So, the people have, kinda, spoken regarding the planned Comedy Central roast of comedian Roseanne.
We asked our followers on Twitter, Facebook and here who they’d like to see host the event and got some fairly entertaining initial comments, and then asked for some more.
Easily the most frequently mentioned name is Tom Arnold, Roseanne’s former husband and “Roseanne” co-star and a comedian and producer himself. All of those supporting that idea may end up disappointed, however. We have heard rumbles that Mr. Arnold won’t be available for the project, which probably is prudent on his part.
Despite the frequent invocation of Arnold’s name, however, he was far from the only one to get multiple mentions. Others included Seth MacFarlane (definitely intriguing) and the two actresses who played Roseanne’s daughter Becky (Alicia Goranson and, later, Sarah Chalke, but really, as hosts?)
More intriguing were a couple of other suggestions: Whoopi Goldberg and Martin Mull. I’d forgotten that Mull was on the show for 46 episodes over the last two-thirds of its 10-year run, playing Roseanne’s gay boss. At 68, Mull might be a bit too on in years to carry this particular role, but he certainly has had the comedic chops and personal relationship to be a viable option even 10 years ago.
Goldberg has presided over many an event, from the Oscars on down, and could do this, though I don’t know if she has any particular link to Roseanne, besides their parallel careers as female comedians who broke through to much broader cultural visibility in the late 1980s and 1990s. Perhaps that would be enough.
On a side note, looking at the “Roseanne” cast list turned up some other surprises besides Mull among the many, including several Oscar winners, who appeared on the show during its decade on air.
The list of those who got even a little run includes veteran stars Estelle Parsons, Shelley Winters, Ned Beatty and June Lockhart, and old-school comics Red Buttons and Stan Freberg.
Sudsy drama stars such as Morgan Fairchild and James Brolin made an appearance or three, as did then up-and-comers such as Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, Stephen Dorff and Carl Franklin.
Comic character actors Fred Willard and Jim Varney had a turn, and so did the unlikely quartet of Traci Lords, Tim Curry, Mariel Hemingway and Tony Robbins (playing himself in two episodes).
My biggest surprise, however, was noting the extended presence, over 11 episodes, of pre-“E.R.” George Clooney, playing one Booker Brooks from 1988 to 1991. George, we hardly knew ye then.