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May 16, 2011 1:23 PM   Subscribe

"I will win this battle if I have to kill every last white bitch in high heels around here.” Roseanne Barr discusses, among other things, Charlie Sheen, working on TV, addiction and fame.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero (139 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite

 
... I created, wrote, and starred in television’s first feminist and working-class-family sitcom ...

Unless she means "sitcom that was both at the same time", this is not even close to being true.
posted by Trurl at 1:27 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Unless she means "sitcom that was both at the same time", this is not even close to being true.

I'm pretty sure she means that.
posted by mightygodking at 1:31 PM on May 16, 2011 [29 favorites]


She created, wrote, and starred in Laverne & Shirley?
posted by The World Famous at 1:33 PM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


She created, wrote, and starred in Laverne & Shirley?

I thought of that too - but she does say "working class family".

Still, depending on how strictly you define "feminist", you could make an argument for Good Times.
posted by Trurl at 1:35 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


When the show went to No. 1 in December 1988, ABC sent a chocolate “1” to congratulate me. Guess they figured that would keep the fat lady happy—or maybe they thought I hadn’t heard (along with the world) that male stars with No. 1 shows were given Bentleys and Porsches. So me and George Clooney [who played Roseanne Conner’s boss for the first season] took my chocolate prize outside, where I snapped a picture of him hitting it with a baseball bat. I sent that to ABC.

I enjoyed this.
posted by The Whelk at 1:36 PM on May 16, 2011 [33 favorites]


Good read. Cheers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:37 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I tend to agree with Roseanne. She made a feminist, working-class sitcom that my mother absolutely *hated*, so there is truth to what she says.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:37 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think that's a pretty lame nit to pick. If you don't think her show was groundbreaking at the time, maybe you hadn't been watching alot of television.
posted by spicynuts at 1:37 PM on May 16, 2011 [30 favorites]


Roseanne, you've been a hero of mine for decades now. And with what I just read today, you were even more of one than I realized all those years ago. You fukin' rawk, woman, and I salute you. Long may you wave.
posted by hippybear at 1:38 PM on May 16, 2011 [13 favorites]


Great article, by the way. Too bad more people don't listen to Roseanne than Charlie Sheen.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:39 PM on May 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Very interesting read. I really did enjoy watching Roseanne when it was on... I didn't necessarily think that it was innovative TV, but perhaps I was too young to appreciate the counterpoint it offered to other sitcoms.
posted by Debaser626 at 1:41 PM on May 16, 2011


I think that's a pretty lame nit to pick. If you don't think her show was groundbreaking at the time, maybe you hadn't been watching alot of television.

I never said she wasn't groundbreaking. She was way ahead of her time in pushing gay acceptance in prime time.

In fact, my first thought upon seeing this was the old saw "Well behaved women seldom make history."
posted by Trurl at 1:41 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I bet she's much happier at the (macadamia) nut farm.

She made good tv tho. Breaks my heart she had to go to that length to do it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:42 PM on May 16, 2011


She created, wrote, and starred in Laverne & Shirley?

I thought of that too - but she does say "working class family".


And anyway, Laverne + Shirley wasn't funny.
posted by philip-random at 1:43 PM on May 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Roseanne's show had a LOT more groundbreaking going on than just pushing gay acceptance. That was actually pretty late in the run of the series, actually.

Another money quote from the article: "Imitation is the sincerest form of show business."
posted by hippybear at 1:45 PM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


And anyway, Laverne + Shirley wasn't funny.

Obviously you never saw the episodes with Lenny & Squiggy.
posted by KingEdRa at 1:45 PM on May 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


And anyway, Laverne + Shirley wasn't funny.
Nor particularly feminist.
Unless you're allowing simply "starring two women" to mean feminist. Any of the Mary Tyler Moore incarnations (and spinoffs) were far more feminist than L&S.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:45 PM on May 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


The AV Club Random Roles feature did a great one with Tom Arnold - has some interesting Rosanne-related stories, and also sort of makes me re-think Tom Arnold as a thoughtful writer and actor.
posted by muddgirl at 1:46 PM on May 16, 2011


And anyway, Laverne + Shirley wasn't funny.

Not that it's any of my business, but how is Laverne and Shirley a "feminist" sitcom?
posted by KokuRyu at 1:46 PM on May 16, 2011


Roseanne, you've been a hero of mine for decades now. And with what I just read today, you were even more of one than I realized all those years ago. You fukin' rawk, woman, and I salute you. Long may you wave.
posted by hippybear at 1:38 PM on May 16


Roseanne is a truther. Pretty rawkin'.
posted by basicchannel at 1:46 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favourite Rosanne moment is definitely the anthem. That was great.
posted by Trochanter at 1:47 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


After working in government, I can appreciate this quote:

I made a chart of names and hung them on my dressing-room door; it listed every person who worked on the show, and I put a check next to those I intended to fire when Roseanne became No. 1, which I knew it would.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:49 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


What hippybear said, with an extra helping of crushlove. Tough, Smart, Funny, gotta find where her nuts are sold and get some.
posted by djrock3k at 1:49 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Roseanne is a truther. Pretty rawkin'.

Roseanne also admits in this article and many times before that she suffers from a variety of mental problems. Am I to let her stance on this one issue or her struggles with mental illness somehow compromise the real victories she won through her show and career? I don't think so. I don't engage in ad hominem discounting of individuals, unless the character flaw in question is directly related to the subject at hand.

In this case it isn't, so take your fallacy and go home.
posted by hippybear at 1:52 PM on May 16, 2011 [26 favorites]


how is Laverne and Shirley a "feminist" sitcom?

Financially independent women who value their relationship with each other over their relationships with men.

Pretty much the same as The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
posted by Trurl at 1:52 PM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Not that it's any of my business, but how is Laverne and Shirley a "feminist" sitcom?

I bet you thought the big "L" on Laverne's sweater was for her name, huh?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:53 PM on May 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


My Mom really liked Roseanne cause it was the only TV house that even slightly resembled ours.
posted by The Whelk at 1:55 PM on May 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's Raining Florence Henderson: "I bet you thought the big "L" on Laverne's sweater was for her name, huh?"

