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Interview With Roseanne Barr

Aired March 2, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, she's outspoken.

ROSEANNE BARR: And now there are no doughnuts.


KING: She's outrageous.


BARR: Butthead.


KING: She's hilarious.


BARR: Sweetie.


KING: She brought us one of the funniest shows in television history and she survived multiple personality disorder, abuse and shattered marriages to do it. After all that, what's next for Roseanne Barr? She'll tell you and she'll take your calls too next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Always a great pleasure to welcome her to LARRY KING LIVE, Roseanne Barr's life journey has taken her from Colorado housewife to stand-up comedian to Emmy-winning actress, a lot of hard knocks along the way, a bout with mental illness, a couple of ugly divorces, not to mention a musical performance she prefers to regard as her tragic singing accident.

Tonight, a new Roseanne emerges, the mom and grandmother who's combining family with show business. Her family will be with us a little later indeed. In that connection Roseanne has a new DVD out called "Rockin With Roseanne, Calling all Kids," right, there you see its cover, "Rockin With Roseanne, Calling all Kids."

And also a new third season of her television show will soon land on the DVD shelves. There you see the earlier ones. What an enormous hit and what enormous impact she's been on the American scene. I want to start on a bad point.


KING: And then we'll lift up.


KING: The lowest point on your career you say was singing the national anthem.

BARR: Oh, yes, it was the scariest, most horrible.

KING: What -- let's see a bit of it and then we'll (INAUDIBLE).

BARR: Oh, no.

KING: Just a bit of it. Let's watch.

BARR: Oh, no.


KING: That was before a San Diego Padre game.

BARR: Yes.

KING: Why did you do that?

BARR: That's a good question, why, I can't answer that. Well, because I, you know, was invited to do it.

KING: I gathered.

BARR: Yes, I didn't just storm the field and, you know, I made a big mistake basically.

KING: In agreeing to do it or in singing it the way you sang it?

BARR: Well, the whole thing is like the night before I did it I was on with Johnny Carson and I told him I was going to do it and he said, "Whatever you do, don't start too high" because he said that Robert Goulet had said that he started too high and it was a, you know he had a tragic singing accident too.


BARR: Well, I started too high is basically it and I couldn't get out of it. I didn't know what to do so I just tried to like, you know, camp it up and -- because I was like, gee, I wish I could walk away but I couldn't.

KING: Did you -- now the Gulf War started the day after that.

BARR: The day after was Desert Storm. It was like just the wrong everything, the wrong timing, the wrong everything.

KING: Did you realize it? I mean conservative talk radio, of course, had a field day with this did you...

BARR: Yes, they were talking it like, you know, that I was an enemy of the country and, you know, it was devastating.

KING: Did it pass?

BARR: No, it didn't pass and it -- it passed finally I think but, you know, it was a few really devastating years for my career and my -- and my personal life.

KING: It didn't cost you the TV show did it?

BARR: It almost cost me the television show. It did cost me. At that time, which is why I'm like excited about doing this children's DVD, at the time I was working on a children's show cartoon. I had it on the air and I was just all set to launch pretty much what I'm doing now again and it just all folded. Everybody pulled out and, you know, the way they, you know, it was a terrible mistake and it cost me in my career, devastating.

KING: Were you shocked at the reaction or frankly did you expect it?

BARR: I was shocked at how scary it was just to get through it and then everything that tumbled because of it. It was like I sort of I just was bracing myself and hoping it wouldn't be too bad but it was worse than I thought it would be. But, you know, it was so bad and I knew it was bad while I was doing it but, you know, I just -- I couldn't do anything else.

KING: Did you -- did anyone support you?


KING: No one came along.

BARR: No, no one came, no.

KING: No one came.

BARR: There was nothing to support. It was just, you know, I think they made it worse than it actually was if that's possible but by, you know, questioning my motives and my intention was like, you know, just it was a mistake.

KING: Tell me about now this ten year journey from that anthem to this...

BARR: It's 16 years actually, Larry.

KING: To this DVD.

BARR: Yes. Well, you know, because of that, you know, like I say it was professionally and personally very devastating and I sort of got like I didn't want to go, you know, outside, outside "The Roseanne Show". I was going to say they were going to cancel that and I sang -- I sang the song at the end of the season of "Roseanne" so I had to wait the whole summer because the network said they didn't know if anybody was going to watch the show because they just hated me so bad and blah, blah, blah. So, I had to wait the whole summer to see if any of the audience came back before I knew if "The Roseanne Show" was going to go into its fourth season.

KING: But it did didn't it?

BARR: Yes, it did luckily. The audience came back.

KING: With good numbers right?

BARR: Yes, the audience came back so I was lucky.

KING: Do you think it was the fact that the show was just good?

