’” O’Donnell recounted, doing her best imitation of King.
She continued, “And Ellen said, and I’m quoting, ‘I don’t know Rosie. We’re not friends.’ I was in bed with Kelli [Carpenter, O’Donnell’s ex-partner] and I went, ‘Did I just hear that, or was that a hallucination?’ No, that’s what happened. It hurt my feelings like a baby, and I never really got over it.”
O’Donnell revealed she was finally asked to be a guest toward the end of The Ellen DeGeneres show’s run, but she declined. She then added, “I wish her all good things in her life and that she should be well. So there you go. But I never did it.”
Welp, that was awkward! At least O’Donnell had the grace to wish DeGeneres well, and hopefully these two can make up and join forces in the future!