It was for "lager". The kind of beer she preferred.
posted by boo_radley at 1:56 PM on May 16, 2011




Does anyone remember her talk show? It felt like you were watching a public access chat show that for some reason was broadcast in the middle of the afternoon on broadcast TV. It was like you got spend an hour with the Aunt the rest of your family didn't talk to. It was a delight.
posted by The Whelk at 1:58 PM on May 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


Charlie Sheen was the world’s most famous john, and a sitcom was written around him. That just says it all. Doing tons of drugs, smacking prostitutes around, holding a knife up to the head of your wife—sure, that sounds like a dream come true for so many guys out there,
posted by KokuRyu at 1:58 PM on May 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Roseanne was the first TV sitcom that was anything like my family growing up. My parents were skinny and we were in New Jersey but for me it captured life in working class America better than anything before it.
posted by octothorpe at 1:58 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great, great piece. Thanks for posting this.
posted by mkultra at 1:59 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Roseanne holds up far better than virtually any other 80s or early 90s sitcom that I can think of. Especially compared to something like Home Improvement, as namechecked in the article. Reruns of that show are nearly unwatchable, and yet the basic structure is pretty much the same as every other male comedian-centered sitcom on tv: dude, shrewish wife, derpy kids, hilarity! Or not. Roseanne had real emotion and episodes ended on serious down notes. I agree that there hasn't been anything like it on tv before or since.
posted by Tesseractive at 2:01 PM on May 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


Love her. And her fiercely gorgeous hair. I wish I knew how to work half of what I have like she does. She owns.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:01 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Roseanne is a truther. Pretty rawkin'.

So is Charlie Sheen
posted by delmoi at 2:04 PM on May 16, 2011


The whole run of the show, all of the stories, all of the breakthroughs, all of the cutting edge hilarity, was nearly ruined for me when she revealed what happened to Dan in the finale.

That being said, the article is great -- she still has her voice. I wish she still had a venue in which people would listen to what she had to say.
posted by thanotopsis at 2:04 PM on May 16, 2011


Roseanne and Eddie Izzard

It just hit me she has the exact same accent as my older aunts.
posted by The Whelk at 2:04 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


But it also wasn’t The Brady Bunch...

True.

"fake becky": About 5,800 results

"fake jan": About 179,000 results
posted by Trurl at 2:06 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: "It was like you got spend an hour with the Aunt the rest of your family didn't talk to. It was a delight."

Actually, for me, that was the The Jim J. and Tammy Faye Show, with the aunt who'd disowned me before she became re-born again a different way and my crazy gay uncle. But I get what you mean.

Though Roseanne Conner's fictional Lanford most definitely seemed like it was based on Rockford, but since it sometimes also seemed further south in Illinois, it always felt weirdly like the town I grew up in. My parents weren't like Dan and Roseanne, but Dan and Roseanne were more like them than any other couple on TV. I hate to think that I identified with the show because I am actually a weird combination of Becky, Darlene, and DJ... but fuck, if now that I think of it, I'm afraid it's more true than I would admit to anybody but you guys.

* * * *

Roseanne the real-life person may make arguments that you can nit pick away, but their core is pretty right on, and I'd rather see 1,000 of her than one more Charlie Sheen.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:06 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this. It's good.
posted by anotherpanacea at 2:06 PM on May 16, 2011


My favorite moment from Roseanne (as if I could choose just one!): The family is having money problems and they've missed a few payments. They're trying to live their lives, and suddenly the power goes out. The electric company has shut off their power for non-payment. Roseanne takes a beat and then says, "well, middle class was fun".

It comes at about the 3m30s mark in this episode.
posted by hippybear at 2:08 PM on May 16, 2011 [25 favorites]


Darlene Connor was the first person I ever saw on TV who I related to in any way, so I'm grateful to Roseanne for that. Because honestly, teenage girls on TV? Or even in pop culture in the late '80s? I don't remember there being a whole lot to choose from.
posted by craichead at 2:09 PM on May 16, 2011 [13 favorites]


The two personality traits children are taught to cultivate are toughness in boys and softness in girls. Roseanne and Tom Arnold are what you get when that doesn't work, god love 'em. I wasn't into the show (I was aware of Roseanne's standup previous to it), though I caught some bits in syndication, but it makes me happy knowing that both of them are around.

Despite my lack of taste in sitcoms, I love this woman and have ever since I read her "What I've Learned" in Esquire. Total hero.
posted by rhizome at 2:10 PM on May 16, 2011


Hollywood hates labor, and hates shows about labor worse than any other thing. And that’s why you won’t be seeing another Roseanne anytime soon. Instead, all over the tube, you will find enterprising, overmedicated, painted-up, capitalist whores claiming to be housewives. But I’m not bitter.
I want to split a fifth of bourbon with her, like, right now.
posted by notion at 2:10 PM on May 16, 2011 [47 favorites]


Not terribly obscure trivia, but Joss Whedon got his start writing for Roseanne.
posted by kmz at 2:13 PM on May 16, 2011


So great. I'm adding her new book to my library list, for sure.
posted by restless_nomad at 2:14 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hollywood hates labor, and hates shows about labor worse than any other thing.

You know what sitcom relocated its characters with the excuse that their jobs had been eliminated through automation?

That's right. Laverne & Shirley.
posted by Trurl at 2:14 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Roseanne and Married With Children were the shows we watched in the evenings when I was growing up.

Darlene and, later, Daria helped this nerdy, outsider girl feel less abnormal, that's for sure.
posted by jillithd at 2:19 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Roseanne is a truther. Pretty rawkin'.
Roseanne also admits in this article and many times before that she suffers from a variety of mental problems.

The 1st 5 items on the 'truther' link were all topics on The Blue - framed in the typical "George Bush and the Republicans suck" POV.

