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15 Facts about Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Ni! Ni! Ni! In honor of the 40th anniversary of Monty Python’s quest for the Holy Grail, here are a few facts you may not have known about the legendary comedy.

1. THE NAME “MONTY PYTHON” DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING.

The name of the highly influential comedy troupe made up of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin was made up by the group when they were commissioned to make their BBC comedy show Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Numerous non-sequitur names were considered before that, including “Owl Stretching Time,” “The Toad Elevating Moment,” “A Horse, a Spoon, and a Basin,” and “Bumwacket, Buzzard, Stubble and Boot.” “Flying Circus” only stuck because the BBC informed the group they had printed their programming schedules with the name already and it couldn’t be changed. When they wanted a name to go before that, John Cleese suggested something slithery like “Python,” while Eric Idle came up with the name “Monty” to suggest a sort of drunken British stereotype.

2. THE OPENING CREDITS WERE MEANT TO SPOOF INGMAR BERGMAN’S FILMS.

The group ran out of money for an opening title sequence, and could only afford simple white text title cards over black backgrounds. Wanting to take advantage of the space without having to pay any money, Palin suggested adding the joke of increasingly absurd fake Swedish subtitles about a moose over stoic music as a way to send up the snooty foreign films they loved.

3. THERE ARE MULTIPLE DIRECTORS.

According to the credits, the movie is directed by 40 Specially Trained Ecuadorian Mountain Llamas, 6 Venezuelan Red Llamas, 142 Mexican Whooping Llamas, 14 North Chilean Guanacos (Closely Related to the Llama), Reg Llama of Brixton, 76000 Battery Llamas From “Llama-Fresh” Farms Ltd. Near Paraguay, and Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones.

It marked the first time Gilliam and Jones directed a feature film, and the pair were given directing duties simply because they were the only ones out of the group who wanted to direct after the group decided not to hire their Flying Circus and And Now for Something Completely Different director, Ian MacNaughton. Gilliam in particular has gone on to have a highly successful career directing films like Time Bandits, Brazil, The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys, and Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas.

4. IT WAS ORIGINALLY SUPPOSED TO TAKE PLACE IN MEDIEVAL AND MODERN TIMES.

The film technically takes place in 932 A.D. but features modern characters anachronistically intruding on the hilarity. In the group’s original story idea there was going to be a more distinct setting with Arthur searching for the Holy Grail in both medieval and modern London, and in the end he and the Knights of the Round Table were to have found the Grail at a “Holy Grail Counter” at Harrod’s department store.

Gilliam and Jones suggested keeping the movie in the Middle Ages because Jones was interested in the time period (he would go on to write several books on the subject) and Gilliam was inspired by a trilogy of movies by Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini that took place in medieval times.

5. THE COCONUT JOKE CAME OUT OF NECESSITY.

The running joke of the knights riding around on invisible horses with the sound of the horses’ hooves clopping coming from their squires’ clapping coconuts together came from the fact that the group didn’t have enough money in the budget to afford actual horses. The group came up with the coconut idea from an old BBC radio practice of using coconut halves as sound effects for horses.

6. ALL OF THE CASTLE INTERIORS ARE ACTUALLY ONE CASTLE.

During pre-production, Gilliam and Jones had scouted and secured a series of authentic medieval shooting locations throughout Scotland. But two weeks before production began the filmmakers found out that the National Trust had banned the comedy troupe from shooting in any national historical sites because, according to Gilliam, “we wouldn't respect ‘the dignity of the fabric of the building,’ where the most horrible tortures, disemboweling had gone on!”

Forced to scramble to find a place to shoot the movie, the two Terrys secured two privately owned castles to shoot all of castle interiors and most of the exteriors. Castle Aaargh is actually Castle Stalker, which is located on the west coast of Scotland. The rest of the castles are actually Doune Castle (located about 30 miles north of Glasgow) shot from different angles.

Funny enough, just as the character of Patsy says, Camelot is only a model. It was a 12-foot high cutout of a castle, and Gilliam and Jones used forced perspective as a quick cheat during wide-angle shots to make it seem like an actual location.