BARR: Yes, I think it was that the people liked that family and liked the show.

KING: We're going to meet these kids and grandchildren later but give me a little clue. What is "Calling All Kids" all about?

BARR: Well, it's 12 music videos and, you know, they're -- they're cute and funny for children. I...

KING: Original songs?

BARR: Yes, nine of them are original and three of them are my favorites from when I was a kid and it's just kind of like, you know, those 16 years ago like I say it was a bad time in my life and so I decided I wanted to make it right. And so, it's taken me 16 years to turn it around and make it right.

KING: And is it you singing, we're seeing little things from it now.

BARR: Yes.

KING: Is it you singing with the kids?

BARR: Yes, I'm singing, yes.

KING: Are you singing again?

BARR: Everybody's like "Don't sing" but, you know, I was like, hey, I got better. My kids found it on the Internet that I was the world's worst singer and I, you know, you don't want to be remembered for the worst mistake you've ever made especially when you're a grandparent, so I thought well this would be a good way to turn it around and plus it would be fun and I like performing for children and with them.

KING: We'll get back to it. They'll be with us in a while.

BARR: Yes.

KING: We'll touch a lot of bases. What brought you to meditation and Kabbalah and explain what Kabbalah is.

BARR: Oh, well it's just a form of meditation basically and...

KING: It's a Jewish concept though isn't it?

BARR: Yes. Yes, it's Jewish and it's -- but it's actually international. It's not just Jewish. A lot of people study it who aren't Jewish and have for a long, long time. Christians do it, you know. A lot of people study it.

But it's when I was pregnant with my son who is ten now and I was working on "The Roseanne Show" and they said "You can't have any stress or, you know, you won't keep your pregnancy," so I had to find a way to calm down and that's what did it.

So, that's been eleven years that I started to meditate and a lot of it is about breathing and so incidentally is singing, so they all kind of work together. And finding a calm place inside myself through meditation kind of helped me to get over a lot of mental illness too. So, it's just been a really great thing in my life.

KING: Is Kabbalah a form of faith?

BARR: Well it's a lot of things but it's basically if I'm going to talk about it it's basically meditation and to find a calm place inside yourself and your soul to connect like higher things.

KING: Do you use it all the time?

BARR: Yes, I do and it's calmed me down a lot and made my life better.

KING: So, it works for you?

BARR: It did work for me up to this point. I don't know if it's going to work tomorrow but it has worked for me up to this point. I'm a calm person most of the time. I don't have -- I used to have real bad panic attacks and, you know, a whole bunch of -- a host of other emotional and mental problems that with therapy I really got over it.

KING: Were you a frantic person to work for?

BARR: Yes, I was frantic. I was always panicked and always rushing, you know, like thinking everything's going to go away really fast, so I have to do it right now and immediately and, you know, plus I'm a perfectionist or was and I was always talking bad to myself and, you know, all those things that happen.

KING: You mean you lose being a perfectionist?

BARR: Yes.

KING: No kidding? BARR: You just eat yourself alive is what you do.

KING: We'll be right back with Roseanne Barr, always a delight to have her with us. We'll be taking your calls too. And later, the kids will join us. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're losing it.

BARR: Oh, catch up, Jackie, I have already lost it. And now there are no doughnuts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do I have to spell it out for you, PMS.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Roseanne does not have PMS today, Dan.

BARR: Do you think I'm pretty?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roseanne, I've been thinking what if my manly abilities aren't really mine? What if it's the mattress?

BARR: I thought it was the mattress.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I mean what if I can't wow you in a new bed?

BARR: Well you didn't have no trouble when we brought home that new kitchen table.



BARR: Those were back in the days when I had sex. It's pretty weird.

KING: Ah, memories. You had -- you were obsessive compulsive?

BARR: Yes, I'm everything and was everything for sure.

KING: And how did you get rid of that?

BARR: I really -- I really...

KING: Or didn't you?

BARR: Yes, I have it under control, knock on wood. No, I have it under control better than I've ever had in my life and I think that's because of meditation and it's, you know, it really does calm you down and it does work.

KING: Do you take any pills?

BARR: No, I don't take any pills. I had. I had taken pills in the past, tons of them but now I don't take anything now.

KING: How about attention deficit disorder?

BARR: I had that too. What did you do talk to my therapist or something?

KING: No, are you a collection of everything?

BARR: I have -- I was diagnosed with 15, you know, disorders, 15.

KING: But if you're obsessive compulsive and attention deficit...

BARR: Yes.

KING: ...and you have a compulsive attitude to like rule the set and everything...

BARR: Yes.

KING: must have been going nuts.