Given I only read the 1st 5 on the link - was there something actually disputed in the other 95?

posted by rough ashlar at 2:20 PM on May 16, 2011


That was well-written and rather fascinating. I knew Hollywood was a boys' club, but not to that extent.
posted by zarq at 2:20 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


That moment hippybear referenced where the Connors's electricity is cut off is classic Roseanne and shows just how groundbreakingly awesome the show was. The show, amazingly, feels even more relevant now.
posted by incessant at 2:22 PM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm really kind of baffled by the love for this, to be honest.

We get stuff like:

"I made a chart of names and hung them on my dressing-room door; it listed every person who worked on the show, and I put a check next to those I intended to fire when Roseanne became No. 1, which I knew it would."

followed later on by:

"these guys—who think that the perks of success include humiliating and destroying the star they work for "

delivered with no awareness of the similarity between the two. We get stuff like vicious descriptions of people being career-minded ass kissers followed by her own coddling of friendship to gain free pizza.

We get a denial that alcohol is a drug (I mean, really, by what definition is it not? Legality?), and we get an implication that maybe the hardships she faced on the show were the cause of her mental illnesses.

I mean, I don't know. I liked the show and all, and admired her lack of bullshit in general, but this reads like someone with a stunning lack of self-awareness to me.
posted by neuromodulator at 2:22 PM on May 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wow. I had practically a religious experience reading that. I did not know one bit of those details, and I used to watch roseanne every week for 4 or 5 of those seasons it was on. Every now and then over the last few years, Roseanne would poke her head out into the public and say something crazy, and I'd just judge her silently (I don't even remember what it is I'm talking about either). But here is the first time I actually realized what a bad ass hero she is - for everybody, not just females. I'm going to put a photo of her over my office door and make her my patron saint. This is great. Really perfect writing too. I mean this is just well executed writing.
posted by scunning at 2:25 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


the hardships she faced on the show were the cause of her mental illnesses.

Perhaps that is just the paranoia associated with long term Cannabis use.

the VIP pothead of the month it seems:
http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2011/02/03/Very-Important-Pothead-Month-Roseanne-Barr
posted by rough ashlar at 2:25 PM on May 16, 2011


I think Roseanne very clearly knows that those two things aren't contradictory at all. She clearly talks about how that was how she acted during her "addiction to fame." I'm not saying she's not without contradiction but that article is very clearly her story about how she was the biggest asshole at a time -- because the person at #1 gets to be the biggest asshole.

The cheering on for her here is also easily explained: It's always better when you like the asshole on top -- because there's always going to be an asshole on top.

It's not a beautiful side of human nature, but it's there.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:28 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah clicking the related vids on youtube I came across this video where she talks about, among other things, smoking pot with Chelsea Handler.
posted by delmoi at 2:30 PM on May 16, 2011


It's always better when you like the asshole on top -- because there's always going to be an asshole on top.

Fred McFeely Rogers was on the top of the kiddy show market.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:30 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


St. Alia of the Bunnies: " She made good tv tho. Breaks my heart she had to go to that length to do it."

Agreed.

This scene always cracks me up.
posted by zarq at 2:31 PM on May 16, 2011


There are really two things this article makes clear that I find admirable:

- She overcame significant obstacles to become successful in her craft
- She realized that success was making her kind of a shitty person and she chose to bail on that scene.

I mean, forthcoming reality show or not, raising macadamia nuts in Hawaii is not exactly the same as running a media empire. I think it's awesome that she was able to kick and claw her way to the top, and I think it's just as awesome that she decided to stop kicking and clawing.

(Plus, apropos of nothing, she was not someone I would have pegged to age so fabulously, but damn she looks good. I wish more women embraced the gray like that.)
posted by restless_nomad at 2:33 PM on May 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


basicchannel: “Oh, sorry truther lovers. When they support pet causes I guess it's cool. Go go Rosie The Riveter!”

It's vile to me that anybody ever finds it appropriate to attempt an insult with the form "x lover" – "homo lover," "commie lover," etc. The apparent barb of the insult is a mocking pointer to the fact that the person being insulted loves someone. "Ha ha! You love someone who's wrong in some way!" The import is that we should all feel ashamed of loving people who are "bad" or "wrong" – that the proper attitude toward "bad" or "wrong" people is hatred.

I guess I'll just say that, and hope I don't have to explain why I find that vile.
posted by koeselitz at 2:33 PM on May 16, 2011 [31 favorites]


She gets serious props from me for her congrats to Dave Chappelle for leaving the scene when he did
posted by angrycat at 2:40 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


@koeselitz - Putting things in big broad boxes makes for easy sotring into other big broad piles.

The 1st 5 things on that list are considered 'actual reality' here on The Blue.

Does anyone here not accept 'em as "truth"?

The core of the Bush Administration was predominantly made up of members of an organization called “The Project For The New American Century.”

The Bush Administration came into office wanting to go to war with Iraq.

Dick Cheney was the CEO for a company called Halliburton.

In early 2001, Dick Cheney was put in charge of The National Energy Policy Development Group, or “Energy Task Force” for short.

In the months leading up to 9/11, there was an unprecedented amount of warnings that “Al-Qaeda” was about to conduct an attack.


If there is to be a judgement - what does that say when what you are pitching as "LOL crazy" is observable reality?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:42 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Truthers are annoying when their going on about their conspiracy theories, I don't necessarily think they need to be shunned in perpetuity or that people need to dig up Truther leanings like 1950s McCarthites rooting out communists.
posted by delmoi at 2:42 PM on May 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Fred McFeely Rogers was on the top of the kiddy show market.

Yeah, and he used his platform to advocate for monarchy, the explotation of animal labor, and a positively decadent attitude toward sweaters. Oh, and trolleys, which are frequently an inadequate solution to the problems of public transportation.
posted by Copronymus at 2:44 PM on May 16, 2011 [16 favorites]


Roseanne is the Bizarro Angelina Jolie. Or vice versa. I can never remember which is which.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:50 PM on May 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Thanks, I enjoyed reading this. Roseanne is so clearly one of the most monumental sitcoms of all time. And it's so clear why--the fights, the yelling, the arguments, the disrespectful children, the povety, the hardship--it's so much more like the household we all grew up in than anything else you'll ever see on TV. But not just the dysfunctionality: in the show, Dan and Roseanne really, truly love each other, and I love how that was captured in the article by the vignette about the line the real Roseanne refused to say.