7. THEY HAD A ROUGH FIRST DAY OF SHOOTING.

Gilliam and Jones, the two rookie directors, had a rude awakening when they showed up to work on the movie. On the first take of the first shot during the very first day of filming in Glen Coe, Scotland for the Bridge of Death sequence over the Gorge of Eternal Peril, their camera broke. It was the only camera the production could afford. When they managed to get the camera working again, the sync sound wouldn’t work, so they could only shoot non-dialogue close-ups until they got the camera fixed.

8. THE BOOK OF THE FILM IS A FAMILY AFFAIR.

The insert shots of the Book of the Film were shot on Gilliam’s living room floor. The fingers turning the pages belong to Gilliam’s wife, Maggie Weston, a makeup artist who worked on Flying Circus and would go on to work on some of her husband’s films like Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (for which she earned an Oscar nomination in 1990).

Gilliam himself was the gorilla hand, which he bought at a local London joke shop. Sir Not Appearing in This Film is a baby photo of Michael Palin’s son, Thomas.

9. THE BLACK KNIGHT SEQUENCE CAME FROM AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STORY TOLD TO JOHN CLEESE.

Cleese was inspired to write the Black Knight scene from an elementary school story he remembered about two Roman wrestlers. During an extremely intense and scrappy match, one wrestler finally tapped out only to discover that his opponent had died during the struggle, meaning he had posthumously won the match.

The moral of the story was that if you don’t give up you couldn’t possibly lose, which was an idea Cleese hated, so he lampooned the quasi-sadistic tale in the movie with supposedly noble knights.

10. PINK FLOYD, LED ZEPPELIN, AND GENESIS INVESTED IN THE FILM.

The film’s initial budget of approximately £200,000 was raised by convincing 10 separate investors to pitch in £20,000 apiece. Three of those investors were the rock bands Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Genesis, who were persuaded to help the Monty Python group after Tony Stratton-Smith, head of Charisma Records—the record label that released Monty Python’s early comedy albums—asked them to contribute.

11. THE FRENCH SOLDIERS WERE BASED ON REAL HISTORY.

Cleese had the idea for the taunting French soldiers after something he read in a history book about medieval troops whose sole purpose was to taunt opposing enemies before battle. He combined that with the Roman practice of catapulting dead or rotting animals into castles to draw enemies out as well as the practice of dropping feces on enemies who attempted to storm castles.

12. THE EXTRAS IN THE MOVIE WERE EITHER STUDENTS OR TOURISTS.

To get extras for the wedding scene between Prince Herbert and his bride, the producers simply asked tourists visiting Doune Castle if they’d like to appear in a movie. Anybody who agreed was given basic medieval clothes and told to join in the insanity.

Arthur’s army at the end of the movie was made up entirely of 175 students (shot from various angles to make it seem as if there was double that number) from Scotland’s University of Stirling. According to a casting call sent to the school by the production, each student was paid £2, and got free transportation, food, and “an abundance of crazy antics” for a single day’s work.

13. IT HAD A UNIQUE PREMIERE SCREENING AT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL.

Someone called in a bomb threat to the theater playing Monty Python and the Holy Grail during its premiere at Cannes, which forced festival workers to evacuate the theater just after the opening credits. People were expecting hijinks from the Pythons, and some audience members even reportedly thought the evacuation was part of the movie.

14. MICHAEL PALIN PLAYS THE MOST ROLES, WHILE GRAHAM CHAPMAN PLAYS THE LEAST.

The Pythons originally wanted to play every role in the movie until they realized that wasn’t feasible. Still, every member of the group plays multiple roles, with Palin playing a grand total of 12 different characters: Sir Galahad, the soldier who argues about swallows in the opening scene; Dennis the repressed peasant; a mud villager; a singing Camelot knight; the right head of the Three-Headed Knight; the King of the Swamp Castle; a wedding guest at Swamp Castle; Brother Maynard’s assistant; the main Knight who says “Ni”; a French taunting knight; and the narrator.

Graham Chapman has the fewest number of characters, appearing as four different people: King Arthur, the voice of God, the hiccupping guard, and the middle head of the Three-Headed Knight.

15. THE IDEA FOR THEIR NEXT MOVIE CAME FROM HOLY GRAIL’S PROMOTIONAL TOUR.

According to the Pythons, the one question that was asked the most on the promo tour for Monty Python and the Holy Grail was what their next movie would be. When asked the question while screening Holy Grail in Paris, Eric Idle jokingly answered by saying, “Jesus Christ: Lust for Glory.”