BARR: Well, I, you know, I loved work and I loved pouring myself into the work, you know. It was the real life that I had trouble with. Once I went to work and I knew what was expected of me and, you know, every Friday we would do a half hour show or a 22 minute show, I was able to like, you know, really channel all of my abilities and all of my right-minded thinking into that.

But when I left the set and went to my real life is where I really had problems and, you know, I have -- I had and sometimes still do a lot of fear of people and going out and stuff like that, so you know as long as I was working it was OK.

KING: You doing stand-up again?

BARR: I am doing stand-up again after 15 years of being away from it and I'm loving it.

KING: You also...

BARR: I had really bad stage fright, talk about all the other things I had going.

KING: You had stage fright?

BARR: I had -- after I sang the Star Spangled Banner so badly, after my tragic singing accident, after that, you know, all my stuff kind of like really got even more full blown and, you know, I got stage fright and, you know, I couldn't do stand-up anymore and let alone sing and all the other things. So, you know, it was a long way back but I am back.

KING: But you were able to do a TV show.

BARR: Yes, I was able to do Roseanne Conner and that show definitely. Thank God I could do something.

KING: Are you doing stand-up now?

BARR: Yes, I just did Las Vegas which was very cool.

KING: The Mecca.

BARR: Yes, it was really cool. I really liked it.

KING: Tough audience?

BARR: No, they were just awesome. It's funny how I did it because I had stage fright to do stand-up, so I put in a -- in order to like force myself to do stand-up I put in a part of my act where I take my clothes off because I'm like, "If you think this is bad, wait until you take your clothes off." That's how I kind of like tricked myself over my fear and stuff plus meditation.

But then after the taking your clothes off, I come out and I say, I say "Dancing in my underwear is nothing compared to the fear of singing in public, which I'm about to overcome now." So, it's like I have to trick myself to do stand-up. I have to like do my other worst fears, dancing in my underwear and singing a song but I don't know why it works.

KING: You're still a little nuts right?

BARR: Yes, I know I am but you could get your mental illness and stuff to work for you. You could actually direct it and get it to work for you.

KING: That's right, take it and let it -- use it you can...

BARR: Yes, because I do have a lot of fear of people and being in public and, you know, I have a lot of fear period but I just like try to always overcome my fear and for some reason that works for me.

KING: When you went through that stage you're saying you were sexually abused and you were on this show was that wrong?

BARR: I wish I hadn't done it in the way that I did it. I wish I had found a better way to deal with my family in private.

KING: It was regressed memory though right?

BARR: Well, I don't know what you mean by regressed memory.

KING: In other words, you didn't know it today until you started thinking more and more and you had to go back to realize what happened.

BARR: No, that's not exactly true but I wish that I had dealt with it in private and not been public about it.

KING: How is your family?

BARR: Well, thank God like I say again that, you know, when you -- when I got calmer and I was able to, you know, find a peaceful place inside myself, I was able to, you know, go to my family and make amends and ask their forgiveness and they mine and we've mended that one too. That one I'm so happy about. My mother and I and my siblings we have a great relationship.

KING: They're all in Utah, right?

BARR: No, just my mom. The other ones all left. They all fled.

KING: Your mom is famous in Utah.

BARR: My mom probably is famous.

KING: Everyone knows your mom in Utah.

BARR: Yes, they do. My mom's a great and wonderful woman.

KING: As we go to break, we'll include some calls for Roseanne Barr. We'll meet her kids later. Here is her first appearance with Johnny Carson.


BARR: My husband he bugs me about housework and that, you know, like he'll go "Roseanne, well maybe if you start now you could have a clean house by Christmas." Who am I June Cleaver? The day I worry about cleaning my house is when Sears comes out with a riding vacuum cleaner.




BARR: Hey, what did I tell you guys about eating cookies before you had dinner?


BARR: Right. Oh, I must have put these pants in the dryer. I'm going on a diet, Dan. I'm starting right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go. I'll be here when you get back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How come mom is so heavy and you're so thin?




BARR: We had some great lines on that show.

KING: Boy, did you. The new DVD is "Rockin with Roseanne, Calling all Kids." We'll be meeting the kids in a little while. This DVD is just out. The weight thing have you always had a weight problem?

BARR: Yes, pretty much, yes. Everyone in my family does too.

KING: Yes, were you ever slim?

BARR: I was -- I had gone up and down, yes, by 100 pounds a couple times, yes.

KING: And you have a phobia about germs?

BARR: I got it all, Larry.

KING: My son, Chance has the same thing.

BARR: I'm like one-stop crazy.

KING: Like you don't shake hands?

BARR: No, I don't like to shake hands.

KING: Fearing that germs will go from my hand to your hand?

BARR: Yes, I have all that stuff. But I want to talk about having fun.