I could go on and on about how great the show was, but I won't. Certainly Ms. Barr is far from a perfect person but she brought something truly great into the world and it's gratifying that she had the strength to push for her vision against all these obstacles. Without a doubt, our televisions would benefit tremendously from more shows like hers.
posted by kjh at 2:52 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Roseanne holds up far better than virtually any other 80s or early 90s sitcom that I can think of.

"Holds up" in what sense? Is there any sitcom like it on TV now? If not (and I would argue that there isn't), then it doesn't hold up at all -- the current crop doesn't hold up to it.

I'm not a "Roseanne" fan (either her or the sitcom) but I think it's accurate to say that the show was groundbreaking. I just can't stand watching it.

"Laverne & Shirley" was ludicrous, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that it had a feminist sensibility. It broke some stereotypes, it showed the female protagonists doing a lot of independent things in the supposedly cloistered world of Eisenhower America, and the protagonists had strong identities.
posted by blucevalo at 2:52 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


rough ashlar: “@koeselitz - Putting things in big broad boxes makes for easy sotring into other big broad piles.”

Roseanne Barr could probably come up with a snappy rejoinder about "big broad boxes." I, however, shall not attempt to do so.
posted by koeselitz at 2:52 PM on May 16, 2011


Not terribly obscure trivia, but Joss Whedon got his start writing for Roseanne.

And Judd Apatow. It's mentioned in the article ...

And anyway, Laverne + Shirley wasn't funny.

To be honest, I found Laverne & Shirley to be funnier than Roseanne. Neither was super funny to me. YMMV.

Roseanne holds up far better than virtually any other 80s or early 90s sitcom that I can think of.

Newhart, Cheers, M*A*S*H, Newsradio, The Simpsons, Murphy Brown all stand up well. Heck, I'll take Wings (at least the seasons with Tony Shalhoub) over Roseanne.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:58 PM on May 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


The cheering on for her here is also easily explained: It's always better when you like the asshole on top -- because there's always going to be an asshole on top.

BFS. You're not going to get any turn-the-other-cheek from me out of this. I allow for people to be assholes to assholes. If there's always going to be an asshole at the top, per your assertion, I prefer them to be working to turn the tide. The people she was checking off were people who had already been jerks to her.
posted by rhizome at 3:00 PM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


there's always going to be an asshole on top

Except when it's a bottom.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:08 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was never much of a fan of her show, but I've always liked what she was doing with it and how she was doing it.

I'm going to put a photo of her over my office door and make her my patron saint.

Use the one in the linked article, it's wonderful; it makes her look like a bad-ass Greek Goddess.
posted by quin at 3:08 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Use the one in the linked article, it's wonderful; it makes her look like a bad-ass Greek Goddess

For some reason, I pictured Sarah Palin 15 years from now.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:09 PM on May 16, 2011


You will never know the glory and power of the desire to fire coworkers without a single thought of remorse until you work in show business. It is filled with people who generally fall into one of two categories:

1. Career-climbing hacks who use exclusion and networking to keep their jobs even if they do them poorly, and to control those who would make something better.
2. Genuinely talented people who care more about the quality of the final product than about the paycheck (and for most jobs in show business, the paycheck isn't much.)

But every once in a while, someone will come along who is a member of class 2, but has the fortitude and drive to hang with class 1. Those people are fucking stars, and Ms. Barr is most definitely among them. For the record, George Clooney is as well, and is known for, for instance, eating with the crew instead of with the stars or in his trailer, and for sticking up for the people who do actual work in the face of the brass, because he can do so.

This is not an industry with a dearth of possible workers. Rather, it is a hot dance club with a big bouncer and long, long line outside. Roseanne fought her way inside, learned that the clib was full of douchebags who were just in there because they were friends with the bouncer, and then got enough clout to fire the dancer and kick out the douchebags so the outsiders and such could get in instead, at least for a while.

She didn't cut jobs. She transferred jobs from undeserving people to deserving ones. And the undeserving ones kept working as well, just elsewhere, on a show where quality didn't matter so much.

So rock on, Roseanne, you crazy, crazy rock star you.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:12 PM on May 16, 2011 [29 favorites]


Darlene Connor was the first person I ever saw on TV who I related to in any way, so I'm grateful to Roseanne for that.

I felt like this until everyone in the world either said I resembled Darlene or called me Darlene. That got old really goddamn quick.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:14 PM on May 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Lucy had more power in her in golf cart.
posted by clavdivs at 3:14 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


In 2006, Barr reflected on the series finale and said, “The Roseanne sitcom was based on my real life; I was suicidal and broken when I gathered all that was left of myself and wrote five minutes of jokes, which became an act, and ultimately the Roseanne show. As we leave our protagonist in her living room, completion of her book just managed, she will have a quiet moment alone to think, before she throws the windows and the doors open and steps out into the world to make feminist television history, much as I did.”
posted by Trurl at 3:16 PM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


This also reminds me of something I hadn't though of for a long long time: my brother and I had an ongoing joke about how any individual Roseanne re-run had a disproportionate likelihood of being the "Jackie had a spark" episode. It probably was not run more than any other episode, but through some alignment of the stars for him and I it seemed like it aired constantly.
posted by neuromodulator at 3:46 PM on May 16, 2011


A nice read. Thanks.

I went to summer camp with Sarah Gilbert. I never had the guts to talk to her. I still have a bit of a crush.
posted by chemoboy at 4:00 PM on May 16, 2011


You will never know the glory and power of the desire to fire coworkers without a single thought of remorse until you work in show business. It is filled with people who generally fall into one of two categories:

1. Career-climbing hacks who use exclusion and networking to keep their jobs even if they do them poorly, and to control those who would make something better.
2. Genuinely talented people who care more about the quality of the final product than about the paycheck (and for most jobs in show business, the paycheck isn't much.)