The other Pythons ended up actually liking the idea, and they eventually made their next movie in 1979 called Monty Python’s Life of Brian, which was about a man named Brian who is mistaken for the Messiah because he was born on the same day in the manger next door to Jesus Christ.

Additional Sources:
Blu-ray special features
The Pythons: Autobiography by the Pythons

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15 Surprising Facts About Steve Carell
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From the seven seasons he spent as the star of NBC’s The Office to leading man roles in comedy classics like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Steve Carell has become one of Hollywood’s most in-demand funnymen. But he has proven his dramatic chops, too, particularly with his role as John du Pont in Foxcatcher, which earned Carell an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in 2015. Even if you’ve seen all of his movies, there’s probably a lot you don’t know about the Massachusetts native, who turns 55 years old today.

1. HE THOUGHT HE WANTED TO BE A LAWYER.

Steve Carell attended Ohio’s Denison University, where he received a history degree in 1984, and had planned to move on to law school. But when it came time to apply, he found himself stumped by the first question on the application: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

“I had never considered acting as a career choice, although I’d always enjoyed it,” Carell told NJ.com in 2011. “I enjoyed hockey and singing in the choir, and I didn’t think of them as potential careers, either … But I began to realize I really loved acting, and telling stories. Reading a book, watching a movie, going to a play, it’s transporting, and very, very exciting. And to be a part of that, creating things with your imagination, whoa."

2. HE WORKED AS A MAILMAN.

Shortly before he moved to Chicago and performed with The Second City, Carell worked as a postal carrier in the tiny town of Littleton, Massachusetts. Because the post office didn’t have its own mail vehicles, Carell had to use his own car. He kept the gig for just four months, then took off for the Windy City. “And months later, I found mail under the seat of my car,” he admitted. Carell also said it was the hardest job he has ever had.

3. HE WAS HIS WIFE’S TEACHER.

No, it’s not as risqué as it sounds. Carell met his wife, Nancy Walls, through an improv class at Second City; he was the teacher, she was one of his students. “I beat around the bush [before asking her out] and said something stupid like, ‘Well, you know, if I were to ever ask someone out, it would be someone like you,’” Carell told Details of his earliest attempts at flirting. “It’s so stupid, but it was all self-protection. She was the same way: ‘If somebody like you were to ask me out, I would definitely go out with him. If there was a person like you.’” The couple married in 1995 and have appeared in several projects together.

4. THE COUPLE HAD TO BREAK UP (ON CAMERA) ON THEIR 17TH ANNIVERSARY.

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For Lorene Scafaria’s underrated 2012 end-of-the-world dramedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Steve and Nancy played a married couple who split up when it’s announced that an asteroid heading toward Earth will obliterate the planet in three weeks. Their break-up scene happens very early on in the movie, and they ended up filming it on their 17th wedding anniversary.

“She gets to leave me right at the beginning,” Carell told Parade. “They used the take where her shoe came off in the car, and she bolted across that field with one shoe on. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her run that fast. We shot the scene on our 17th anniversary. [The director] got us a cake and the crew sang ‘Happy Anniversary’ to us. It was very sweet, a very special night."

5. HE AND HIS WIFE AUDITIONED FOR SNL TOGETHER; ONLY ONE OF THEM MADE IT.

In 1995, the same year they married, both Carell and Walls auditioned for Saturday Night Live. Walls made it but Carell didn’t, which must have made for one awkward celebratory dinner. But it all turned out well in the end; Carell went on to become a household name and has hosted the show on two occasions.

6. HE WAS ONE HALF OF “THE AMBIGUOUSLY GAY DUO.”

Though he missed out on the chance to become a regular SNL cast member, there was a silver lining: He was free to say “yes” to taking a role on The Dana Carvey Show, a sketch show that SNL alum Dana Carvey created for ABC. Though it was short-lived, the show was full of amazing comedic talent; in addition to Carvey and Carell, the show featured Stephen Colbert, Bob Odenkirk, and Robert Smigel and a writers room that included Louis C.K., Charlie Kaufman, and Robert Carlock. The show marked the debut of Smigel’s recurring animated sketch, “The Ambiguously Gay Duo,” which followed the adventures of Gary and Ace, who were voiced by Carell and Colbert, respectively. After the show was cancelled, Smigel brought the “Duo” over to Saturday Night Live.

