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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Cast of "Roseanne"

Aired October 07, 2005 - 21:00   ET


JOHN GOODMAN, "DAN CONNER": Why didn't you tell me?

ROSEANNE BARR, "ROSEANNE CONNER": Because there's lots of stuff I don't tell you honey. That's the glue that keeps our little family together.

ALICIA GORANSON, "BECKY CONNER": Mom, DJ and Darlene are killing each other.

BARR: What's the bad news?


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, exclusive, the cast of the classic show "Roseanne."


BARR: My feet hurt and I got periodic bouts of depression but other than that I'm fine.


KING: Reunited for the first time on TV since that beloved show rewrote the sitcom rules.


BARR: Darlene, why don't you leave and come back when you're about 40?


KING: Roseanne Barr, John Goodman and the rest of their TV family together again and taking your calls. It's next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We're bringing them back tonight. We're going to have a lot of fun, great Friday night idea, the whole cast of "Roseanne" assembled here in our studios in Los Angeles.

They are Roseanne, who played Roseanne Conner for nine seasons. Season one of "Roseanne" by the way is just released on DVD. Season two will be out in December. John Goodman, one of my favorite people, played Roseanne's husband Dan coming back to prime time later this month. Why is that funny? He's coming back to prime time later this month in a new series called "Center of the Universe" and he will play Big Daddy in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles opening the end of October.

Sara Gilbert, who played Roseanne and Dan's daughter Darlene stars in an upcoming TV series "Twins." Her sister is Melissa Gilbert.

Here in Los Angeles as well is Alicia Goranson who played Roseanne's daughter Becky Conner.


KING: Alicia, sorry.

GORANSON: That's cool.

KING: Alicia Goranson, who played Roseanne's daughter Becky Conner-Healy. She stars in an independent film called "Ludlow" which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

And finally, Michael Fishman, who played DJ Conner in "Roseanne." What are you doing now?

MICHAEL FISHMAN, "DJ CONNER": Kind of looking back towards getting back in the industry.

KING: What have you been doing since?

FISHMAN: I have a wife and two kids, so I've been -- I've been being a dad.

KING: You're kidding?

BARR: Is that amazing?

KING: You look like you were just bar mitzvahed. You have a wife and two kids?


BARR: He sure does.

KING: Wow.

GOODMAN: That makes me a showbiz grandpa and I don't like it one darn bit.

KING: We may or may not have a surprise guest later. Roseanne, how did all this start?

BARR: What?

KING: What.

BARR: The whole show?

KING: No, that's what we're talking about. How did the show start?

BARR: Well, I was -- I did stand up comedy and, you know, I got real lucky and Carsey Warner liked me in stand up so they said they were going to do a sitcom with me. And, then we like, you know, found all these great people.

KING: And whose idea was it to make it sort of like a blue collar family?

BARR: Well that's kind of like what my stand up was like, so it was based on my stand up.

KING: So it is like...

BARR: My stand up act was...

KING: Ray Romano's stand up is based on his family.

BARR: Well, mine wasn't based on Ray Romano's family but mine was based on my own family, what do you think was that funny?

GOODMAN: We'd still be on.

KING: How did you...

GOODMAN: (INAUDIBLE) got canceled didn't they?


GOODMAN: That guy killed somebody.

KING: They retired.

BARR: No, that was...

GOODMAN: No, the big guy killed somebody.

BARR: He killed somebody?

GOODMAN: Yes, they...

BARR: Brad Garrett killed somebody.

GOODMAN: ...took them off the air, yes.

KING: No, he didn't.

BARR: Really, I thought that was Kelsey Grammer.

GOODMAN: All right.

KING: Mr. Goodman.

GOODMAN: Yes, sir.

KING: How did you get on this show?

GOODMAN: I responded to an audition.

KING: They auditioned you?

GOODMAN: They axed me.

BARR: Yes, they did.

GOODMAN: No, they said, "You've heard of Roseanne Barr" and at this time I was spending an inordinate amount of time at the Improv bar so I knew who she was.

KING: At the bar.

GOODMAN: And you were doing pizza commercials at the time.

BARR: I was, yes.

GOODMAN: So, I mean she was real -- this was after the crest of the sitcom boom when everybody was like had, you know, the store was open and the Improv was open.

BARR: When every -- all the comics, yes that's right.

GOODMAN: And, they said "Do you want to come and read for this thing?" And I was -- I had been living out of a suitcase for a couple years doing...

KING: Really?

GOODMAN: ...motion pictures, that ilk, regional theater. Anyway, they (INAUDIBLE) and as soon as, I don't know I've been telling people this but as soon as I got there and we started goofing around I kind of knew I had it.

BARR: Yes, I knew you had it too.


KING: Did you do the selecting Roseanne because it was your baby, fight?

BARR: Well, they -- well, yes.

GOODMAN: Karen Mandevoc (ph) and you.

BARR: Yes, I mean I had a -- I mean I got a voice in it. I wasn't the, you know, only person choosing but everybody could see like...

KING: He belonged. BARR: Me and him knew right away that we were going (INAUDIBLE).

GOODMAN: Something happened, yes. It was like I walked out of there and I just, I felt like I nailed it.

BARR: You did nail it.

GOODMAN: And I felt good about it because the script was good. It was a great premise except for the wooden boats in the garage and that stuff.

BARR: Yes.

GOODMAN: That went.

BARR: Yes. Like he made me...

KING: You were more an actor than an Improv comic right?

