Two and a half decades later, television's original domestic goddess owns a 50-acre macadamia nut farm in Hawaii, the show's child stars are all grown up with kids of their own, and the series lives on in infamy … or TV Land.
As we celebrate 25 years of "Roseanne," check out these surprising tidbits about TV's favorite blue-collar clan.
The Conner house wasn't really in Illinois (or even California).
That telltale yellow house featured on the show's exterior shots is located in … Indiana? According to Realtor.com, the show was filmed on a studio lot, but the establishing shots were of a home in Evansville, Indiana. (Ditto for Roseanne and Dan's hangout, the Lobo Lounge.) These days, the four-bedroom home, built in 1925, is worth about $129,000.
There were two D.J.s.
Even superfans of the show might think that child-star Michael Fishman originated the role of the youngest Conner child, but in the pilot episode, a different kid played the tot. According to Mentalfloss, the character of the youngest Conner son was originally played by Sal Barone, but the 1988 Writers Guild strike and the long hiatus that followed wreaked havoc on Barone's height -- as in he had a major growth spurt. That, coupled with some backstage sibling rivalry (Sara Gilbert, we're looking at you!), resulted in Barone's departure from the show, and lookalike Fishman was hired.
Check out by Sal Barone as the original D.J. Conner:
D.J. could have been a blonde.
According to Entertainment Weekly, producers originally considered "Home Alone" star Macaulay Culkin for the part of the Conner son. But Barr said, "I wanted Michael Fishman, because he looked like my family, and he was a little Russian boy. He was so not like all the other little Hollywood bastards."
The Conners were mad for maize.
Got corn? "Roseanne" sure did. True fans of the show know that the series is totally corny. That's because the word "corn" and various corn sightings can be found in nearly every episode of the first season.
Check out an example of the "corn" reference in the episode "Life and Stuff" starting at the 6:45 mark:
The show was the first big break for big names.
George Clooney was a regular on the show's first season, playing factory supervisor Booker Brooks, but the aspiring actor quit the show after just 11 episodes. Clooney's dad told Time that he tried to convince his son to extend his contract on the show: "He was offered a stupendous amount of money to continue to do 'Roseanne,'" Nick Clooney said. "I was thinking he could build a little nest egg and maybe acting would pay off, after all. He said, 'No, I'll be in a cul-de-sac. I'll be that guy, and that's all I'll be.'"
See George Clooney on "Roseanne":
And Joss Whedon was a writer on the show in the early days of his career. The future "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator told Entertainment Weekly, "People would say, 'So you're writing on 'Roseanne'? I was 24 at the time. 'Do you write Darlene's lines?' I said, 'Yes, I write Darlene's lines, I leave a space, then I write a rebuttal.' They assumed I wrote the young person.''
See a clip from one of Whedon's most memorable "Roseanne" episodes, "Brain Dead Poet's Society," here.
The show's controversial final season (you know, the one where they won the lottery, Dan died, and it was all just a dream) is a forgettable one for some of the show's stars.
In a 2013 interview with HuffPost Live, Lecy Goranson (the original Becky, who left the show in 1996) revealed that she had no idea that family patriarch Dan (played by John Goodman) died from a heart attack.
"I'm embarrassed," Goranson said when she heard the news. "I'm like, 'He passed away? Oh God, that's horrible!'" The actress admitted she had "moved on" and skipped watching the final season of the show.
And Sara Gilbert said she doesn't remember the last season of "Roseanne."
"For me, it's almost a blur," the actress said in a HuffPost Live interview. "I go like, 'What do we do that last season? Oh, it was all a dream, and then she won the lottery, and she was a writer, and Dan died.' I was so busy finishing college that year. I remember the earlier years much better than the later, the final. "
Still, the Domestic Goddess herself listed a finale season episode as one of her top five all-time favorites. Roseanne told Entertainment Weekly that Season 9's "Hoi Polloi Meets Hoiti Toiti" (an episode that had Rosie hobnobbing with the rich in Martha's Vineyard) is ''the edgiest political material ever on an American TV sitcom.''
Of course, the show may have been too edgy. During its nine-season run, "Roseanne" was never nominated for best comedy series at the Emmy Awards. The envelope-pushing sitcom was simply too far ahead of its time.
More from this contributor:
- Arts & Entertainment
- Roseanne Barr
- Sara Gilbert
- Michael Fishman
- Lecy Goranson
- John Goodman
- George Clooney