Rosie O’Donnell announced today that she will be leaving The View at the end of this season (she’ll be on through mid-June).
Here’s how the whole thing went down — on the screen and in my head (this is not an exact transcript; TMZ has the video):
Rosie: It’s Wednesday, April 25th, and you know what that means? It’s the day after Barbra Streisand’s birthday. [giggles and murmurs; Barbara Walters puts her head in her hands] And there’s also breaking news. I’ve decided … we couldn’t come to terms, so I’ve decided I’m not coming back next season, but I will co-host [etc. etc.] and don’t be sad because I’ll still be here, just not every day.
Elisabeth: Once a week?
Barbara: You told us to be upbeat, but I’m not, I’m sad.
Then Barbara has something on her lip, so Rosie pulls it off. That was pretty!
Barbara makes it clear that she had nothing to do with the negotiations and that they haven’t thought about a replacement because they thought Rosie was coming back.
Rosie: Will you miss me, Joy?
Joy: I’ll tell you who’s really sad. Donald Trump. He’s on a ledge right now.
Barbara says Kelli’s the one who’s really sad, because now Rosie will be home for lunch every day. Ba-dum-bum.
Gosh, Rosie seems extremely light-hearted and happy about this, doesn’t she? Well, I guess that’s good, then. She’s been kinda down lately, so I’m all for a change in mood.
Rosie and Barbara get all googly-eyed about each other and talk about how much they like and respect each other. Barbara makes that kissy face that kind of creeps me out. Before it can get even more uncomfortable, Rosie asks Elisabeth how she’s feeling about the news.
Elisabeth: I think I’m in denial.
About so much, Elisabeth. So much.
But Elisabeth says, to her credit, that Rosie has been a great catalyst and has really sparked conversation. They all babble about confetti and giveaways and the things Rosie has done for the show.
The really big news of the Hot Topics is this: Barbara is not happy with President Bush today. His presence in NY prevented her from crossing the street to get to her own house.
Barbara: He is a president; he is not a king!
Rosie jokes that the habeas corpus stuff and the torture stuff can slide by, but if you barricade Barbara Walters, there will be hell to pay.
And then Rosie says that word one more time: "Impeach!" The floodgates are open: No reason to censor yourself now, Ro!
After the break, Elisabeth accidentally says she thinks Cheney would be a good candidate for 2008 (she meant to say McCain) and Rosie dramatically falls off her chair. And that, Rosie, is why we’ll miss you.
And so is this: Later, they announce that Alec Baldwin will be on the show on Friday.
Joy: He’s coming live. He was gonna do a phoner, but we said no.
Rosie says all she has to do is lob ‘em in, and Joy hits ‘em out. Barbara starts to say more about what Alec’s going to do or say or something, and Rosie shushes her. She shushes Barbara Walters! It’s going to be an interesting couple of months.