BARR: No, no, no, no.

GOODMAN: No, I didn't know...

BARR: Let me talk now be quiet a minute a minute.

GOODMAN: Yes, ma'am.

KING: I'll get to you kids in a minute.

BARR: And he was so funny. He was like a comic because us comics we're very, what do you call it, arrogant. We only like other comics. But he was like as good as a comic.

KING: Really?

GOODMAN: I appreciated good comics but I lacked the testicular fortitude to get up and do it man I -- she loved to bomb.

BARR: But he'd do the Improv.

GOODMAN: She loved to bomb. She'd go "Come on down and see me at the store. I'm going to get up and I'm going to lay an egg tonight." And I go, "You're out of your damn mind." But she'd get up there and she'd bomb on purpose. She'd take a dive and she'd get out of that (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Look where it got her.


KING: Sara, how did you get cast?

SARA GILBERT, "DARLENE CONNER": Same kind of thing, audition. My mom was working at an agency at the time and I think that she wasn't my covering agent but I don't think I was submitted and she saw it and said, "Oh, she'd be so perfect for this." KING: Did you have to audition for "Roseanne"?

BARR: Yes.


BARR: And she was so perfect too because she reminded me of my real kids, you know, my bratty, the one that I had.

KING: How old were you at the time?

GILBERT: Thirteen.

GOODMAN: Scuffy.

BARR: But she looked like she was nine and she had like a real, a really good attitude (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Alicia, how did you get it?

GORANSON: I was living in Evanston, Illinois and I was taking theater classes down the street and our theater school was kind of affiliated with an agency and so I went on one audition for whatever that movie was "My Stepmother is an Alien" or whatever it was and Roseanne was my second audition.

KING: And you had to fly out to L.A. for it?


BARR: But the minute I saw her too I loved her.

KING: Her too?

BARR: Because she was real feisty like my own kids.

KING: How old were you?

GOODMAN: She's a spitfire.

GORANSON: I was 13 as well and I was in there when -- with Sara and she was just -- she just blew our minds.

BARR: Yes.

GORANSON: I mean she was so, so smart.

KING: So, you had a -- did you live out here Sara?

GILBERT: Yes, I did.

KING: You had to change your whole life then? You had to move from Evanston?

GORANSON: Yes, I did.

KING: What about your parents?

GORANSON: They were out with me for like a year and a half and then I was here on my own. I had a guardian.

KING: Really?


KING: And, Michael, how did you get it?

FISHMAN: Purely by accident. I think we did everything wrong we could have. My parents didn't want me to be an actor, maybe a few commercials here and there and I went to one of the auditions and met Roseanne and found out later that she pushed for me the whole way through because I had done nothing.

KING: How old were you?

BARR: Five.

FISHMAN: Five, five and a half.

BARR: He was so cute too. He told me a joke I'll always remember and he had a little bowtie and I thought oh he's so cute so I had to have him.

KING: Did you have a pushy mother or a non-pushy?

FISHMAN: No, a non and I think in many ways that probably worked in my favor just because we weren't, you know, a television oriented family. We had no knowledge. I think we did everything wrong we could have and, you know, said we couldn't make it to call backs because both my parents worked full time the whole time I worked and they didn't have time and didn't expect to have to kind of rearrange their lives.

KING: How long did the show last?

BARR: Nine years.

KING: Nine years.

BARR: Yes.

KING: And we'll talk about its success, why it was successful, how it worked, why it went off. We'll be taking your calls. We'll be right back.


GOODMAN: Is there coffee?

BARR: Isn't there coffee every morning?


BARR: In the 15 years we've been married has there ever been one morning where there wasn't any coffee?


BARR: Then why do you have to ask me every morning if there's coffee?

GOODMAN: Is there toast?

BARR: What's going on with you?

GORANSON: Our school is having a food drive for poor people.

BARR: Well tell them to drive some of that food over here.




GILBERT: You stand on the end of the board. I'll jump on it and shoot you in the air, OK?




BARR: Freeze right there. What did I tell you about killing your brother in the living room?


KING: An amazing show "Roseanne." By the way it won a Peabody. Not many sitcoms have done that, multiple Emmy nominations and wins during its run, multiple Golden Globes.

BARR: Actually, no Emmy nominations ever, Larry.

KING: It says multiple Emmy nominations and wins.


GOODMAN: Well for the cast.

BARR: For the cast but not for the show.

KING: For the cast.


BARR: But the cast, yes.

KING: Oh, for individual members of the cast, Emmys.

GOODMAN: Laurie always copped them.

BARR: Laurie always won.

KING: Why did it work?

BARR: Why did the show work? Well, I think because of the cast, you know. We had good material. It was funny.

GOODMAN: It was -- it was different. We were at a time when there was a lot of glamour shows out.

BARR: That's true.

GOODMAN: We kind of hit the wall there but one thing Rose insisted on was even because -- even though we were portraying poor people we're not stupid.

BARR: Right, exactly.

GOODMAN: And that was I think the most important thing that we laid down.

KING: Why do you think it worked, Sara?

GILBERT: I think that it worked because Roseanne always wanted everything to be very real and I think that helped and I think she chose people that she thought could convey that. And then I also think it worked because there were so many people we were representing in the country that weren't being represented on television, so that was, you know, everybody was sort of waiting for that I think.

BARR: Oh, I think that's true, yes.

KING: Alicia.