7. HE OWNS A GENERAL STORE IN MASSACHUSETTS.

While many A-list stars run side businesses—restaurants, wine companies, clothing lines, etc.—the Carells' second gig is a little less glamorous. In 2009, they bought the Marshfield Hills General Store in Marshfield, Massachusetts—where they spend their summers—in order to preserve it as a local landmark. 

“The main impetus to keep it going is that not many of those places exist and I wanted this one to stay afloat,” Carell told The Patriot Ledger. “Just generally speaking, there are not that many local sort of communal places as there used to be ... I think it’s nice for people to actually go and talk and have a cup of coffee and communicate with one another."

8. HE PLAYS THE FIFE.

Yes, Carell has got some musical talent and can actually play the fife. It’s a skill he acquired early in life, and shares with several of his family members. And it came in handy when he joined a reenactment group that portrayed the 10th (North Lincoln) Regiment of Foot, a line infantry regiment with the British Army.

9. HE WAS NOT THE FIRST CHOICE TO PLAY MICHAEL SCOTT IN THE OFFICE.

Though Michael Scott, the clueless manager of paper company Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton, Pennsylvania branch in The Office, is still probably Carell's best-known role, he wasn’t the first choice for the part. Paul Giamatti was reportedly the first choice, but he declined. Hank Azaria and Martin Short were also in the running. Bob Odenkirk was actually cast in the role because Carell was committed to another series, Come to Papa. But when that show was cancelled after just a few episodes, the role of Michael Scott was recast with Carell. (Odenkirk appeared in one of the series’s later episodes, playing a boss who was eerily similar to Carell’s Scott.)

10. WHEN CARELL LEFT THE OFFICE, THE CAST AND CREW “RETIRED” HIS NUMBER ON THE CALL SHEET.

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When Carell left The Office after seven seasons to focus on his film career, the cast and crew continued one tradition in his honor. “Steve was No. 1 on the call sheet because he was the lead of the show,” co-star Jenna Fischer told TV Guide. “And when he left, we retired his number. No one, ever since he left, was allowed to be No. 1."

11. HE WAS IN TALKS TO PLAY RON DONALD ON PARTY DOWN.

Before Party Down made its premiere on Starz with Adam Scott playing failed actor Henry Pollard, it was supposed to be an HBO series with Paul Rudd in the lead. And Rudd was pushing for Carell to play bumbling catering manager Ron Donald, as The Office didn’t get off to a great start and looked to be in danger of getting cancelled. Ultimately, HBO ended up abandoning the project, which Starz scooped up—with Scott as Pollard and Ken Marino as Ron Donald.

12. JAMES SPADER REALLY WANTED TO PLAY BRICK TAMLAND IN ANCHORMAN.

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Though it was The 40-Year-Old Virgin that turned Carell into a leading man on the big screen, his role as oddball meteorologist Brick Tamland in Anchorman brought him a lot of attention. But if James Spader had his way, Carell would never have appeared in the role at all. In a 2013 interview with Baller Status, director Adam McKay shared that before the film was even cast:

“I get a phone call and I hear that James Spader is obsessed with Brick's character. I say ‘James Spader? That is insane, will he come in and read?’ They say, ‘No, he's not going to come in and read; he's James Spader!’ James Spader and I end up talking and he called it about the Brick character. He thought it was one of the funniest character he ever read and we weren't even sure if it was going to work. He literally said, ‘I will do anything to get this role.’ Eventually, we were just like, ‘This is James Spader; he is too good for this role.’ But, he was right about how funny it was. The movie studio even questioned us and said how bizarre Brick is, and it wouldn't work. I felt bad we didn't cast James, but Carell was so good.”

Spader proved his comedic chops in 2011, when he was cast as Robert California, Michael Scott’s replacement on The Office (who quickly manages to convince the company owner to appoint him as CEO).

13. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS' EXECUTIVES WERE CONCERNED THAT CARELL WAS COMING OFF AS A SERIAL KILLER IN THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN.

Though it turned out to be one of 2005’s biggest hits, getting the tone right on Judd Apatow’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin proved to be a fairly difficult task. At one point, executives at Universal Studios expressed their concern to Apatow that Carell might come off as a serial killer to viewers.