Sounds a lot like working in the BC provincial government.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:06 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, Sarah Gilbert came out last year? Somehow in my preteen dyke brain I just always assumed she was gay. Huh.
posted by restless_nomad at 4:08 PM on May 16, 2011


Fans of Roseanne might be interested in this series of articles by one-time Rosanne staff writer Mark Rosewater, where he talks about is time on the show and how it relates to his current job as designer for Magic:The Gathering(!)
A Roseanne By Any Other Name, Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3
posted by AndrewStephens at 4:29 PM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


My my my that was good!!
posted by Danila at 4:30 PM on May 16, 2011


I'm a Roseanarchist for sure. The Cosby show was the same medicine for African Americans that Roseanne was for middle America. She's a badass. She's up there with Pryor and Carlin...And Coz
posted by Flex1970 at 4:33 PM on May 16, 2011


I love Roseanne and I love Sara Gilbert. When I was little I had the biggest crush on her ever, and I didn't even notice that that was what it was.

I remember the time I went over to my cousins' house and Roseanne was on. I was ten, and I was all, "OH YES SARA GILBERT SHE'S THE BEST I LOVE HER SO MUCH."

And my cousins were like, "WTF! What are you, some kind of LESBIAN?"

And I was like, "Oh please, of course not, ME a LESBIAN, how ridiculous," but really I was like... hmm.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 4:40 PM on May 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


I loved the opening credits of the (last?) season. The faces of the cast members would morph through how they looked over the years--including the original-to-temp-to-original Becky, and Rosanne's face through plastic surgery.

That set would feel very, very familiar to me.
posted by armacy at 4:52 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, Sarah Gilbert came out last year? Somehow in my preteen dyke brain I just always assumed she was gay. Huh.

She's been in a relationship with Allison Adler for nearly a decade and they've definitely been public about it. I call this sort of revelation gay-ja-vu (the feeling that someone has already come out of the closet).

Hey, she and Melissa Gilbert are sisters. Or, half sisters. Well, Melissa Gilbert is adopted, so I don't know what that makes them. Whatever. I didn't know that.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 5:01 PM on May 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I loved the opening credits of the (last?) season.

Not to mention the excellent lyrics of the theme song by John Popper, which didn't happen until that last season:

If what doesn't kill us is making us stronger,
Were gonna last longer,
Than the greatest wall in China,
Or that rabbit with the drum

If there's one thing that I learned,
While waiting for my turn,
Is that in each life some rain falls,
But you also get some sun,

And we'll make out better than ok,
Hear what I say?
Yeah, any day
posted by hippybear at 5:02 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


delmoi: "Roseanne is a truther. Pretty rawkin'.

So is Charlie Sheen
"

No no no... That's pretty bitchin'.
posted by symbioid at 5:09 PM on May 16, 2011


And anyway, Laverne + Shirley wasn't funny.
Obviously you never saw the episodes with Lenny & Squiggy.


When I was young, I thought that Lenny and the Squigtones were annoying. I would never have thought that they would evolve into Spinal Tap.
posted by ovvl at 5:42 PM on May 16, 2011


When I was young, I thought that Lenny and the Squigtones were annoying

Which is precisely why it was funny. (Full Disclosure: Actually owned a copy of the Lenny & The Squigtones record as a kid).
posted by KingEdRa at 5:54 PM on May 16, 2011


Actually owned a copy of the Lenny & The Squigtones record as a kid

Holy fuck. This is a real thing. And here it is! And see the comments for a downloadable poster!

If you'll excuse me, I have to go rock by myself in a dark corner for a while.
posted by hippybear at 6:00 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


My Mom really liked Roseanne cause it was the only TV house that even slightly resembled ours.

I think my mom hated it for the same reason.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:08 PM on May 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


It took several Christopher Guest movies before I stopped thinking of Michael McKean as "the guy who played Lenny".
posted by Trurl at 6:18 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sara Gilbert is Melissa Gilbert's sister? Wow.
posted by grouse at 6:48 PM on May 16, 2011


So I guess that would make Sara, what...? A quarter pint?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:49 PM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Michael McKean isn't the guy who played Lenny. He's the guy who shot Mr Boddy. In the hall. With the revolver. And then went home and slept with his wife..
posted by DU at 6:56 PM on May 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love her so, so much. I don't care how much she blew it. And this article is wonderful. She is the best.
posted by serazin at 7:08 PM on May 16, 2011


DU, I thought men like you were called fruits.
posted by The Whelk at 7:19 PM on May 16, 2011


No, he's a plant.
posted by KingEdRa at 7:45 PM on May 16, 2011


CJ, one of my favorite cameramen—an ­African-­American married to a white woman—would say, “Come on, Rosie, I need this job. I have five kids, and two of them are white!”

That's funny.
posted by who squared at 7:45 PM on May 16, 2011


Actually owned a copy of the Lenny & The Squigtones record as a kid

Lenny & The Squigtones was the first concert I attended, it was at a state fair a very long time ago.
posted by the_artificer at 8:17 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can accept that Roseanne isn't the most reliable narrator, or even necessarily the nicest person to work for or be around (in particular, the Tom Arnold years weren't kind to her reputation), and still believe that Matt Williams stole credit from her. His IMDB entry supports the idea that Roseanne and Home Improvement were his two big "successes", and both Roseanne and Tim Allen had well-established comic personas before they did sitcoms based on those personas.

That having been said, regardless of her antipathy for Chuck Lorre, I don't really get her (fairly-strongly qualified) sympathy for Charlie Sheen.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:19 PM on May 16, 2011


I think Roseanne is splitting some pretty big hairs with the "first feminist and working-class-family sitcom" line.

Personally I don't see what she did as revolutionary but more like evolutionary. Most of these elements existed before her. She perhaps, tied a few together in a slightly new way, but she built upon the foundations of those who went before her.

Although the myth is that the working class was never seen on TV, there were examples out there. Admittedly they were mostly candy-coated and rose-coloured, but some of that has to do with the era of their creation. Just off the top of my head, Hazel comes to mind. Yes, she almost magically made all her employer's family troubles disappear (after causing a few in the first place), but that had to do more with 60s TV than it did with anything else.