GORANSON: I just think people identified with the characters and the dynamics. You know when people come up to me on the street they say, "Oh, I could never talk to my dad like you talk to your dad" or "That conversation with your mom on the show was just something that I had with my mom," you know. And I think that for some families that don't talk about certain things that it was -- it was therapeutic for them to see a dysfunctional situation where you could laugh. The people -- we had fun, you know.

GOODMAN: Boy, did we have fun.

KING: Michael as a 5-year-old could you appreciate this? Weren't you too young to know or weren't you just sort of there?

FISHMAN: You know, you think you would be. I think I got to learn from all of these people because you grow up seeing them every day and so my vision of it I guess is probably different. I think watching -- watching Roseanne work and tear apart a script on a daily basis and watching, you know, the staff of writers recreate something every day all the way to the end of the week having something that was amazing. You know I think that's why we worked so well is (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Didn't you as a 5-year-old forget things?

FISHMAN: Actually, my memory actually probably was more the other way. I had a tendency to kind of try and remind other people, you know.


FISHMAN: Every once in a while...

GOODMAN: No, he was the sharpest pencil in the cup.

FISHMAN: They'd go to take a dramatic pause and every once in a while I'd try to help them with their line.

KING: That's amazing for a 5-year-old.

GOODMAN: No, he was spot on.

BARR: He was an amazing kid.

KING: Roseanne, how about all the stories that you were a tyrant?

BARR: Ha, ha, they're all true.

KING: You were?

BARR: Absolutely. Well, I think that you can say tyrant or you could say a person who actually has a vision. It depends on if you're male or female. If you're a male, you have a vision and if you're female, then you're a tyrant.

KING: Because they had all those stories about you.

BARR: I know but all the guys were way worse than me but I'm the one that got stuck with it.

KING: True, John?

GOODMAN: No, she -- Christ, I mean heck if it wasn't for her...

KING: There would be no show.

GOODMAN: ...there would be no vision. If you want a polite show, you know, we would have lasted six months. We had to have comedy. We had to have conflict. And she is still the best person I know that I've ever seen tear down a script, cut the pad off the script, get to the point and do it funny and do it right and you don't have a lot of time. You've got a week to get this stuff done. So, if she was a little abrupt with people, that's the way to go.

KING: Did it ever bother you?

GOODMAN: Pardon me? KING: Did it ever bother you?

GOODMAN: No, sir, because I knew what was coming on. I knew what was happening.

KING: Did you bring the skills of stand up to this?

BARR: Oh, sure, yes. I mean, yes, that's comedy, you know. I mean writing a joke is like writing a script just a longer version of it.

KING: Sometimes you weren't being an actress. You'd look off and sort of laugh.

GOODMAN: That was part of the gas of the show is because I think George Clooney said something about that one time. He said he dug it because if we thought something was funny we'd laugh.

BARR: We did, yes.

KING: Yes, you did.

BARR: Yes.

GOODMAN: And it fit. It fit into the style of the show.

BARR: Well, I think that people in real life laugh while they're yelling. I mean they do.

KING: You think they do.

BARR: And we just wanted it to be real.

FISHMAN: I think that one of the things that helped with the leadership there is she pushed for a lot of shows that never would have made it on the air if she hadn't fought for them. You know we did shows that were normal, you know, shows about the girl, shows about the kids as they grew up and things that nobody else would talk about and that they didn't want us to talk about.

KING: You mean the network or the suits?


BARR: Yes, everybody.

GOODMAN: We got rid of -- I'm sorry Mike.

FISHMAN: Go ahead. Go ahead.

GOODMAN: We got rid of a lot of what I found -- I've tried two other shows since this and we got rid of a lot of dead wood that -- people that didn't belong there making little comments about our progression every week. They were gone.

KING: Suits? GOODMAN: They were not allowed, yes, they were not allowed on the set so we could...

BARR: That was awful, man.

GOODMAN: We could be creative and, you know...

KING: You like that, huh Roseanne?

BARR: Well, I did.

KING: You, out!

BARR: No, I did because the show...

GOODMAN: It was necessary.

BARR: It's because the show had weight. It wasn't because I did. The show was number one and so it was like, man, this is the one -- this is the one shot I'm never going to get in my life, you know, and I mean I grew up poor, so it was like I knew it was my shot. So, it was cool when it tipped our way a little and we'd go, "You know what, you can't come here no more." It was awesome.

KING: The show took a lot of chances. And when we come back in the next segment, we'll show you one. The cast of Roseanne reunited. Don't go away.


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

GORANSON: To use a plate?

BARR: Right. All that lovey-dovey crap is a dead giveaway. It's fighting that keeps a marriage together.

GOODMAN: Boy, if that's true you and me will be together forever.

BARR: Men are dogs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, they are. Roseanne, they are dogs.

BARR: Come on, you've got to give a guy his dreams. Then he won't notice that you control his reality.

When I speak, I'm speaking for all of womankind.



KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE. We're talking about "Roseanne," nine years a major hit. They're losing themselves during the breaks and we don't know if Goodman will make it to the end.

Anyway, the show never steered away from controversial topics. For example, it's hard to believe this now. There was a big fuss over this. This was March, 1994. The episode was titled "Don't Ask Don't Tell." The other pair of lips belonged to Mariel Hemingway. People protested. There were boycotts, battles within the network. Watch what was all the fuss.


MARIEL HEMMINGWAY: You know, Roseanne, we ought to hang out more often.

BARR: I was thinking that too but next time let's leave the wives at home.

HEMMINGWAY: You read my mind.