KING: What don't you have? What illness of a mental nature do you not possess?

BARR: I'll tell you what it's rare. If there is one, I probably haven't heard of it.

KING: All right, let's take calls. We'll have some fun, Hamilton, Ontario hello.

BARR: I don't have a fear of food.

KING: What?

BARR: I don't have a fear of food.

KING: Hamilton, Ontario, hello.


BARR: Hi. CALLER: I just wanted to first...

KING: Hello.

CALLER: ...say that Roseanne you are an inspiration.

BARR: Oh, oh, thanks I guess.

CALLER: You really are. You gave us one of the best shows ever.

BARR: Thanks.

CALLER: And I really appreciate the fact that you gave us a show that showed real people with real issues that are dealt with on a daily basis not the, you know, Cosby Huxtable, dad's a, you know, doctor, mom's a lawyer kind of thing and so it was just fantastic.

BARR: Thank you very much.

CALLER: My question...

BARR: I'm glad you liked it.

CALLER: ...for you is what do you think of the current, you know, I think it's a wasteland of TV these days but I mean I'd like to get your impression on what you think the TV world is like right now.

BARR: Yes, I don't watch it. You know I watch Larry and I watch "The Daily Show" and the (INAUDIBLE) and I don't really watch any other television, first of all because I don't have time and, second, because it's just kind of dull. I'm not intrigued by anything, maybe because I'm old or something but I don't find anything interesting, especially models who can't find anyone to have sex with them. That I can't stand.

KING: And you don't like the realism shows?

BARR: No because I did a reality show so I know, you know, that I know like...

KING: You did a reality?

BARR: Yes, I did. Nobody saw it. It was only on for two weeks. But, yes, you know, I didn't enjoy it and I don't like it at all. I don't like watching it either.

KING: Now, you did a talk show I guested on.

BARR: Yes, you did.

KING: It was a lot of fun. Why did that go off?

BARR: It went off because I think because Viacom became CBS and they all like, you know, one thing bought another and -- or CBS became Viacom or something and my show even though I loved it so much it kind of, you know, went by the wayside with all -- all the corporate conglomeration.

KING: Stanton, Virginia, hello.

CALLER FROM VIRGINIA: Roseanne, I would like to know if in the past you had ever been diagnosed as having manic depressive illness or a schizophrenic disorder and what was therapeutic help for you?

KING: Did you ever have that?

BARR: No, I didn't have those guys. No, I didn't have manic depression or schizophrenia but I'm working on it. No, I didn't, I missed those guys but I had a dissociative disorder which sort of -- it sort of incorporates aspects of both of those things.

KING: What a dissociative?

BARR: Dissociative disorder that's what I had and, you know...

KING: What do you mean?

BARR:'s like all mental illness goes on a scale from one to ten. It's basically all the same thing, just like how high it goes and dissociative identity disorder, which I had, is probably a seven or an eight.

KING: Did you use a psychiatrist?

BARR: Yes, I did. I had a great psychiatrist, just a fantastic psychiatrist who helped me and, you know, he helped me so much. And, you know, in my act I say that one of the great things about this century is that all my mental disorders were completely cured but, as luck would have it, I found out it was my mental disorders that made me at all interesting in the first place. So, now I'm sane but I'm old so now I'm losing control of my bodily functions so it's kind of not fair.

KING: Toronto, hello.



CALLER: First of all, I'd just to say, Roseanne, I think you rock.

BARR: Thanks.

CALLER: And I love watching all your reruns of "Roseanne."

BARR: Thanks.

CALLER: And my question is I'm a 13-year-old girl just going into like the teen stages...

BARR: Yes.

CALLER: ...and I was wondering what advice you could give me.

BARR: Well, what kind of advice do you want? What are you looking for like school, personal?

CALLER: Well, I'm kind of going through a hard time with some friends. I'm learning who are my real friends and who aren't and I was just wondering like what I should do in this case.

BARR: Well, I'll tell you what, you know, friends are something that you know you don't really keep when you're 13. They probably won't be your friends in ten years, so you should just do what your mom tells you because she's your only -- she's your best friend. I mean I hope she is. What your family tells you is the stuff you should go by and, you know, the friends thing, you'll always get new friends. That's my advice.

KING: That's good advice. Your current boyfriend, John Argent, he wrote most of the tunes on this DVD.

BARR: Yes, it was a great story, yes.


BARR: I had a website and I still do have it. It's and I was, you know, in the business of discovering writers and all kinds of people who -- who came on there about five years ago and were posting their writing and stories and stuff like that. And, he sent me these children's songs and I loved them because I was like...

KING: You didn't know him at the time?

