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With the reboot of Roseanne making headlines for controversial content, some people have taken more of an interest in the narrative of the show’s original version instead. Since the first-coming of the series ended in May 1997, there may be quite a few things you missed when watching Roseanne the first time around. Amid its debut in 1988, Roseanne was praised for its portrayal of blue-collar America and range of storylines. Although the sitcom had been off the air for more than two decades, the reboot of Roseanne has seemingly picked right up where it left off, in terms of eyebrow raising, unconventional television narrative.
Despite its absence in the last 20 years, the impact of Roseanne has seemingly remained strong over the years. In 2013, the show was ranked #32 on TV Guide‘s 60 Best Series of All Time. With its successes, the series also managed to turn many of its cast members into household names, including Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, and Laurie Metcalfe — all of whom have returned to take their rightful places within the show’s rebooted format.
Now that Roseanne’s revival is officially underway, it’s time to revisit some of the things you may not remember from the first version.
1. There Were Two DJs
A youngster by the name of Sal Barone originally played the Conner’s son DJ in the pilot episode of the show. He was later replaced by Michael Fishman, who became the DJ that Roseanne viewers came to know and love for years to come, according to Mental Floss.
2. Darlene Changed David’s Name
When Darlene’s boyfriend was first introduced to the show, Mental Floss indicates that he was presented to the viewing audience as Kevin. In later episodes, Darlene’s boyfriend, played by Big Bang Theory actor Johnny Galecki, became known as David. MF shared that the explanation for his name change was referenced in a later episode during one of Roseanne’s rant about Darlene’s controlling behavior in which the character yelled, "David’s not even his real name, Darlene made it up!"
3. The Outside Shots Are Of A House In Evansville, Indiana, Not Illinois
All of the shots shown before and after the commercial breaks are of a home located in the city of Evansville, Indiana, according to USA Today. The reason behind the switch-up reportedly has to do with the fact that the show’s co-executive producer Matt Williams is originally from the Indiana town per USA Today.
4. Roseanne Barr Appears In All 222 Of The Show’s Original Episodes
As the boss and titular character of the show, Roseanne Barr is the one and only character to appear in every single one of Roseanne’s original 200-plus episodes, according to IMDB.
5. George Clooney Was The Boss
Long before his days of saving lives on ER, George Clooney appeared in the first season of Roseanne as Booker Brooks, Roseanne’s boss at the factory where she worked.
6. Shelley Winters Never Memorized Her Lines
A story by Semester Times indicates that Barr once revealed that Shelley Winters, the actor who played her grandmother Nana Mary, never memorized her lines.
7. Roseanne Was One Of The First Primetime Shows To Feature Openly Gay Characters
Roseanne was one of the first primetime TV shows to feature openly gay characters. The comedian reportedly made it a point to have her series represent members of the gay community, due to the fact that bother her brother and sister were both gay, according to Huffington Post.
8. All Three Of Barr’s Ex-Husbands Guest Starred On The Sitcom
Mental Floss pointed out that Roseanne was inspired by life with the comedian’s first husband, Bill Pentland, and their three children. Prior to their split in 1990, Pentland served as an executive consultant for the series and appeared as one of Dan’s buddies in an early episode. Just days after her divorce from Pentland, Barr married Tom Arnold, who later had a recurring role as Arnie Thomas on the series. When the pair divorced in 1994, Barr married Ben Thomas in 1995, who had a minor role as a police officer on the show. They later divorced in 2002, years after the original show’s end, according to DailyMail.
9. Corn-y References
It’s reportedly been a long-running joke to either feature or mention the word "corn" in every episode. Entertainment Weekly revealed that Sara Gilbert made sure there were cans of creamed corn on the pantry shelf for the show’s 2018 reboot.
10. All The Soon-To-Be Famous Guest Stars
In addition to the meteoric rising of the Roseanne’s talented cast members, there have also been several guest stars who later became popular movie stars after their stints on the ABC sitcom, according to Refinery29. Although unknown during their roles on the show as kids, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Tobey Maguire are all alumni of the beloved show.
With its current spot on primetime television, Roseanne will likely have many more subtle tricks up its sleeve in the revival.
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