BARR: Huh?



KING: OK. All right, guys, that was enormous, major front page. How much went into that? How much did you think about? I mean how much did the networks get involved?

GOODMAN: You're not talking about rehearsal time?

BARR: How much did the network what do you mean?

KING: I mean what did you go through?

BARR: They didn't want us to do it is that what you mean?

KING: Yes.

BARR: Yes, they didn't and then they threatened not to show it and every other thing, so I just went, "Well, don't show it and then I could go to all the press and talk about how you don't show it, so that you know it will be even bigger." So they showed it and, you know, they ran with it. They go, "Oh, yes," so they kind of like made a fuss and everybody watched it.

KING: What did you think of it Sara?

GILBERT: I thought it was great. I mean I thought the great thing about our show is that we were always trying to push political boundaries, social boundaries.

KING: Alicia?

GORANSON: I don't think I was there for that one, yes. I think I was at college.

KING: You left the show?

GORANSON: I did. I did.

KING: What did you think of it?

GORANSON: I was completely against it. It really (INAUDIBLE).

KING: So...

GORANSON: I just don't believe in that kind of thing. I'm a good Christian, you know.

KING: What did you think Michael?

FISHMAN: You know for me...

BARR: That was funny.

FISHMAN: You know I think that was one of the few times where early in the week I didn't understand what was going on and what the big fight was over it and, you know, as you get to the episode and you see, you know, that was the best thing I think about our show is that we didn't just hit a tough topic and kind of do it to get publicity. We did it well and we did it (INAUDIBLE).

BARR: Could I say something about that show? Can I butt in?


BARR: Just so I could say...

KING: And then I'll get John.

BARR: Everyone always says that lesbian kiss show but it wasn't. It was a show about homophobia. It was about Roseanne like having a big mouth and always talking about being liberal but then being herself like really, you know, homophobic.

GOODMAN: When the whip comes down.

KING: Yes, that's true.

BARR: They always leave that part out.

KING: John, what did you think of the whole...

GOODMAN: I thought it was...

BARR: You thought it was hot.

GOODMAN: Man, I can't say what I would normally say. I was for it.

KING: And you often dealt with gay topics right?

GOODMAN: Yes. BARR: Yes, I have a lot of gay people in my family so I thought it was important to get that on my show too.

GOODMAN: Freddy Willard and Martin and...

KING: Martin Mull, yes.

BARR: Well, they're not gay in real life.

GOODMAN: No, but they acted like it.


BARR: They did actually.

GOODMAN: No, they were a married couple and...

KING: Do you all believe we've come a long way, except for you Alicia who probably doesn't like that we came along?

GORANSON: I don't. No, I -- yes, we have come a long way.

GOODMAN: I like to watch cartoons. I watch "Law and Order" and go to bed.

BARR: I like the murder shows. I like the "Forensic Files" and those kind of shows about murder.

KING: But I mean don't you like...

GOODMAN: And we like our Halloween shows.

BARR: We like those best of all.


KING: Don't you like how far we've come as a society?

BARR: No, not really.

GORANSON: We've come far as a society?

KING: You don't think we have?

GORANSON: We have?

GOODMAN: 1953 man.

BARR: We haven't come far at all.

KING: None of you think we've come far?

GORANSON: Not right now.

GOODMAN: That's scary. FISHMAN: You know in my opinion I think we've come a long way but we still fight a lot of the same battles just because I think people aren't -- it takes a long time for change to really happen.

KING: You don't think so Alicia?

GORANSON: I think right now we're in a pretty bad way.

BARR: Yes.

GORANSON: I just think, I mean I personally don't think that our show could come on right now because we're so fascinated by rich people.

BARR: That is exactly right and it's all models that can't get laid.

GORANSON: That's right.

BARR: So that makes me mad. If they can't get laid, what hope is there for normal people who are fat and out of shape and every other thing?

GOODMAN: You can't get laid for $50 all right.

KING: (INAUDIBLE). Are you saying that like "All in the Family" couldn't happen today?

BARR: No, she's -- yes.

GOODMAN: Oh, gees there. No, no, no, no it couldn't.


KING: It couldn't happen today.

GOODMAN: It would not happen.

GORANSON: Look what's popular.

GOODMAN: People would be with their 1849 demo and lose their soap contract or their...

BARR: No, but it is all about rich people and people are like waitresses and they're living in these penthouses. It's all the same BS it was in the '50s.

KING: All right. The show declined in its last year when you won a lottery and got rich. Was that a mistake Roseanne?

BARR: What?

KING: The winning the lottery and changing the...

BARR: That's what I wanted to do. The debate rages on.

GOODMAN: There you go.

BARR: It's like people are going (INAUDIBLE) but hey that's what I wanted to do and I did it and, you know, I had the power to do what I wanted to do...

KING: I know.

BARR: ...which no artist in television has anymore the power to do what they want to do and to say what they want to say and I had it and I did it and I'm proud of it and, yes, I won the lottery in my real life and since the show is about my real family, it was only fitting to me that they did win the lottery.

KING: You won the lottery?

BARR: Well, I got my TV show, hell yes.

KING: You got your -- yes. Did you like the idea Michael?

FISHMAN: Can I say one thing about that?

KING: Yes.

FISHMAN: I think you could pick one thing and you can decide that you didn't -- maybe fans didn't like because it changed our lifestyle but the fact is that she took a chance on the original lifestyle and we took chances every year and some of them were a huge success.