BARR: No, I didn't know him at all just from the website but I was like someday I'm going to sing again, you know. That's kind of what I was thinking at the time. Someday I'm going to sing and I'm going to show everybody that I really can sing and that I got better. And then these songs showed up, you know. It's funny how life works out sometimes.

And, I loved the song, the first song I bought was called "Down at the Doughnut Farm (ph)" and it was so cute and I thought, well, you know, it's cute. It's not like Celine Dion kind of singing but it's fun and a cute song and I thought well, you know, I've always been interested in doing things for children, like I said. I was working on a television show for kids 16 years ago so it seemed like, wow, this is fate.

And then when I bought the song, I started talking to him on the phone. We talked for about a year on the phone before we met and it is just like we got along so well personally and professionally, so sometimes things just, you know, in my life it's just always been amazing how things have come to me when I stop looking.

KING: Are you going to marry him?

BARR: No, I'm never going to get married again. Three strikes you're out. I think if I would try to get married again in California I have to go to prison don't I? I think you only get three.

KING: So, that's out?

BARR: No, I'm better when I'm not married I think. I think marriage -- I think I just marry people because I don't like them but I really like him so I don't want to get married.

KING: You're a better girlfriend.

BARR: I don't want to jinx it. I think I'm a better girlfriend.

KING: We'll be back. We'll be back. We'll be back with more of Roseanne. Don't go away.


BARR: Do you still want to be cremated?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, not right now.

BARR: You know because it is pretty complicated, you know. First I got to find the urn. Then I got to find the matches. I was hoping you'd die on a Thursday when it's trash day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll try to expire near the curb dear.




GOODMAN: Have you talked to Becky about birth control?

BARR: Yes, I sat her down and I said, "Becky, don't."

GOODMAN: Roseanne.

BARR: She doesn't need to hear it. She's never going to get undressed in front of a guy. She thinks her butt's too big.

GOODMAN: I've been thinking, maybe you should talk to her.

BARR: Maybe you should talk to her.


KING: He's a genius.

BARR: He is a genius.

KING: "Rockin' with Roseanne: Calling All Kids," the DVD is out now and we'll be meeting some of the kids, meeting all the kids, in a little while. Let's go back to the calls for Roseanne Barr. By the way, it's Barr, it's Arnold, it's back to Barr again, it was just Roseanne. BARR: Yes, I kind of got my sense back, so it's Roseanne Barr.

KING: Port Charlotte, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi.


CALLER: Hi, Larry. How are you?


CALLER: Hi, Roseanne, I love your career, loved your show.

BARR: Thanks.

CALLER: I just wondered, do you see or talk to any of the cast members from "Roseanne?"

BARR: Oh yes, we all see each other a couple of times a year for sure.

KING: We did a whole show one night, we brought back a reunion. Brentwood, New York, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Roseanne.


CALLER: Hi, how are you?

BARR: Good, how are you?

CALLER: Very well, thank you. My question for you is a topic about depression. How did you go about with the acceptance of depression and your recovery?

BARR: I meditate, and that really, that and I had a good therapist, too. But I can't really speak enough about the power of meditation and you know, self-talk and all of the things that it involves. It's a very healing thing. They've done a lot of studies on it, and you know, I'm like a total proponent for it.

KING: How long did it take to learn how to do it? It's not just lying down with your eyes closed.

BARR: No, no. You know, you can do it at any time. At any time you can start, you can learn techniques and you're always perfecting the technique for as long as you want to do it. But you know, I think it's better than therapy, drugs or anything else, and I really would like to see children learn it.

KING: To New Orleans, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Roseanne.


CALLER: I think you're just an amazing and beautiful in every way and I'm just wondering if you're going to be coming to any of our cities with your standup act, because we'd love to have you down here in New Orleans.

BARR: I'd love to go down there and do it and I've been thinking about doing that because I love New Orleans.

KING: New Orleans would be a great place for you.

BARR: I wrote my first book, I lived in New Orleans.

KING: Did you?

BARR: Right on Bourbon Street and I wrote my first book there and I loved that city so much. And I'm involved with a group called ACORN down there, who are about rebuilding the people's homes who live there and returning. You know, having the regular people return, the working people, that's something I support, which you can learn about by going to on the net.

KING: Were you angry at your government's reaction to Hurricane Katrina?

BARR: I was -- it's just shocked. It's just shocked, but everything in the world is totally shocking. It's a whole different world than I thought it was, and I think most people feel like me. It's not the country that I thought it was, and it's not the world that I thought it was.

It might be just that everything because I'm older, I'm 53 now, it might be that everything that I learned is just passing away because of my age, but it's not the same world that I grew up in. And I fear for my kids and my grandkids in this world because there's less and less of everything.

KING: You're sad then.