Moving into the seventies, besides the previously mentioned Laverne and Shirley and Good Times, we also had One Day at Time , which definitely swung the pendulum towards the feminist side of the dial. I don't recall whether the family was working class or poor middle class (although I do seem to recall lots of issues about paying the rent), and it definitely was a "family" show (as opposed to a workplace sitcom).

Alice definitely hit the working class benchmark, but I'm sure Roseanne would discount it because it didn't focus on the family. Of course, the title character's son was a regular guest star/supporting actor, and lots of Alice's anxiety involved her family situation.

There were plenty of others that, while not meeting the exact description, ticked off points in the individual categories of either working class or feminist.

If I had to give point to Roseanne for originality, it would be for bringing a certain crassness and crudeness to her television family. That's the element that I can't recall seeing before (at least not to the degree that it seemed to be present in her show). She upped the ante set by Married with Children the year before. (So I guess it really wasn't that original after all).

Actually I was always terribly uncomfortable with that aspect of the show. I know it earned all sorts of praise for being "realistic" and "authentic" but it seemed so degrading to me. It worked to enhance the stereotype that "working class" = "no class" and I seriously doubt there would have been as much praise for the program if a middle class or leisure class family had been depicted in a similar manner.
posted by sardonyx at 8:27 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait, Laverne & Shirley didn't gay acceptance in prime time?

Am I completing misinterpreting L & S being "roommates"? It was just like those two sweet old ladies on The Waltons, knowwhatImean?

And come on, Lenny & Squiggy, surely those two were just looking for beards.
posted by orthogonality at 8:42 PM on May 16, 2011


...in aaaaall the wrong pla-ces. Loooking for beeaardssss...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:47 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Although the myth is that the working class was never seen on TV, there were examples out there. Admittedly they were mostly candy-coated and rose-coloured, but some of that has to do with the era of their creation.

In the Honeymooners, Ralph drove a bus and Ed was a sewer-worker. Very working-class, and very rose-colored.

I think what was so different was that the rose-colored glasses finally came off. Socio-economic class aside, what made this show so different was that their life wasn't perfect, their jobs weren't perfect and their kids weren't perfect and their.
posted by chemoboy at 9:14 PM on May 16, 2011


chemoboy: “In the Honeymooners, Ralph drove a bus and Ed was a sewer-worker. Very working-class, and very rose-colored.”

In hideously sexist ways, too, let's not forget. The man who threatens to hit his wife every five minutes, but (of course) never actually does... how romantic!
posted by koeselitz at 9:17 PM on May 16, 2011


Really great essay. I always respected Rosanne.
posted by jcruelty at 9:24 PM on May 16, 2011


"If you don't think her show was groundbreaking at the time..."

My husband and I have been re-watching a lot of Roseanne lately and we think that it's still relatively groundbreaking *now* in terms of it's realism and class-consciousness.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:27 PM on May 16, 2011


In terms of body image, too, I think. I thought Dan and Roseanne were a sexy couple.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:29 PM on May 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also, in the context, while the 70s had a ton of working-class sitcoms where people Learned Valuable Lessons, the 80s trend was for richer families in more high-concept shows. Roseanne came right at the end of that and didn't look like a lot of other things on TV.
posted by The Whelk at 9:40 PM on May 16, 2011


in the alternate universe where Reagan lost the election there is a long-running Coronation Street-style working class soap that just wrapped up its final season last year
posted by The Whelk at 9:42 PM on May 16, 2011




If I had to give point to Roseanne for originality, it would be for bringing a certain crassness and crudeness to her television family. That's the element that I can't recall seeing before (at least not to the degree that it seemed to be present in her show). She upped the ante set by Married with Children the year before. (So I guess it really wasn't that original after all).

How strange to hear you say that. I actually caught an episode of Married with Children for the first time since I was a child this morning, and I just couldn't reconcile the crass, mirthless, amateurish garbage I was seeing with the vague impression I'd picked up over the years that the show was this revelatory, Roseanne-esque look at the lives of working class people. Maybe it was because I was brushing my teeth at the time, but I found it literally nauseating, and just ugly. Not a bit like Roseanne, which I admire not only for its hilariousness but its warmth and humanity.

This is the MWC episode from this morning, by the way, if anybody's curious.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 10:01 PM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Cause, she's kind of a bad interviewer, she's just way too intense and gushing and direct and overpowers her guests, but it's so different from any other chat show style that it is transfixing. It's just this storm from of a personality.
posted by The Whelk at 10:01 PM on May 16, 2011


yeah Married With Children just seemed ....mean. I didn't like it as a kid either., although watching it as an adult it's interesting to see which actors kinda found that right cartoon vaudeville note and which didn't. Katy Segal in particular, pulling off a Mae West via Born Yesterday thing off.
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Roseanne is one of those things that's weirdly incredibly important to me. I have to say that Dan and Roseanne's relationship probably had a strong impact on me growing up. My dad died when I was eight, and was crazy for about a year before that. Dan Connor (well, and my grandfather) was such a strong, loving, good-humored mensch, and his relationship with Roseanne was so incredibly real. It was messy, sure. They had fights which even got violent sometimes (like my own parents had). But they also clearly adored one another so much, and had fun being married, being parents. A lot of that was the chemistry between Barr and Goodman. A lot of it was just damned-good, honest writing. I watched a lot of television, but I can't think of another couple that had quite that same sort of impact on me--that I can really see as sort of a model of what my own relationship would look like, that really stood for a parental relationship that I was missing in my own life. The Huxtables, maybe a little. But they were a little too perfect, and I never quite believed them as real people.

Dan and Roseanne were real.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:09 PM on May 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


And all of that, of course, made the final reveal in the finale that much more painful. The final season was deeply flawed, but the revelation that Dan was really gone? Heartbreaking.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:11 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I too have started rewatching random Roseanne episodes via Netflix Watch Instantly, and find it remarkably relevant re: class issues, "real" family issues, feminist issues. Plus, there just aren't that many women in media who look like me. And I've always been a sucker for woman who don't deal in bullshit. I put up with a lot and wish I had the courage to call out folks on bull more often.

