By Ken Stone
Heard the idea that Rosie O’Donnell should play White House strategist Steve Bannon on “Saturday Night Live”?
O’Donnell says she’s game, and social media exploded in approval, including at least three online petitions to Lorne Michaels, the NBC show’s boss.
It it comes to fruition, you can thank a San Diegan.
Stephanie Thompson of Mission Hills, a publicist and editor, sparked the Draft Rosie movement at 6:03 p.m. Monday when she tweeted: “Quick, who can we get to play T***p on SNL instead? Ooh… maybe ROSIE??”
. @anniekarni Quick, who can we get to play T***p on SNL instead? Ooh… maybe ROSIE??
— Stephanie Thompson (@Stefaniya) February 7, 2017
That led Calvin Phillips to share the idea directly with the comic actress and former host of “The View.” (He later credited Thompson.) But she suggested Bannon instead of President Trump.
“Trump, @Rosie, was upset that a staffer was played by a woman, and you do a great impression of him. Willing to take one for the team?”
Within a half-hour, via her Twitter account, O’Donnell replied: “i am here to serve – alec has trump – melissa has spice – i would need a few days to prepare – so if called – i will be ready.”
@calvininsf – i am here to serve – alec has trump – melissa has spice – i would need a few days to prepare – so if called – i will be ready
— ROSIE (@Rosie) February 7, 2017
When O’Donnell’s 950,000 followers saw that, the casting concept went viral — retweeted nearly 4,300 times.
On Wednesday, Thompson found the flood of media interest amusing but was humble about her role.
“I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who suggested it [Monday] night when word got out that President Trump was upset Melissa McCarthy spoofed Sean Spicer on SNL — mainly, it would appear, because she’s a woman,” she told Times of San Diego. “It just seemed logical that since Trump has a famously long-lasting antipathy to Rosie O’Donnell, should SNL choose to really try to provoke him, casting her would be a great way to do that.”
A regular on Twitter who also took part in the Women’s March in downtown San Diego and recent travel-ban protests at Lindbergh Field, Thompson, 49, called her Rosie-as-Trump tweet “a spur-of-the-moment” thing.
“I guess it struck a nerve,” she said. “I don’t know Calvin Phillips at all, but certainly the tweet took on a life of its own once he tipped it. I hadn’t used SNL’s or Rosie’s Twitter handles.”
Chicagoan Staley Sharples claims credit for being the first with the idea, but her tweet is time-stamped 6:33 p.m. — exactly 30 minutes after Thompson’s.
— Staley (@stalesmcgalesss) February 7, 2017
Wednesday evening, the main petition on Change.org calling on SNL brass to have O’Donnell play Bannon was nearing 1,500 signatures.
That recruitment call by Abraham Piper concluded: “Whether you take the Atlantic’s high-minded perspective that ‘satire, with this president, is more than an amusement — it’s a weapon’ or whether you just think it would be funny, leave your name on this petition and let SNL know that you vote for Rosie O’Donnell to be the next President Bannon.”
Said one Twitter user: “Just the IDEA of @Rosie playing Bannon on SNL is worthy of an Emmy.”
Said another: “Ummm whoever suggested that @Rosie play Steve Bannon on @nbcsnl is a goddamn genius.”
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