Mary Walsh takes on new role to change male habits

Josh Pennell
Published on May 28, 2014

Is your toilet seat forever in the upright position? Does your garbage have severe problems making it to the curb unless you walk it there yourself? Does dirty laundry decorate the floors of your house?

Sounds like you need Rose O’Brien — The House Trainer.

The House Trainer is actually an app and Rose O’Brien is its star, played by that cleanser of bad moods, actress and comedian Mary Walsh.

“I was really just attracted to the whole thing. It’s sort of a satirical look at what drives women mad about how 50 per cent of the couple — the male 50 per cent — only does 15 per cent of the domestic duties,” says Walsh.

It’s the first time Walsh has been part of an app, but her role in it will be familiar to fans of hers, at least in how over the top O’Brien is about bringing about better male cleaning and etiquette habits.

Rose O’Brien is a businesswoman, but her real passion is the videos that come with this app that involve a type of male reform.

O’Brien is at the very end of her rope with males being, well, males, and not doing things like putting the toilet seat down. She’s also out to improve overall male etiquette and has a few tips on how to get men off their cellphones and paying attention to chores and their partners again.

“The things that were irritating people in the caves are still irritating people today,” says Walsh.

Men will be men, but if O’Brien has her way, the evolutionary line of poor male habits is about to come out of the Dark Ages.

The app shows how O’Brien finally snapped and morphed into The House Trainer, and there are videos that show men exactly how to do certain chores.

But in O’Brien’s cleansing regime, there’s always an exercise involved, too.

Males clean up their act and their physique. Sit-ups can be done to toss clothes from the floor into the hamper. Somebody who just can’t get off their phone needs to do a set of reverse cellphone curls.

O’Brien has an instructional video for each.

“We wanted to do something that was entertaining, lighthearted, comedic and, in the bargain, we also found an app that was useful,” says Ane Christensen, CEO of Geriatric Technology, which developed the app.

Walsh certainly brings her unique flair to the role and there’s little doubt this is a character she was meant to play.

“She’s a perfect fit. She is Rose O’Brien,” says Christensen.

“I guess they must have written Rose with me in mind, in a way, because I just found it really easy to do,” Walsh says.

Christensen says it’s about opening conversations about those things that drive people nuts when living or working with someone — in this case, men. The app does so in a fun fashion meant to bring about productive change.

Get the app, and you’ve got O’Brien in your corner reminding your man what needs to be done. With Walsh playing the lead role, it’s eccentric enough that men might not forget the lessons this time.

And what about the woman who plays the role of this strongarm of the toilet brush?

“I don’t clean at all. I have no interest in cleaning,” says Walsh.

Anybody looking to bring O’Brien on board can find her in the app store.

And for any men out there who feel like they’re getting the dirty end of the mop, Geriatric Technology is already looking at another app that turns the stereotype on its well-polished head.

Mary Walsh as Rose O’Brien — The House Trainer, a new character featured in an app of the same name. — Submitted photo