No doubt she's got her issues as a person--haven't we all? But as an entertainer? Fabulous. Wish her the best.
posted by smirkette at 10:13 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don't get me wrong -- I wasn't a fan of Married with Children either.

I also never said it was a realistic portrayal of a working class family. It was a cartoon exaggeration of stereotypes.

I think what it did do, however, was crack the chain on the door (at least in terms of style and attitude and language) that Roseanne then pushed open. After that, it was much easier for Grace Under Fire and a handful of others to parade through the bigger opening.
posted by sardonyx at 10:15 PM on May 16, 2011


Oh yeah, my Mom liked Grace Under Fire to, at least the first season.

And keeping with the watching old episodes of Roseanne THEME, I watched this
, and yeah, it's so strange to see the same chairs and outfits and wallpaper that my Aunt Patty and Uncle Tom had.
posted by The Whelk at 10:24 PM on May 16, 2011


If you think seeing your aunt and uncle's chairs strange, I can blow your mind with my weirdest-item-I-recognize-in-film/TV sighting.

I was at the theatre with my sibling and one of my friends. My friend was sitting in the middle. At one point while watching Secretariat my eyes locked onto the screen, my jaw dropped and my hand reached across the seats to hit my sibling. At the same time I was pointing with my other hand to an area on the screen and exclaiming: Look. It's dad's alarm clock.

At that point we both started howling and crying with laughter, and my friend thought we were both nuts. You see, that ancient alarm clock that they showed in the Depression-era movie was identical to the one that our father is still using today -- the same clock had been the source of all sorts of jokes and snide comments over the years.

That was a real eye opener and a completely unexpected shock. It certainly was a much bigger surprise than seeing my mom's dishes in a bad Burt Reynolds movie or seeing the same (unused) Christmas wrapping paper that's currently on a roll in the basement used in an old episode of Barney Miller that I happened to catch the other night.

So mentioning Barney Miller gets me back to TV sitcoms. I know the argument is that Roseanne's family wasn't perfect and was therefore more real and that was groundbreaking. Maybe it was a revival that was needed at the time -- as an antidote to The Cosby Show and all of the other perfect family shows -- but to people who watched TV in the 70s, imperfect families (or workplaces) were nothing new. Sure, as mentioned above, there were often very special lessons that needed to be learned, but not always. And even with the lessons learned, the families still weren't perfect.

I think it's likely that a lot of what we think about shows comes down to our viewing ages and experiences. While Roseanne never resonated for me, and while I can't personally relate to the love-fest of comments made in its favour, I find myself in almost total agreement with the comments on the Wild Kingdom thread. Those experiences are my experiences. These Roseanne ones aren't.
posted by sardonyx at 11:01 PM on May 16, 2011


"That having been said, regardless of her antipathy for Chuck Lorre, I don't really get her (fairly-strongly qualified) sympathy for Charlie Sheen."

Well, here's the thing: Roseanne had several very public episodes of mental illness. She worked during a period when cocaine was everywhere in the industry, and she was married to Tom Arnold, who had a well-publicized problem with alcohol and cocaine. She has a lot of very personal experience with addiction, with mental illness, and with what happens to celebrities with these problems when they get crosswise to the media. It's fairly clear she thinks the man is a pig (the "biggest john" thing) but with her experiences, it's really only possible to pick one extreme or the other - compassion or condemnation. (I suspect she had great sympathy for Carrie Fisher and Anne Heche, too.)

BUT I am mostly in this thread to marvel that I had totally forgotten Michael McKean was ever Lenny, so much do I identify him with Christopher Guest movies.
posted by gingerest at 12:18 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I loved Married With Children when it was first on in the UK (and I've never seen an episode without Steve Rhodes, so only the first couple of seasons). First of all, it was almost secret - the local station was showing it on Friday nights, probably (although the nights could change) after pub closing (although the time didn't seem to be the same from week to week). The first few weeks I caught by accident, and hated it, then found myself deliberately tuning in and, eventually, videotaping episodes for repeat consumption.

It was like nothing else - openly sociopathic, with an even-handed contempt for every loathsome character in there, who were occasionally allowed to pull something resembling a redeeming feature out of the hat before flushing it all again. The college that I was attending at the time was very much like the stereotype of left-wing education (it was an art school, and it seemed to be very difficult to escape that sort of thing in art education during the eighties), and it was wonderfully liberating to see something so deliberately, joyfully offensive. That all the characters are broadly-drawn stereotypes is not a bug - it reminds me of Carry On movies and seaside picture postcards.

If MWC was the predecessor to anything, it wasn't Roseanne but The Simpsons, at least in its earlier years, though obviously not as hilarious as the Simpsons. With MWC, the complete lack of anything resembling a conscience gave it tremendous primary colour gusto, at least for a couple of years.
posted by Grangousier at 1:01 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Simpsons openly mocked MWC a few times , "AL! LET'S HAVE SEX!", and the core of the early Simpsons season balanced the sentimental with the absurd. Once they lost that, the show became a (not very good) gag-machine.
posted by The Whelk at 1:05 AM on May 17, 2011


"Instead, all over the tube, you will find enterprising, overmedicated, painted-up, capitalist whores claiming to be housewives."
She's not wrong, those housewives really are desperate.
posted by pharm at 4:53 AM on May 17, 2011


I'm not sure I'm going to jump on Roseanne's sympathy/love train (and I could be biased here, because I never watched the show).

I have very little respect for any person who could utter the phrase "Male writers have zero interest in being nice to women" in the same breath as accusing someone of being sexist. It sounds as if she was guilty of most of the same things as she accused her bosses of being.

I don't want to blame the victim, because it seems entirely believable that she was the victim of a series of shitty agents. However, if she was hired as an actress, she had absolutely no authority to think she had any right to begin writing, producing, and directing the show from the set. It sounds as if working with her must have been absolute hell for the other cast and crew, who were largely blameless of anything other than following the orders of their supervisors.

