Roseanne on the Roseanne Roast
August 7, 2012 9 Comments
The Roseanne roast will be airing on Comedy Central this Sunday and the famed comedian called in to the Howard Stern Radio Show this morning for promotional purposes. I’m a huge Roseanne fan on many levels. She’s a terrifically talented woman who spearheaded one of the funniest and most important sitcoms of all time. She’s also tremendously brave, repeatedly willing to risk reputation for the sake of telling her truths. I like to think that her desire to endure the flames of a roast reflects in part her love for the roughhouse of stand-up comedy.
And it does sound like it will be rough. Here’s one of Wayne Brady’s jabs as an example…
WAYNE BRADY: It’s been said you stole Sam Kinison’s style. You’re fat, loud, and you died in the nineties.
Brady is known as a milquetoast and the Comedy Central roasts have writers on staff, so it’s not 100% certain that he wrote this line, but Roseanne had to listen to it nonetheless.
Howard led off his questions with the most obvious one — why?
HOWARD: Roseanne, why would anyone — especially a woman in your position — why would you put yourself through a roast? Seriously, from a psychological point of view. I mean, it’s endless fat jokes. I mean, I was even thinking about it for myself. If someone said to me that they wanted to roast me, I don’t think I’d want to put myself through it.
ROSEANNE: Why? It’s fun….there are some damn good jokes, man. You know, it’s good to laugh at yourself. You know, it’s kind of a test to see how sound you are, mentally and spiritually and everything else, like a warrior thing.
Roseanne talks to Howard about the rules she laid down, which included not going after the usual misogynist targets of female body parts and “shit jokes.” She got them to hire more women writers, but was actually okay with comedians joking about the sexual molestation she endured as a child, so long as it wasn’t done in a way that someone like Sandusky would laugh.
ROSEANNE: The whole reason you have a comedy channel and the comedy roast and that level of comics is to push the envelope and to try to go over the line. That proves we have a country of free speech, if you’re going to go over the line. Where is the line? You don’t know it ’til you go over it.
It should be a superior roast in part because, when it comes time for her to respond, we know that she has the chops. There’s a lot of buzz around her ex-husband Tom Arnold showing up on the dais, and here’s how she addressed that on the podium.
ROSEANNE: I’d really like to thank Tom for showing up tonight. It was very brave and he was very funny. But Jesus Christ, how many fucking jobs do I have to get for that guy? I’m glad you have a new wife, Tom. I hope she isn’t with you just for your money — I mean, my money.
Behind the scenes, though, Roseanne called Tom and left a voice message assuring him that it wouldn’t be an ambush.
ROSEANNE: All the shit going on in our country, all this hate, I sort of thought, hey, if I can have this moment and show it maybe it’ll influence other people to get past old shit, even politically. [I said,] you know, I realize that if I could bury my broiling ceaseless hatred for Tom Arnold, there could maybe be peace in the Middle East.
That’s right, Roseanne for President.