Rosie O’Donnell’s triumphant return to The View: Comedian sounds off on Woody Allen, heart disease, new HBO special

Though seven years have past since she left her post at ABC’s chat fest The View, Rosie O’Donnell has proven she was and still is a valuable asset to daytime television. Dressed in black and looking sleek she took a seat on set today in the middle of the show’s hosts Barbara Walters, Sherri Shepherd, Jenny McCarthy and Whoopi Goldberg. “It feels kind of weird, but ‘good weird’” she said before giving viewers a peek at her red bra she wore in support of National Wear Red Day, which raises awareness of heart disease in women.

By the end of her three-segment appearance, however, it was clear her presence on The View was anything but weird. In a relatively brief time on screen, O’Donnell deftly proved (again) she has the emotional range to engage a massive viewing audience— even the ones that might not agree with her left-leaning liberal belief system.

Pegged to today’s heart disease awareness push, O’Donnell related the harrowing experience of her near-fatal heart attack she suffered on Aug. 14, 2012. Amazingly she spent 50 hours with her L.A.D. artery 100 percent blocked; this usually kills a person. But not Rosie, Grim Reaper!

After she bragged about her five kids – FIVE! – like a proud Mommy, O’Donnell was all too happy to sound off on the recent Woody Allen situation, wherein Dylan Farrow – Mia Farrow’s biological daughter whom Allen adopted – claimed the celebrated writer and director sexually abused her as a child. “I totally believe her,” O’Donnell said. “I firmly believe Dylan and I believe Mia.” Shepherd pointed out that Dylan’s brother Moses, recently defended Allen saying his sister was never sexually abused. Walters, who voiced her support of Allen previously, re-affirmed her beliefs. Even so, the debate ended civilly, which was not always the case with O’Donnell and Walters during the comedian’s 2006 – 2007 run on The View. “I could’ve said something worse, but I was editing,” O’Donnell said about her Allen commentary. “I don’t want to be exiled from the The View,” to which Walters promised: “You will never be exiled.”

The show’s Hot Topics segment also touched on the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman — to which O’Donnell referenced Russell Brand’s recent essay about dealing with addiction — and Justin Bieber, whom O’Donnell defended. Hilariously, before the Hot Topics segment began, O’Donnell asked if Elisabeth Hasselbeck was there. You likely remember she butted heads quite often with the ultra-conservative former co-host. Check out a clip from the show below.

The comedian also announced she’ll be shooting a new HBO stand-up comedy special in April; the twist, however, is that the content centers on heart disease. You may have noticed she’s been hitting the road lately—not just to get back to her joke-slinging roots but, she said, to also work out the heart-related material. Fear not; it’s funny, she says.

O’Donnell, who has very publicly experienced incredible ups and downs throughout her career is most certainly riding high right now; in addition to stand-up and her HBO special, she’s currently in the midst of a multi-episode arc on The Fosters, which airs on ABC Family every Monday at 9 pm ET. Let’s hope all of this amounts to a full-fledged Rosie return.

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Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor emeritus of Laughspin.

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