It is filled with people who generally fall into one of two categories:

1. Career-climbing hacks who use exclusion and networking to keep their jobs even if they do them poorly, and to control those who would make something better.


If we limit ourselves to writers and actors, I suppose that might be true. On the other hand, you don't see those personalities among the guy hanging the lights, the folks painting the sets, and so on... However, these are almost always the people who get fired when the star has an outburst, because their hair wasn't done quite right.
posted by schmod at 6:47 AM on May 17, 2011


scmod: I think you're missing the point. "Rosanne" the show was created around a character that she had created and nurtured on the comedy circuit. The idea that she was "just an actress" is clearly nonsense, even if that's what the letter of her contract stated. She's hardly the only person to fail to pay close enough attention to her contract when people she trusted were telling her something else to her face. At the point when she signed the contract, she didn't realise that she was swimming with sharks. Looks like she learnt pretty fast & didn't let them drag her under, which to me reflects pretty well on her.
posted by pharm at 6:51 AM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think that's a pretty lame nit to pick.... maybe you hadn't been watching alot of television.

Huh ... it's just so unusual to start a comment with a criticism and end it with a compliment.
posted by Twang at 9:59 AM on May 17, 2011


schmod: "I have very little respect for any person who could utter the phrase "Male writers have zero interest in being nice to women" in the same breath as accusing someone of being sexist. It sounds as if she was guilty of most of the same things as she accused her bosses of being."

She's not pulling that statement out of thin air. She cites incidents, and names names. The generally poor state of women characters on TV these days would seem to back her up.

schmod: "If we limit ourselves to writers and actors, I suppose that might be true. On the other hand, you don't see those personalities among the guy hanging the lights, the folks painting the sets, and so on... However, these are almost always the people who get fired when the star has an outburst, because their hair wasn't done quite right."

Did you even read the article? She goes on at length about the crew being the only people she got along with.
posted by mkultra at 10:11 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I loved watching Roseanne growing up, and took a lot of flack for it from my brother and friends. I can now see why I liked it so much, and what a profound effect Roseanne has had on my views on feminism and family. Thanks for that, Rosie, you're wonderful. I'm almost certain that I wouldn't be the same woman without you.
posted by sunshinesky at 10:46 AM on May 17, 2011


Fred McFeely Rogers was on the top of the kiddy show market.

Yeah, and he used his platform to advocate for monarchy, the explotation of animal labor, and a positively decadent attitude toward sweaters. Oh, and trolleys, which are frequently an inadequate solution to the problems of public transportation.


I know I'm not the only kid who didn't like that show. He was a great guy, but he put me to sleep with all the sloooow talking, and those puppets gave me the heebie-jeebies.

Anyhoo, Roseanne: I stopped watching about the time Darlene got married; a realistic mistake for a character in her situation, but it hurt too much for me to keep watching the trainwreck--like the Office, it was a little too real to watch as entertainment. Tuned back in occasionally for the lottery-win/Dan's heart attack stuff, but I'd lost the connection at that point.

Before all that, though, I loved it with a passion. I loved their crappy house and ugly furniture and JC Penney wardrobe. I loved Dan--he was the most appealing father figure I'd ever seen on TV; like my dad, but less screwed up.

I loved that they had idiot friends and redneck pastimes and yet, were smart and loving and functioning (mostly).

They were like my family with better dialogue.
posted by emjaybee at 1:13 PM on May 17, 2011


Has anyone else seen the CSI episode Two and a Half Deaths? (IMDB synopsis) Shockingly slanderous wish fulfillment written by Chuck Lorre and Lee Aronsohn.

Thinking the wiki entry deserves some updating with RB's take. Anyone?
posted by likeso at 7:43 PM on May 17, 2011


Tom Arnold mentions Two and a Half Deaths in his AV Club interview. For setup: Lorre used to be a writer/producer (on TV those are basically the same thing, right?) on Roseanne, but like a lot of their writers he was fired at some point or another:
Here’s the thing, and this is with Chuck Lorre, too—he came up to me a couple years later and told me, “Listen I got to make amends to you. I’ve been badmouthing you for 13 years all over this town to everybody I could.” I had no idea we had a feud going. [Laughs.] I’d see him in public and I’d wave, and I always rooted for him. I had no idea, and so I was like, “Okay, well that’s nice, he made amends.” He goes, “Now that I get to know you personally, you’re a good guy.” Whatever, okay, that’s fine. Then I saw that writers on his show changed writers with CSI writers. CSI guys wrote an episode of Two And A Half Men, and he wrote an episode of CSI, and the episode was about a sitcom star and her crazy drugged-up husband, boyfriend, and I was like, “Chuck, why would you do that? I thought we were friends!” He goes, “It could be anybody, it could be Cybill Shepherd’s boyfriend, it could be Brett Butler’s boyfriend.” I go, “Well name them, because people are calling my publicist saying. ‘What does Tom think of Chuck Lorre writing an episode of CSI about him?’” So I said, “Chuck at least say it’s not about me,” and he said no, so fuck him, fuck him. It was so obvious, you know?
Between this and the Apatow/Brazill thing, I'm getting really curious about other behind-the-scenes tv feuds.
posted by muddgirl at 7:32 AM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


if she was hired as an actress, she had absolutely no authority to think she had any right to begin writing, producing, and directing the show from the set.

I'm late to this party, but Roseanne was the executive producer of the show. It was her show, period, end of story. She was the boss.
posted by incessant at 11:11 AM on May 19, 2011


chemoboy writes "In the Honeymooners, Ralph drove a bus and Ed was a sewer-worker. Very working-class, and very rose-colored."

And they lived in tiny little apartments.
posted by Mitheral at 10:27 PM on May 20, 2011


Roseanne Barr is responsible for Saturday Night Special, the show where Ice-T and Tupac Shakur sang a cover of "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." For that, and that alone, I will always love her. This article merely makes me want to hang out with her more.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:30 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


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