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Vieira exit: cheesy and classless


There were tears and champagne, but all in all, Meredith Vieira's sendoff yesterday after nine years on ABC's The View was a disappointingly cheesy telecast.

Billed as "The Goodbye Roast of Meredith Vieira," a certain amount of low-rent humor was to be expected, but ABC and executive producer Barbara Walters could have aimed a little higher than a lineup of guests that featured Kelsey Grammer, Gilbert Gottfried, Joan Rivers and Mario Cantone.

Grammer, who led off the roast, plugged his movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, and then quickly excused himself. If there were any laughs or genuine recognition of Vieira in his few minutes of screen time, I missed them.

Much coarse language, and not much class was the order of the day in this TV-14 rated show.

Vieira is leaving to join NBC's Today show in September. She will be replaced on The View by Rosie O'Donnell.

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