BARR: Well, I'm concerned for sure. There's less everything. There's less oil, there's less water, there's less fresh air, there's less food. You know, and you know, it's scary -- scary time.

KING: Plastic surgery.

BARR: Well, that was a hell of a leap.

KING: I'm just hopping. I was very taken with your remarks.


KING: You had plastic surgery?

BARR: Yes, I did like in 1991 with my last one. Everybody thinks I'm continually doing it, but I had a face lift in 1991 or two and that's it. KING: What was that like?

BARR: Plus I had other things, too.

KING: What was it like?

BARR: The face lift?

KING: I don't know how do you it.

BARR: No, it's awful. It's so scary -- and I had a nose job with the face lift and plus they made eyelids, and the doctor dropped the scalpel in my face, so I had to go back and be cut open again to remove the scalpel from my face.

KING: He left it in your face?

BARR: Yes, he dropped it in there. And my nose always runs and you know, it's just crazy. I wouldn't do it again, but you know, at that time it was like, you get into this thing here where you're about, you know, you're like there's this subtle pressure to try to look right and especially for women. So you know, I tried to go with it for awhile.

KING: But you no longer have that kind of need?

BARR: No, no, I don't.

KING: Is this a point, one of the happiest points of your life?

BARR: This is the happiest time of my life, and the happiest I've ever been in my life. It's just wonderful. I just feel like the luckiest person in the world. I really do, Larry. To do this DVD, I work with my children, and you know, I have four grown children and one 10-year-old child, two grandkids -- that every single day when I go to work, I work with my kids.

I see my grown kids and their kids and they like me. They like hanging out with me, while you know, I don't know if they'll say they do, but I mean, you just don't get anything better than that on this earth. You really don't, when your grown kids like hanging out with you and you get to see them every day.

And we get to share goals and like make art together. You know, my daughter made the puppets and did some of the animation on this. My big son did the editing. My son-in-law was the director and did all the sets and we did it in our own little studio. My grandson's in it. My son's in it, my daughter's in it.

It just was a great time to be with my family and you know, when you're my age and you've done the crazy things that I've done, to have some peace and calm, and bliss in your family, man, that's just the greatest thing that money can't buy.

KING: We're going to meet them in a little while. And as we go to break, here's one of the clips from "Rockin' with Roseanne: Calling all Kids."






BARR: And every time I see those "Girls Gone Wild" ads, you know what I'm talking about? Those horrible "Girls Gone Wild," I thank God that none of my daughters ever went to college.

KING: Our guest is Roseanne Barr. All right, a couple of other things, then we'll break and then we'll meet the kids.

BARR: Cool.

KING: George Clooney is a regular. Where did you discover him?

BARR: Well I didn't really discover him. Carsey-Warner cast him, but I happened to love him and love working with him, as did everybody on the show. George is the funniest person you'd ever meet. He made us laugh every single day and we loved having him on that show.

KING: Did you know...

BARR: ... I knew he was a huge star.

KING: You did?

BARR: Yes, you could -- who wouldn't know? Yes.

KING: Is it true, the story goes that one night when Roseanne and John Goodman and George Clooney were drinking, Clooney pulled down his pants and positioned a fake nose and glasses over his naughty parts. Goodman snapped a photo and posted the picture with a refrigerator magnet on the set. It eventually disappeared. True?

BARR: Well, I said it's true but then I read that George said that it didn't happen, so I'm going to go with that, I'm going to go with what George said.

KING: You don't remember?

BARR: I do remember, but George says it didn't happen, so I'm going with it. It absolutely happened. But you know...

KING: ... It was on a refrigerator, right?

BARR: Yes, we had it on the refrigerator and someone stole it.

KING: Shelley Winters? BARR: I miss Shelley. She was great fun to work with.

KING: She was on your show?

BARR: Yes, she was really funny and crazy, too.

KING: How did you get a major star like Shelley Winters?

BARR: She was a fan of the show and also, you know, I can't remember now, I can't remember the acting group -- oh, my God that, all of them are in, in New York, that Marilyn Monroe was in?

KING: Oh, Actors Studio.

BARR: Yes, and we had a lot of Actors Studio people on the show, Estelle Parsons, and a lot of other people too, because basically because of Laurie being in the Steppenwolf Theatre and John being such a great actor, they knew a lot of great actors, so -- and they attracted them to the show.

I remember my favorite Shelley Winters story, when she says to her assistant, she screams across the stage, "Who was that guy I slept with the night the war ended?" That was just my favorite.

KING: Did you feel with all these great actors around, a little out of place?

BARR: Yes, at first I did but I think that I learned to hold my own with them and I think that I became, you know, I became a good actor, too. I learned from -- you know, you can't help it if you learn from people of that ilk. Laurie Metcalf is like the greatest actress in the world, I really think so and so do a lot of other great actor people think that of her, and so is John, so I mean you're going to learn.