"There is a fine line," producer Mary Parent told the Los Angeles Times. "Men and women alike could look at him and if he's too much of a sad sack, they will think, 'Dude, get a life.’” Apatow ended up adding several lines about the fact that Carell’s character could be a serial killer.

14. HE LEARNED MAGIC FROM DAVID COPPERFIELD.

In 2013, Carell played a magician in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. In order to get the role just right, he went straight to the top: David Copperfield. The famed illusionist taught Carell and co-star Steve Buscemi a trick called “The Hangman,” and they were both sworn to secrecy. “I actually had to sign something that I would not divulge,” Carell told The Hollywood Reporter. “So that was kind of cool.”

15. HE OFFERED PRINCETON'S 2012 CLASS SOME TIPS FOR SUCCESS.

In 2012, Carell delivered a speech to Princeton University graduates—which included his niece—during Class Day. He ended his talk by offering some tips to the grads:

“I would like to leave you with a few random thoughts. Not advice per se, but some helpful hints: Show up on time. Because to be late is to show disrespect. Remember that the words 'regime' and 'regimen' are not interchangeable. Get a dog, because cats are lame. Only use a 'That's what she said' joke if you absolutely cannot resist. Never try to explain a 'That's what she said' joke to your parents. When out to eat, tip on the entire check. Do not subtract the tax first. And every once in a while, put something positive into the world. We have become so cynical these days. And by we I mean us. So do something kind, make someone laugh, and don't take yourself too seriously.”

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16 Things You Might Not Know About Roseanne
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At a time when shows like The Wonder Years, Growing Pains, Murphy Brown, Designing Women, Dallas, and Dynasty still ruled the airwaves, the debut of Roseanne in the fall of 1988 introduced a new kind of family to television audiences and a new kind of matriarch. Praised for its portrayal of blue-collar America, the Emmy Award-winning series also broke new ground in terms of its envelope-pushing (for the time) storylines. And now it's ready to make a comeback.

On May 16, 2017, ABC announced that Roseanne will return for an eight-episode run in 2018. In the meantime, here are some things you might not know about the series that made Roseanne Barr a star.

1. THE SUCCESS OF ROSEANNE JUMPSTARTED THE TREND OF GIVING COMEDIANS THEIR OWN SITCOMS.

TV producers Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner were interested in developing a sitcom about a working mother. When they saw Roseanne Barr’s outspoken “domestic goddess” comedy routine on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1985, they offered her a show. Barr wasn’t the first performer to transition from stand-up to TV, but her ABC show was an immediate hit. By its second season, it was number one in the Nielsen ratings and remained in the top four for six of its nine seasons.

As a result—and coupled with the success of Seinfeld—networks started offering more development deals to comedians, including Tim Allen (Home Improvement), Brett Butler (Grace Under Fire), Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen), and Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond), to name a few.

2. THE SHOW WAS ORIGINALLY TITLED LIFE AND STUFF.

Roseanne creator, head writer, and executive producer Matt Williams said the benign title established the sitcom as an ensemble piece. But Barr argued that the show should be called Roseanne, since she was the lead character and the show was based on her life. (Williams left the show after season one.)

3. THE SHOW’S EXTERIOR SHOTS ARE OF EVANSVILLE, INDIANA, NOT ILLINOIS.

Why Evansville? It’s where co-executive producer Matt Williams grew up. The house used for the facade of the Conner home went up for sale, plaid couches not included, in early 2013. It was taken off the market less than a month later.

4. JOHN GOODMAN AND LAURIE METCALF WERE CAST WITH ULTERIOR MOTIVES.

Roseanne Barr had never acted before, so the producers hoped that surrounding her with a strong supporting cast would give her a crash course in acting. Barr and Goodman also had great chemistry and squabbled like a married couple from their first reading together. Goodman was the first and only actor to audition for the role of Dan Conner.

5. MACAULAY CULKIN AUDITIONED FOR THE ROLE OF D.J.

Had Culkin been cast, it would’ve been his big break (it would be another two years before Home Alone was released). Instead, Michael Fishman got the role, replacing Sal Barone from the pilot (who, in addition to hitting a growth spurt, didn’t get along with Sara Gilbert, who played his sister Darlene). “I wanted Michael Fishman because he looked like my family and he was a little Russian boy,” Barr told Entertainment Weekly. “He was so not like all the other little Hollywood bastards.” Added Fishman: “The network wanted one person, the production company wanted another person, and she wanted me. In many ways, I’m one of the first battles she won.”