FISHMAN: And you can't make everybody happy all the time.

BARR: When I did that last season the way I did it, it was like I knew that nobody was going to get it for 20 years and like now people come up to me now and they're like, "Gees, you know, I've looked at that last episode especially in the last season in a different way" and I'm like I know they will because I was saying something about how different a world it is to have money in this country and not have money in this country.

And that's a very important thing for me to have said and I wanted to say it. And, especially now when you look at this country and see it is divided not red, blue, not red and blue, not religion but rich and poor. It's very divided along that and I'm glad I got to comment on that. That's social reality.

KING: It was always the (INAUDIBLE) but it was always funny right? That was the first concept.

BARR: It wasn't always funny. It was serious sometimes too.

GOODMAN: Yes, we did some serious stuff.

GILBERT: And the thing I really liked, I've seen a couple I've watched recently and I think like we actually got to talk and a lot of times that doesn't happen on sitcoms. They didn't care if every scene had a million jokes all the time. We just got to have conversations or there were episodes that weren't huge plots. They were just small stories, small emotional stories that we told.

BARR: I wanted it to be as close to like a real family as it could be on TV because when I was a little girl and I would watch TV and they would have these families that were nothing like my family, looked nothing like my family, lived in no house like I ever saw, you know, I just was like it hurt me as a kid to see that on TV because I thought, oh, I'm not that. I'm not that. I'm not that.

And always since I was a kid and I wanted to be a comic and be on TV it was still I could go, hey for that little fat girl that's watching here's somebody like you. And, you know, for these people who aren't perfect and they're not like -- they don't solve their problems. They're not "Father Knows Best." They're not in the establishment. They're on the outskirts. They're disenfranchised people, hey, these are your airwaves too man.

KING: We're going to take a break. By the way, what was his occupation in "Father Knows Best"?


GOODMAN: He was an insurance salesman.

KING: He was?

GOODMAN: Yes, Jim Anderson.

KING: He wasn't...

GOODMAN: In Springfield.

KING: I never quite knew. We'll take a break and we'll be back and include your phone calls with the cast of "Roseanne."

Tab Hunter Monday night.

GOODMAN: Hot dog.

KING: Out of the closet.

BARR: I love him.

KING: "Battle Cry."

GOODMAN: Yes, yes, man.

KING: We'll be right back. Don't go away.

GOODMAN: Warner Brothers stable.


BARR: There's bound to be an undiscovered masterpiece in here. GOODMAN: Trust me they all suck mud. Face it baby I'm a small time...

GORANSON: Please don't embarrass me, please!

BARR: Oh, honey, there's no way.




GILBERT: But dad.

GOODMAN: Don't dad me, young lady. I don't want to hear another word.

BARR: Where have you been?

GOODMAN: Standing in front of South Elementary gym for the last hour looking for your daughter.

GILBERT: Mom, I couldn't help it. The band room was locked.

GOODMAN: For 45 minutes? I thought you were kidnapped.

GILBERT: I wish I had been.

BARR: Well, go up to your room and leave the window open, maybe you'll get lucky.


KING: We're back with the cast of "Roseanne," for nine years a major television hit, number one for a long time. We're now going to include your phone calls as we bring the cast back together. Elsmere,Kentucky, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Can you hear me?

KING: Hello.


CALLER: Hi, Roseanne. I grew up watching your show with my sister, Michelle, and my mom, Sandra. And we just love it.

BARR: Cool. Thank you.

CALLER: And my question is, why -- I heard that Becky said she left to go to college. But, was it in her contract or something that when she was finished with college if she wanted to return to the show she could? And where is Mark? And where is Jackie?

BARR: Well, that's three questions. KING: OK. Well, answer them.

BARR: Well, I don't know. And I don't know. And Mark, unfortunately, he died.

KING: Oh, yes.

BARR: Yes.

KING: And who went away to college?

BARR: His name is Glenn.

GOODMAN: No, Glenn didn't go away to college. He passed away about four years ago.

BARR: Yes, he was a great person.

FISHMAN: He was an amazing person.

KING: Springfield, Illinois, hello.

CALLER: Hey Roseanne. Hey everybody. Roseanne, you look great.

KING: Yes, you do.

BARR: Oh, thanks.

CALLER: I bought the season one DVD of "Roseanne." And I noticed that you guys used the edited syndicated version.

BARR: I know everybody is so mad. You guys, I don't know if you guys have heard.

GOODMAN: I wouldn't know.

CALLER: How come? And are you going to fix that for season two?

BARR: Yes, we ...

KING: Explain what he means.

BARR: Well, they, I don't know, they -- for season one for some reason they accidentally put out the syndicated, edited ...

GOODMAN: OK. Yes. So ...

BARR: But they have assured me today that from season two on, it will be the regular network.

GOODMAN: I'm sorry, I thought all that stuff was at the, like the bumpers at the end and stuff like that. Remember we'd go to -- I'm sorry ...

BARR: We didn't start that until third season.


KING: What did they edit out for syndication?

BARR: They always take out two minutes when they syndicate, for more commercials. But, so they went ahead and put that in, but people are mad, the fans. So we're making sure, you know, that from the second season on, it's the original run.

KING: Do you ever think, before we take the next call, do you ever think, Sara, when a show is this popular and no matter what you do in life and you may have a lot of successful runs in other things, you're always going to be the kid on "Roseanne?"

