"Rosie Live" was not well received by the critics or the mass audience, to put it mildly. I love Rosie and I love variety, but they need TLC, time and the right elements to shine, and they were all in scarce supply the night before Thanksgiving. Some critics said it proves variety is dead, but they clearly know not of the scientific method.
Saturday Night Live is essentially live variety. They keep the pie in the face routines to a minimum, however. Corny barely worked on "Hee Haw." Camp works in the hands of geniuses like Paul Reubens and John Waters. A great prime time live show that captures generational pop culture like 'Ed Sullivan,' combined with the off-beat 'SNL' precursor 'Laugh-In,' revisits some of the best elements of the live entertainment format now dedicated to dancing stars, singing idols and judging panel antics.
As has been well noted, the glory in life comes from not ever falling, but in rising every time we fall. While Rosie O'Donnell has many talents, she is a first rate actress. Cher went through a phase when she was out of flavor, and she humbly focused on a series of interesting character roles while her career had a late-life renaissance, capped off by recognition from the Golden Globes, the New York Film Critic Circle, the National Board of Review and the Oscar Academy for 1988's Moonstruck.