KING: Yes, John Goodman is.

BARR: John's stupefyingly brilliant. And just to be around them and work with, it rubs off on you a little.

KING: It makes you better. Would you come back to television?

BARR: I would come back to television, definitely. Why did I say that? Sometimes I would, Larry. And then sometimes I don't. I could never have the energy to do that again, but sometimes I think I will. And sometimes you know, it sounds good. A lot of people talk to me all the time about it. Sometimes it sounds good, I might.

KING: You had a brilliant show.

BARR: I did have a brilliant show. I was part of a brilliant show.

KING: Terrific writers, how many writers did you have?

BARR: We went to about 100 and some writers. A lot of them weren't writers when I gave them their jobs. A lot of them were just comics that were making $15 an night.

But I always felt that it was easier to take a funny person and teach them to write television than to take somebody who was a television writer and make them funny. And I discovered a lot of great writers that went on to do a lot of great shows like "Seinfeld," "Friends," you know, "Three and a Half Men." A lot of people in television who've had successful shows claim the "Roseanne" show as their starting place and I'm really proud of that.

KING: All right, in a couple of minutes we will meet the kids who are part of "Rockin' With Roseanne: Calling All Kids!" But first Anderson Cooper with a preview of tonight's "A.C. 360."

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much. Coming up at the top of the hour, a potential break in the search for two people, one of them a father who was allowed out of jail to donate a kidney to his critically ill son, those are them there. Instead of donating the kidney, he fled with his girlfriend and after seeing our report last night, someone actually came forward with a lead on the possible location of these two. So we have new developments in the investigation. We'll bring you that.

Also, police chases, which happen almost every day here in southern California. In fact, this one was today. You might be surprised at how little the police are actually trained for these high-speed pursuits. Tonight on 360, Rick Sanchez takes us behind the wheel at a police training center. All that and more, at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Larry.

KING: Thank you, Anderson. Great having you with us here in Los Angeles, Mr. Cooper has arrived on the Left Coast. We'll be right back with Roseanne and the kids. Don't go away.


BARR: So that's our will there, huh?

GOODMAN: OK, I was curious about what might happen to my wife and family if I hadn't have been so lucky.

BARR: Oh, come on, Dan, it's the middle of the night.

GOODMAN: Honey, I think we should talk about this. I mean what would happen if we both went at the same time, like in a plane crash?

BARR: We never go anywhere, Dan. A plane would actually have to crash into the sofa.






KING: Roseanne Barr has been with us many times. The last time she was joined by her sitcom family, but tonight it's the real deal. For the first time ever, she's on camera with all of her real live brood, all five of her children.

BARR: Yes, these are, three of these kids are the ones that were based on, you know, we based the sitcom characters on.

KING: OK, I'll say your name, you raise your hand. Jessica Pentlam (ph).


KING: Roseanne's daughter. Jake Pentlam (ph).


KING: Roseanne's son. Are you the oldest?


BARR: Brandy's (ph), the oldest kid.

KING: OK, Brandy Brown Kaufman (ph).


KING: That's you. You're the oldest kid.


KING: OK. Jenny Peltam Machala (ph).


KING: Close enough. And, well who's?

BARR: Buck Thomas (ph).

KING: Buck Thomas (ph).


KING: Hey, Buck (ph), baby. How old are you?


KING: And the little man here.


KING: Name?

BARR: Ethan.


KING: Ethan. How does this feel for you, Roseanne, to have this brood collected here?

BARR: Oh, it's just wonderful. It's always wonderful to be with my family.

KING: Did they all entertain...

BARR: It's so wonderful to have them here.

KING: Are they all on the DVD?

BARR: Yeah, they're all on the DVD. Well, Jessica's not on the DVD. She was more behind the scenes. But -- and Jake was behind the scenes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was one of the monsters.

BARR: Oh, you were the monster, with Michael Fishman (ph)?


BARR: That's right. You were the blue monster.


BARR: The rest of them are on it.

KING: Who are you, Buck?


BARR: He's in three of them.


BARR: Dancing and playing the drums.

KING: Was it hard to learn the songs?


UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: No, they're just songs.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We heard them about 1,000 times each, I think.

KING: Where did you shoot this?

BARR: We shot it in our own studio. I have my own studio, and you know, it's a family-run place, and that's where we do all our work every day, in our own little community.

KING: Who supplied the music? Did you have an orchestra, a band?

BARR: Most of the music is played by John Argent, who wrote most of the songs. He plays every instrument. And he played piano, drums, everything except guitar, so it was a real in-house family-based thing.

KING: Why didn't you work on it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have no ambition. I have two kids.

