Rosie O'Donnell talks Philly history; food show scoping local spots

No question, it's Answer Kenny Duncan shows his handiwork: an Allen Iverson likeness on a fan's head during the former Sixer's jersey-retirement event.
No question, it's Answer Kenny Duncan shows his handiwork: an Allen Iverson likeness on a fan's head during the former Sixer's jersey-retirement event.
Posted: March 06, 2014

IF YOU'RE the kid of Rosie O'Donnell, what's the best way to piss off your left-leaning, pacifist, no-holds-barred mama?

Enroll in Valley Forge Military Academy, of course.

O'Donnell's 18-year-old son, Parker, has been a student at the school since 2011, and was recently accepted to the Citadel. "It's the only way he can rebel. If he was getting a tattoo, I would say, 'Whatever, I have four.' 'Want to ride a motorcycle? I can too.' Whatever, I'm gay. I don't care," O'Donnell said, adding that she's proud of her eldest. "The way I knew everything about Streisand when I was 12, he knew about these battles. He's unbelievably focused on the country's military history."

O'Donnell will return to Philly this week not just to hang out with her son, but to return to the comedy-club circuit. She's playing Helium Comedy Club (2031 Sansom St.) tomorrow through Sunday.

O'Donnell decided to return to the relatively smaller stage of Helium to mirror the theater in which she will eventually shoot an HBO special, near her home in suburban New York. The special delves into her life, her family and the heart attack she suffered in 2012. "It's funny, trust me," she said, despite the subject matter.

She chose Philly to workshop her show because it reminded her of her roots. When O'Donnell was a student at Dickinson College, her roommate lived here so she performed in the city often.

One of her enduring memories of the city happened in the '80s when she was driving back from the old Comedy Factory Outlet to her roomie's apartment in the Art Museum area. She was lost and couldn't find her crash pad so she drove around the neighborhood. "I was pulled over by the cops because they thought I was looking to buy drugs. I had to explain I was a comic. They were like, 'OK, tell me some jokes.' That was very difficult after a comedy show at 3 in the morning."

BBC America scopes Philly food

I hear that a Canadian production company was in town recently scoping out food and beverage spots for a new show on BBC America called "Million Dollar Critic," starring the Times of London's food critic, Giles Coren.

The company checked out various places, but I hear that Northern European-flavored Noord (1046 Tasker St.), neo-Italian/Mediterranean spot Paradiso (1627 E. Passyunk Ave.), ramen joint Cheu Noodle Bar (255 S. 10th St.) and fancy-pants Chinatown cocktail place Hop Sing Laundromat (1029 Race St.) were definitely on the list.

My tipster says the show will shoot in April for a fall airdate.

Strong 'Voice'

Two more Philly contestants were added to NBC's sixth season of "The Voice." Lindsay Pagano will compete for Team Shakira, while Joshua Howard will rep Team Adam Levine.

They join Marlton's Christina Grimmie.

Catch more of "The Voice" on Mondays and Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Danza for literacy

State Rep. Kevin Boyle and actor Tony Danza will read to students at Fox Chase Elementary School today to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss and support local nonprofit Philadelphia Reads.

Danza's no stranger to working with students. He taught at Northeast High School for "Teach," an A&E reality show that aired in 2010.

Flower Show threat

TalkRadio 1210 WPHT's Rich Zeoli brought some big, burly men with him to the Philadelphia Flower Show on Monday night. Why? Because a caller threatened to show up to Zeoli's live Flower Show appearance and knock him out. So Zeoli was given a security detail to protect him from any wrongdoers. "They even walked me to the bathroom (and waited outside, thankfully)," Zeoli said, when I asked him about the incident.


Pounding it out in the pit of the Broadway production of "Newsies" at the Nederlander Theatre is drummer Dan Berkery, a Pennridge High School and UArts alum. The 24-year-old musician also happens to the be son of the Daily News' own headline whiz, news editor Joe Berkery.


Phone: 215-854-5909

On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN


comments powered by Disqus