GILBERT: Yes, I mean, I think there's no getting around that nor would I want to. I mean, I'm really proud to have been a part of this group of people and this show. And I think that you can't really compare in life, you just move forward and do next thing you're passionate about or attached to and not really think about how it's perceived.

KING: Alicia?

GORANSON: Well, it could have been a lot worse. You know, it was a good thing to be associated with, I think, relatively.

KING: You're a girl after my own heart. You live in Brooklyn?

GORANSON: I'm single Larry.

KING: You live in the Red Hook section?


KING: And when I lived in Brooklyn, Red Hook was tough.

GORANSON: You got to be tough.

GOODMAN: How tough was it, Larry?

GORANSON: You so got to be tough, Larry. It hasn't changed in that regard. You got to be, you got to be hardcore.

BARR: She is core, look at her.

KING: And you live there.


GOODMAN: She's intense.

GORANSON: Represent Red Hook.

GOODMAN: She has the scariest eyes. When she was a little ...

BARR: She scared a child more than once.

GOODMAN: Yes, she was a very frightening child.

GORANSON: You guys called me the bad seed, I think.

GILBERT: Did you?

GOODMAN: To your face, yes, that you know of.

KING: Uniontown, Ohio, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Roseanne, I wanted to first off tell you, you look great and say hello to everybody and I wanted to tell -- ask you if -- have you had plastic surgery?

BARR: Yes.

KING: Do you have a follow-up dear? Where did she go?

GOODMAN: It is dear isn't it?

KING: What? What's the follow-up?

CALLER: Are you talking to me? I just wanted to say that we are the Connors of the year 2005.

BARR: Well, there's a lot more of you.

KING: Are you going to come back? Would you come back with another show?

BARR: No. Unless, it was porn. I have been doing a lot of porn and I'm enjoying it. I'm, like, in this kind of a new genre, geriatric porn.

KING: John, we're going to let that slide by, John ...

BARR: I like it, it's fulfilling.

KING: Would you do another sitcom?

GOODMAN: I had a couple of shots out of the box. Unless we could -- I can't -- you can't repeat anything. My -- you know, I'll pretty much do anything for money. But, you can't, you can't repeat it man. The genie's back in the bottle and I don't think so.

KING: You're a great actor, you know. You were a great Babe Ruth ...

GOODMAN: Thank you, sir.

KING: And Al Pacino thinks you are one of the best actors ...


BARR: He is.

GOODMAN: Yes. KING: Sara, you're doing episodic television.


KING: You're back. What is "Twins" about?

GILBERT: "Twins" is about two fraternal twins who are complete opposites. So, I'm kind of the more brainy, nerdy, intellectual twin. And my twin sister is the model and we run our parent's lingerie business and our parents are like us, they are opposites.

BARR: Did she get the good reviews though? They are unbelievable.

KING: Yes.

BARR: One of them said the only reason to have a TV this season is because of Sara Gilbert.


BARR: How's that.

GILBERT: What's that?

KING: What network?



KING: Alicia, what is "Ludlow?"

GORANSON: "Love, Ludlow?" It's an independent film I did last year with -- starring myself and David Eigenberg, who is on "Sex and the City." And Brendan Sexton III. What, John?

GOODMAN: She's scarier than hell, man.

BARR: She is scary. How great was Leesy (ph) in that "Boys Don't Cry" movie? Oh my God, she was awesome great in there.

KING: Would you come back to sitcoms?

GORANSON: Do you have an offer? Larry, I don't even have an agent right now.

KING: You don't have an agent?

GORANSON: I'm so out of the industry, man. I got to get back.

KING: Why are you out of the industry? He's out of the industry.

GORANSON: Red Hook is tough, you know.

FISHMAN: Yes, but I'm looking to get back.

KING: You left the industry.

FISHMAN: You know what, I would do another show in a heartbeat. Part of my thing is I am trying to come up with ideas for shows to try and work my way back in both as a writer -- and you know what I had such a great experience. I think that when you do something and it's this positive. When you can go back years after not seeing each other and still start over, you know, like you've never left each other. I think that's what, you can't mess that up.

KING: You got married real young?


BARR: He sure did.

KING: We'll be right back with the cast of "Roseanne." Don't go away.

BARR: You sure did.


BARR: Look me in the eye and tell me you didn't buy that bell.

GOODMAN: I didn't buy that bell.


GOODMAN: Ask not for whom the bell tolls.

BARR: It tolls for thee, butthead.




GOODMAN: I was just trying to explain to the child that I know how terrifying nightmares can be.

GILBERT: Can everybody shut up about nightmares? I didn't have a nightmare.

BARR: Well, then why did you have trouble falling to sleep?

GOODMAN: What, are you worried about your basketball game?

GILBERT: No, I wasn't worried about my basketball game.

BARR: Did you screw up in history again, Darlene?

GILBERT: No, I didn't screw up in history again.

BARR: Then what is the matter?

GILBERT: I got my period, OK?


KING: Wow.

GOODMAN: Oh, my god.

KING: Remember that one, Sara?


KING: Do you ever forget shows you did?

BARR: Well, what do you mean?

KING: You see one and say, oh, I don't remember that.

BARR: Oh, yes.

KING: All right, we said we might have a surprise guest.

BARR: We did 300 of them.

KING: We do have a surprise guest.

BARR: We can't believe it.

KING: Bring her on.

GOODMAN: Oh my God.

KING: Bonnie Bramlett is here.

GOODMAN: How are you?

BONNIE BRAMLETT, "BONNIE WATKINS": Oh, baby, I'm good (ph). I got to get over here.