KING: Well put. Whose child is he?


KING: Do you want to be in show business?

BARR: You want to have a show, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told me he wanted to have a show like his granny. I said he can wait until he's as old as his granny to have his own show.

KING: And Buck, who is your mom?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: My mom is mom. That's my mom.

BARR: I'm all their moms, except for Ethan. I had all these five kids. All these five kids came right out of my womb.

KING: So except for Ethan...

BARR: Except for Ethan, who came out of Jenny.


BARR: So they're age from 10 to 34.

KING: It has to be asked. What kind of mother was she?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fantastic. She's a lot of fun. She's -- yeah. It was definitely never dull, I'll tell you that.

KING: Even as wild as she is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yeah, definitely.

KING: Jake?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excellent mother. We're very close.

BARR: Thank you very much. (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Buck?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In hindsight, it was good.

KING: What kind of mom was she?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was -- she was a great mother. Now that I have kids too, I understand what a great mother she was.

KING: That's really good to hear.

And you, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Same thing. We had rough patches when I was a teenager for sure, but now it's a really special relationship.


BARR: It is. It's so wonderful, and like you could see how wonderful -- we have a great sense of humor. We kid each other. There's a lot of fat jokes that we throw back and forth at each other. Almost our whole relationship is based on fat jokes.


BARR: And eating.


KING: But all of you are slim. All of you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a waist up interview.

KING: We'll be right back. Look for it everywhere, "Rockin' With Roseanne."

BARR: At Target, Larry, my favorite store. Target.

KING: You love Target?

BARR: I love Target, because -- and now that I'm 53, I'm living my beliefs, and Target is a great store.

KING: OK, you can get it at Target. I guess it better be at Target. We'll be right back. Don't go away.



KING: We're back with the Barr group. "Rockin' With Roseanne," the DVD is "Calling All Kids!"

How do you know, Buck, when your mother is being funny or not?


BARR: It's hard to tell, isn't it?

KING: Do you take her seriously?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Buck's the funny one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, he might be the funniest.

KING: How do you like grandma Roseanne?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, he's talking to me, sorry. What do you think of granny?





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's funny, huh?

BARR: You guys are cute.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They love their granny.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was fun. It was fun to see everybody kind of do it. They were awesome. They were in a lot of the videos dancing and playing instruments and Jenny was cute as the nurse. And it was a lot of fun.

BARR: Wasn't it fun?


BARR: It was fun every single day to go to work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was the most fun I've had with you guys, because it was structured enough that we didn't get in many fights, and we had to work together. It was really fun.

KING: What do you do...

BARR: I'm very proud of it.

KING: What do you do on it?

BARR: Well, I'm doing the singing, and I'm a bratty child. I'm playing...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And she acts in it, too.

BARR: I just act like I'm in my second childhood and sing, and have fun with kids. We forced all the neighbor kids to be in it, too.

KING: Oh, there are other kids? BARR: Yeah, we had a great time.

KING: What do you do for a living, Jake?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I work for my mother, professional son.

BARR: He edited all of the videos. He's an editor.

KING: You keep it all in the family, don't you?

BARR: Well, yeah, like I say, I had to give birth to my perfect staff. I finally found the perfect staff, and I had to, you know, give them birth...

KING: And what do you do, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I watch the kids, literally.

KING: Literally watch the kids?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, I watch the little ones while all of the rest of them work.

KING: Do you work?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, I did, on the videos I did a lot of stuff.

BARR: The animation, the puppets she did.

KING: And you, darling?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I work in real estate in Colorado.

KING: Ah! Somebody who's not attached.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got it away! No, kidding. I'm the only one who doesn't -- well, I guess that's not true.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, I sing occasionally and I write. I sing on one of the videos with my cousin, Melissa.

KING: Would you like to see your mom come back to regular television?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aren't we all over TV, didn't we have that talk?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe a film or some more standup.


BARR: You'd like to see me back on TV?


BARR: He's just watching the "Roseanne" show now. He's like, mom, did you know you were that fat?

KING: You guys like watching your mom?


KING: Too fat?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: No, it's just not funny. I don't think it's funny.

KING: Not funny?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: You can tell the joke's coming.

BARR: That's what sitcoms (INAUDIBLE)...


KING: Those 100 writers are dismissed.


KING: Thank you all very much.

BARR: Thank you.

KING: Good luck with this, Roseanne (INAUDIBLE). Good luck, kids.

BARR: Say thank you.


KING: You're your mother's son.

The DVD is "Rockin' With Roseanne, Calling All Kids!"

Tomorrow night, a distinct change of pattern. Sir Paul McCartney and Lady Heather Mills McCartney will be our special guests. The McCartneys tomorrow night on "LARRY KING LIVE."


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