The once rotund TV star made her way into all the best restaurants, exclusive night clubs, luxury hotel suites, and fabulous parties just by mentioning her highly rated sitcom, Roseanne. The comedienne formerly known as "Domestic Goddess" had no need to be concerned with other "Rosies" of that era.
Roseanna Arquette, a similarly sounding supernova, had a popular song named after her and an extra "a" thrown in for good measure (not that Big Bertha and the comely Arquette shared anything remotely in common). The next possible contender was a hilarious figment of Gilda Radner's imagination, leaving a wide open field for anyone wanting to grab the moniker as their own.
And grab she did, longingly, loudly, greedily, and above all obnoxiously. Practically everyone knew the women's name whenever conspicuous consumption of food preceded emissions of a slightly nasal twang.
I'd be hard pressed to think of other famous Roseannes, but you're welcome to try. Bear in mind that Rosie O'Donnell didn't land her breakout role in A League of Their Own until 1992, while Roseanne peaked at number one by 1989.
Lucy, Elvis, Twiggy, Donovan, Cher, Liberace, Oprah, Madonna, Dolly, Iman, these were the one-word name chic pioneers of the day. Paving the way for upstarts like Roseanne to one day assume the mantel. Lord knows throughout the years she's given everyone their money's worth. Starting with the raunchy stand-up routine leading to a nationally syndicated TV show and one-way ticket out of white trash hell, Roseanne has been huge, both figuratively and literally.
At a time when Hollywood had little use for women the size of Shelley Winters, her massive girth set mouths agape. Hardly anyone thought Hollywood would embrace such a morbidly obese loudmouth. Yet time and time again, Roseanne proved them wrong. By playing wife and mother to a mid-western family as that family would likely exist in the late 1980s, Rosie and co-star John Goodman shattered long-held beliefs of the modern American family, swiftly consigning images of the perfect family from earlier shows like Leave It to Beaver and Father Knows Best to a bygone time.
But Roseanne paid a price for all that candor. Part of her charm was telling it like it is, not the way network executives wanted to whitewash it. Tempers flared, writers quit, and eventually the show was cancelled, perhaps a year or two before its time. But none too soon for network hoohas who couldn't wait for the 800 pound gorilla in the room to leave the building.
Since then, for the most part, Roseanne's career has veered steadily downhill, resting at almost a complete standstill. Her personal life didn't fare much better. After divorcing first husband Bill Pentland and bringing newcomer Tom Arnold into the fold, she embarked upon a series of disgustingly inappropriate talk show appearances, sometimes with Arnold in tow, sometimes not, but always going too far in the "Ewwwwww, I can't believe she just said/did that" department. The marriage flopped after four years. She then married Ben Thomas, her security guard, but that marriage lasted only seven.
Perhaps one of Roseanne's more notorious faux pas was making an idiotic spectacle of herself at a San Diego Padres game opener.
You can't see it in this video, but she clutches her own crotch, makes an offensive gesture, and spits on the ground at the end. Again, hordes of people couldn't wait to see her exit stage left.
This brief history of the mammoth one -- who by the way underwent gastric bypass surgery and finally slimmed down to a very palatable size 10 -- is due to recent reactions against the inexplicable political tirade posted on her personal blog. Many again sit with mouths agape reading her scathing attack against actors Jon Voight, Glen Beck, Brangelina and six innocent children.
Believe it or not, I sort of understand where she's coming from. Roseanne is frustrated For days, the pundits have been making the presidential election about poll numbers rather than policy. Depending upon the polling institution, McCain is pulling ahead of Obama in some scattered areas throughout the country. News like that has got to make a person like Roseanne flip-out. Pitiful shame too because poll results are notoriously unreliable.
The way I see it, her infamous blog entry will forever confirm Roseanne's permanent place in la-la land. Then again, I can't say I blame her. She only did what millions of bloggers across the globe do each morning in the hope of reaching a mass audience. Granted, as a famous one word name former TV star, she has somewhat of a head start. Roseanne is not much different than the rest of us armchair pundits, kicking out thought provoking rants and hoping for link love.
'The neocons who own jon voight and make him dance on the chabad telethons are the worst most elitist people on earth. glen beck and jon voight are their bit**es... both of them are used tampons who must be flushed down the toilet immediately!' she rants like a foaming lunatic.
Addressing Brangelina on the fly, she adds, '...McCain wants to continue with the idea of war for profit...the americans are over that thinking now! They have drugged our troops and lower classes into supporting their oil business atrocities for long enough. We want to save not lose our souls thank you. Now go back to making your movies about women who love to handle big guns that shoot hundreds of people to death. Ps....it might be good for your asian and african children's self esteem to know you support a brown man for the leader of the free world.)'
Jon Voight must be rubber and Roseanne glue. From what I can glean, she's the only one suffering any humiliation from her brief foray into insanity.
I don't like the way she browbeats Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, using their multi-cultural family as bait, but then it doesn't surprise me. If I recall correctly, Roseanne was one of the first people in Hollywood to ridicule cross-race adoptions. Probably around the time Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman adopted their son, Roseanne made a crude remark about the adoption of "black babies" as status symbol.
To his credit, Voight issued a tame public rebuttal. Now if we all sit very quietly holding our collective breath, the former domestic goddess may just slither away and reoccupy her place away from the limelight for another ten years.