BRAMLETT: How you doing, babies?

GOODMAN: You look like 110 buck, baby.

KING: Sit down, Bonnie.


BRAMLETT: Give me some sugar.

KING: Bonnie Bramlett, who played Bonnie Sheridan, Roseanne's co-worker for two seasons. All right, how did you get on this show? How did this happen?

BRAMLETT: Roseanne wanted me.

BARR: I'll tell how.

KING: Tell how.

BRAMLETT: You tell it.

BARR: I'll tell how. Well, when I was a girl 12 years old in my room and I put on my records and I would sing with this one voice and that was her. And the minute I knew that, I was famous and could get somebody, she's the one I wanted. And ...

KING: So what did you do call her out of the blue and say -- the show had been on, right?

BARR: Yes.

KING: And say what?

BARR: You're my favorite singer in the world and I'd love to you be on my show.

BRAMLETT: And I said, OK. I love that.

KING: Had you act before, Bonnie?

BONNIE: Never.

BARR: You were so good.

BRAMLETT: You know, I took a couple of acting classes. And you know, I did ...

BARR: I'm so happy to see you, I can't believe it. It's blowing my mind.

KING: When was the last time you saw each other?

BARR: What one year?

BRAMLETT: About a year ago, yes.

KING: I thought they were going to say, we had lunch today.

BRAMLETT: No, and it was ...

GOODMAN: Over at Nate & Al's (ph).

BRAMLETT: ... because I didn't know for sure that I was going to be the surprise. So it was like about an hour and a half before the show that I almost called had. And they said, no, don't call.

KING: We wanted to do a surprise for you, Roseanne.

BARR: That's so sweet of you. Thank you very much.


KING: We think of things like that.

BRAMLETT: Thank you.

KING: The staff, they sit up nights thinking.

BARR: But you are ...

BRAMLETT: We ought to give it to Larry too, because I was simulcasting from Nashville.

BARR: That's what -- yes.

BRAMLETT: But because I got here, I came for a reading or something, and you were so gracious, thank you, to keep me here and make sure I was here for the show. The staff is amazing.

KING: They're good people. We'll take a break.


KING: And all make lovey (ph), and then we'll come back and go to more phone calls. Keep on keeping on.

GOODMAN: Hi, baby.

BRAMLETT: You are ...

KING: Don't go away.


GOODMAN: They never run like that when I come home.

BARR: They do, Dan, it's just in the opposite direction.



GOODMAN: Feel this, baby. There's a 200 point game pulsating through these fingers.

BARR: Let's not waste it on bowling.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP): The only thing you've been doing for the last two weeks is just laying there watching TV and buffing out your nails.

BARR: How do they look?



BARR: What's that?


BARR: That lightning bolt you got hanging off your face. What did you do, pierce your ear again?


GOODMAN: How many holes in your head does it take to be accepted these days?


BARR: Well, three more and I'll use you to drain my spaghetti.


KING: By the way, Bonnie Bramlett, who is our surprise guest, has been at it. She has an album out, "Bonnie Bramlett and Mr. Groove Band: Roots, Blues, and Jazz."

GOODMAN: Hot dog.

BARR: Yes, hot dog.

KING: There you see its cover, and you can order it right from

BARR: We want to say hi to Laurie.



BARR: We love you, Laurie.

GOODMAN: Laurie, you're still attractive.


BRAMLETT: Tell your momma I say hi.

KING: Santa Rosa, California. Hello.



CALLER: Well, my original question was about who your favorite guest star ever was, but now that Bonnie's there, I really am wondering on the very last episode, there's a woman singing the song at the end. Is that Bonnie? Because I always thought that it was her voice.

BARR: No, that is not Bonnie. That's Phoebe Snow.


BARR: She did a great job, didn't she?

GOODMAN: Didn't she do a show?


GOODMAN: She was around.

BARR: She did it on my talk show.

BRAMLETT: Well, I've got to tell you though. When Phoebe was working with Leon Russell many years ago on an album called "Asylum Choir," she was Leon's secretary. And so she pitched me a song, and the song was called "Poetry Man." And she sang it to me and I was so overwhelmed, I mean, tears shot out. They didn't even hit my face. They went right to my glasses. You know what I mean, that overwhelmed?

BARR: I would -- if you're ever going to tell a story, tell about how you were one of the original cats (ph) with Tina Turner but you had to wear a man's ...


BRAMLETT: But to tell you the truth Phoebe was sitting at the secretary's desk, I said you need to cut that song, baby.

KING: By the way, when George Clooney was on, he was on what ...

BARR: Who?

GOODMAN: The Cloonster.

KING: First two seasons. Did you know he'd get big, Sara?

BARR: I did.

GILBERT: Yes, well, he -- you know, certain people you can just tell. They have that energy and like you can see the executives swarming in and you just feel like it's going to happen. And we was so -- he was and is so talented.

BARR: He's so talented, so handsome, but so funny.

KING: Nice guy, too.

BARR: Oh, very nice.

KING: Did you know him, Lecy?

GOODMAN: Oh, did he make us laugh.

GORANSON: Yes, we played basketball together. KING: Yes, that's all he does.


GORANSON: Super charming. Incredibly charming.

KING: So you're not surprised that he's become a major star.

BARR: No, not at all.

FISHMAN: I don't think anybody could be surprised by George. George always had that -- you just knew with him.

BARR: George, was so funny. I just want to say he is so funny.

GOODMAN: When he left, he took a little piece of my heart.


