<EM>Roseanne: Blonde and Bitchin'</EM> Roseanne: Blonde and Bitchin'
Roseanne Barr. She's big, she's brash and now the no-holds-barred, plus-size comic diva is back with her first stand-up special in over a decade: Roseanne Barr: Blonde and Bitchin', premiering Saturday on HBO at 10 pm/ET. Although the self-dubbed "domestic goddess" won an Emmy and America's hearts playing a blunt blue-collar matriarch on her eponymous sitcom, her scandalous off-screen antics  dramatic plastic surgery, infamously bad singing, her inexplicable marriage to Tom Arnold  turned her into tabloid fodder. Since

Roseanne went off the air in 1997, the curvy comedienne has been largely absent from the spotlight, tackling just a handful of short-lived projects (a daytime talk show, a reality series, a guest spot on this week's My Name Is Earl). TVGuide.com found out what inspired Barr to return to her roots... with blonde roots, no less.

TVGuide.com: Does every interview begin with you being asked, "What have you been up to all these years?"
Roseanne Barr: Every one. First they go, "What have you been doing?" I say, "Well, I have an 11-year-old son, so mostly I've been doing homework," and then they go, "Oh, yeah, but I mean, what have you been doing?" It's like the old days, when people thought that stuff like raising children didn't count. How I make my money is what they're really asking me.

TVGuide.com: At this point, I'm guessing you don't need to make money.
Barr: That's correct, and I'm lucky for that.

TVGuide.com: What prompted you to do this stand-up special?
Barr: I've been performing the whole time. I've just been doing low-pressure things that turned me on  stand-up, my punk band, stuff that was under the radar. I felt pretty powerless after 9/11 and the Patriot Act, watching how our freedoms in this country were being eroded, so I decided I wanted to say something about the current state of the world. I'm concerned, like any thinking person would be, about what's going on.

TVGuide.com: At times during your act, you sound pretty ticked off.
Barr: I don't know if I'm ticked off; I'm more resigned.

TVGuide.com: Really? I've never thought of you as someone who becomes easily resigned.
Barr: Well, I think we all are, aren't we? We're living in a crazy world. There's only one political party, and it's the money party. It has two sides, Democrat and Republican, but they both basically work for corporate interests that have nothing to do with the people of this country. You have to laugh at that power. You have to laugh it out of existence.

TVGuide.com: Even though you bash Bush in your special, it sounds like you're over the entire political establishment.
Barr: Totally. You know, I met Bush....

TVGuide.com: Really? How and why?
Barr:
Because I wanted to touch his hand and pass some energy into him. I believe in stuff like that. I told him, "Mr. President, I pray for you every day" and I do. I pray for him, and I pray for the people like him every single day of my life. I pray for them to have a spiritual awakening. That's the only way the world's gonna survive. We can't really go and drop a bunch of bombs on people without destroying the ozone and causing a rise in cancer. We need to think about rational self-interest.

TVGuide.com: In addition to wisecracking about everything from Bush to baby boomers to gays to prescription drugs, you do two particularly ballsy bits in your special. First, you strip, and then, you sing.
Barr: For me, dancing in my underwear in public is nothing compared to singing in public.

TVGuide.com: But you sounded really good!
Barr: I know! I've been working really hard.

TVGuide: You definitely sounded much better than you did back in 1990 when you were lambasted for butchering "The Star-spangled Banner" at a Padres game.
Barr: That was a pretty devastating thing in my life and my career. I meant for it to be funny, but the very next day Desert Storm started so it was like really being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was manipulated by right-wing radio talk-show hosts who were saying I was anti-American and all that other crap.

TVGuide.com: Since it was such a terrible experience, why did you risk singing on stage again?
Barr: My kids found a site on the Internet that said I was the world's worst singer, and I thought, "I don't want to be remembered that way." But I would be happy to be remembered as the world's worst singer who got better!

TVGuide.com: You did a guest spot on My Name Is Earl earlier this week. Do you see more TV work in your future? What are your plans?
Barr: I have my own studio, and whenever I feel like doing something I go down there. Right now I have a live talk show every Wednesday night that's podcast on my website so people can call in and tell me what they're pissed off about. But other than that, I may do some stand-up and maybe a special every couple of years. I don't really have any plans because they would interfere with raising my son. I don't see myself as really being in that industry anymore. I'm no longer part of that community.

TVGuide.com: While watching Blonde and Bitchin', I kept thinking, "Wow, it's the same old outrageous Roseanne except for your hair." The blonde confused me. Why did you dye it?
Barr: Because I look so f--king hot! It covers the gray, actually. I did it because everybody thought I was Rosie O'Donnell, so I thought, "Well, there's a good way to put a distance between me and her." Now people see me and say, "It's Rosie O'Connor!" It's like I'm one-third me, one-third [O'Donnell] and one-third Roseanne Conner from my sitcom.

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