Roseanne Barr wants to make you laugh. Again. This time around, the 52-year-old TV star — whose self-titled show in the 1990s won four Emmys and beamed to 150 countries — is choosing the stage to showcase her crass working-class comedy. A North American stand-up tour brought Barr to Toronto recently and Popjournalism asked her about the apocalypse, her legacy and the state of television today.
Why are you going back to stand-up, after all your TV success?
I wanna do what I want, say what I want. I’m an entertainer, a performer, so doing live shows is how I’ve always envisioned living my 50s. I’ve been working on this material for six years and the subject matter is a bit different than usual: the end of the world.
What’s with the negative outlook?
I think we have two years left before world blows up, and in my stand-up I talk about how we hafta get right with God because we’ll be with Him real soon. I’m too neurotic to leave my house. I hardly leave my bed, so I mostly stay in house and worry about everything.
People always associate you with the TV show. Does that begin to get frustrating?
I’m definitely proud of that show. Actually, I like people bringing up the show when I meet them.
When you look at television today, do you find it entertaining?
TV sucks and I don’t watch it. I don’t think the comedies are funny. They just bore me. If anything, I only watch shows about serial killers and crazy people who want to blow the world up.
Your body went through a lot of changes in the past 10 years. Is this “new Roseanne” making you feel better about yourself?
Oh yeah! I wanna be a porn star now, maybe get into geriatric porn. I wish people would stop remembering the old Roseanne and realize how great I look nude.
And I’ve heard you praise Canada more than once. Do you enjoy performing here?
Hell, I wanna move there! I predict lots of Americans seeking refuge in Canada because the laws are smarter there and overall it’s a way better place to live. You guys are better informed and just plain cool.
What’s next for Roseanne?
I’ve always been thinking about doing a cookbook. It’s gonna be known for high fat and sugar recipes since those are my specialties. Butter and chocolate — those are my major food groups.
This article originally appeared in Popjournalism’s Winter 2004 issue