GORANSON: He's funnier than people know I think, yes.

BARR: He's brilliantly funny.

KING: What was it like to join the cast, to come in after a cast has been so established?

BRAMLETT: First of all, I was embraced. And I had the luck of the Irish to have that little fame cast to start me off with. But when Roseanne said, Bonnie, will you come and be on my show? I mean, i, of course. And I walked in. I was like green as the day -- this one made me a good luck beaded thing.

You children embraced me. And I have tell you something, for somebody, Darlene, remember, you told me to look up at the lights with my ice close, so I opened them it wouldn't make my eyes go red. Do you remember that?


BRAMLETT: So I learned ...

BARR: I remember your husband had a big sock in his pants.

BRAMLETT: No, that wasn't my husband. That was your husband.


BRAMLETT: Tom Arnold was trying to do an imitation of my husband. So he put a sock in his pants. My husband has the pants. Just kidding. You shouldn't have ticked that one off.

GOODMAN: She's my home girl.

BRAMLETT: That's my baby.

BARR: She's in St. Louis, too, her ... (CROSSTALK)

KING: St. Louis area.

GOODMAN: The greater St. Louis metropolitan area.

KING: We'll take a break, we'll be back with our remaining moments. The wildest return get together anywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There you're blushing.

KING: No, I just can't believe it's happening. The first rule of hosting a show is to keep the control. And somewhere in this hour, I lost control. We'll be right back.


BARR: You know when you married me that I had a sister.

GOODMAN: Yes, well, I didn't think she'd be here every weekend.

BARR: Oh hell, I didn't think I'd be here every weekend.



LAURIE METCALF, ACTOR: Your father's words are saying go home. But his body is saying that he loves and adores his sister-in-law.

GOODMAN: Hey, Jackie, read this.




GILBERT: He's into the front seat and it's not his turn.

BARR: All right. That's it. In the trunk with both of you.


GORANSON: Mom, tell her to get out of my chair.

GILBERT: Mom, tell her I was here first.

GORANSON: Mom, tell her she's lying.

BARR: D.J., tell your sisters to shut up.

FISHMAN: Shut up.




BARR: Bye.


BARR: Quick, they're gone. Change the locks.


KING: Tomorrow night, Peter Falk and Paul Reiser. Sunday night we'll repeat our interview with Christopher Kennedy Lawford and Tab Hunter on Monday night. Let's take another call. Stark, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Awesome. This is just like a dream come true. Roseanne is my favorite show of all time. And Roseanne, you are the queen of comedy.

BARR: Oh, you're sweet.

CALLER: John, I love you. I'm a fellow St. Louisan. I was born and raised in south St. Louis, and my question is, there were always Christmas lights on the house. Why were there no Christmas episodes?

GOODMAN: Because we never bothered to take the lights down, and that ties in some way with never having a Christmas episode.

BARR: No, it's because we were always off for Christmas. We should've thought of it. I don't know.

GOODMAN: Yes, we were in Florida getting a tan.

KING: So you never thought of doing a Christmas episode?

GOODMAN: Well, we had Halloween was our Christmas.

BARR: Yes, Halloween was our thing.

GOODMAN: We celebrated Halloween. Dedicated Satanists. Let's all celebrate Satan country style. I mean, we decided to make the big show.

BARR: In fact, remember we said that's the reason the Conners were poor because they had to save all their money up for Halloween.


GOODMAN: We spent $20,000 a year on Halloween. I mean, the boys going out and dance on the bar for change and pickled eggs.

KING: My son Chance likes Halloween better than Christmas. It's his favorite holiday. He likes ...

BARR: I like Halloween the best. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just more fun.

KING: Hammond, Louisiana. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Roseanne. I just want to say you look awesome.

BARR: You're a nice fan.

CALLER: And I just want to say you all look great. My question is, do you plan on doing any stand-up comedy the future?

BARR: I am doing stand-up comedy around the country in some select cities right now.

KING: What kind of -- concerts, or ...

BARR: I'm going to St. Louis, as a matter of fact in a week and a half.

GOODMAN: Hot puppies (ph). I'll make sure to warn and everybody. I mean ...

BARR: Then Chicago, and something else. I don't know.

KING: Now, what's that song he was singing?

BARR: He made it up.

GOODMAN: Oh no, you know what? I found out it was from an old Warner Brothers cartoon. That's where I got it.

BARR: It was real song?

KING: Do it. Do it. Do it. We've got about ...

GOODMAN: Going to the freak show, going to the freak show, going to the freak show tonight.


GOODMAN: We would refer to the studio audience we had as marks.

KING: Why?

GOODMAN: And sometimes they were less than responsive. And so we decided they got a big kick out of going to a free show. Because the show didn't cost nothing.

BARR: It's because every time we kissed on the show the audience would go woo. You hated that.


KING: So you have a song about going ...

GOODMAN: Yes, I was going to the freak show, we're going to the freak show, going to the freak show tonight. It don't cost no money because it ain't too (INAUDIBLE) funny, going to the freak show tonight. It's free ...


GOODMAN: It's a show.


BARR: And it don't cost nothing to go.


KING: As the sun sets in the west -- as the sun sets in the west we thank the cast of Roseanne. By the way, this is also a freak show, and we turn it over to another freak show, NEWSNIGHT, co-anchored by those ...

BARR: I love that Aaron.

KING: ... two free guys, Anderson Cooper and Aaron Brown. You love them, right? They love you.