6. ROSEANNE WAS A CRITICAL DARLING, BUT IT WAS NEVER NOMINATED FOR AN EMMY FOR BEST COMEDY SERIES.

Laurie Metcalf won three consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Roseanne’s sister Jackie beginning in 1992 (in 1993, Barr won Outstanding Lead Actress). But the show never managed to nab a Best Comedy Series nomination. And while John Goodman’s portrayal of Dan Conner earned him the Outstanding Lead Actor nomination seven years in a row, he never took home an award.

7. IT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST PRIMETIME SHOWS TO FEATURE OPENLY GAY CHARACTERS.

Despite network protests, Barr insisted on featuring gay characters as friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors. (Barr’s own brother and sister are gay.) In season eight, Roseanne’s former boss Leon (Martin Mull) married his partner Scott (Fred Willard)—a scene that wouldn’t be so unusual today, but was very controversial back in 1995. (It actually aired later than its usual time slot because of its “adult humor.”) A year later, Roseanne’s mother came out of the closet. Spoiler alert: In the bizarre “it was all a dream” finale, it was revealed that Roseanne’s sister Jackie was a lesbian. And of course, there was the scandalous kiss between Barr and guest star Mariel Hemingway.

8. ROSEANNE LAUNCHED JOSS WHEDON’S CAREER.

Joss Whedon began his television career as a staff writer on Roseanne. Whedon was only 24 years old when he wrote four episodes of the show’s second season, which Splitsider later dissected, looking for early glimpses of Whedon’s style:

“While John Goodman is a national treasure who can make any material work, Whedon’s take on his character stands out: Dan is goofier and more removed from the action, and notably less agitated than when written by other writers ... In these episodes, Dan Conner transforms into the Whedon proto-male a.k.a. the ‘Xander:’ an affable, quipping observer defined more by the women around him than by any strong internal life.”

A few other big names in television honed their skills on Roseanne, including Amy Sherman-Palladino, creator of Gilmore Girls and Bunheads, and Chuck Lorre, co-creator of Two and Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.

9. ALL THREE OF BARR’S EX-HUSBANDS MADE GUEST APPEARANCES ON THE SHOW.

Roseanne was inspired by life with the comedian’s first husband, Bill Pentland, and their three children. Pentland served as an executive consultant for three seasons, wrote two episodes, and played one of Dan’s buddies in an early episode. In 1990, Barr divorced Pentland after 16 years of marriage. Four days later, she wed comedian Tom Arnold, who had a recurring role as Arnie Thomas. Then in 1995 Barr married Ben Thomas, her former bodyguard, and gave him two bit roles as a cop. They remain his only acting credits.

10. THE FICTIONAL LANFORD LUNCH BOX INSPIRED A REAL-LIFE RESTAURANT.

Three years after they married, Barr and Arnold opened Roseanne and Tom’s Big Food Diner in Eldon, Iowa, near Arnold’s hometown. It served the same loosemeat sandwiches as the Lanford Lunch Box, the restaurant Roseanne opened with her sister, mom, and friend Nancy (played by Sandra Bernhard) in season five. The diner closed in 1995, a year after Barr and Arnold divorced.

11. ROSEANNE’S THEME SONG CHANGED DRAMATICALLY IN ITS LAST SEASON.

After using an instrumental version for eight seasons, Roseanne got a new theme—courtesy of Blues Traveler's John Popper—for its ninth (and final) season. The change foreshadowed an even more bizarre finale that would leave many viewers puzzled.

12. ABC REQUIRED THE CONNERS TO VISIT DISNEY WORLD.

It seemed incongruous for the Conners to visit The Happiest Place on Earth, but in season eight they did just that ... twice. That’s because the ABC-Walt Disney Company merger in 1995 required family shows to feature Disney World or Disneyland. Boys Meets World, Step by Step, Full House, and Family Matters all had at least one Disney Park episode.

13. IN 1990, BARR GOT A SPIN-OFF DEAL FOR A SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON.

Little Rosey was an animated series presumably about Roseanne—the real person, not the character—as a child. Barr didn’t voice her character in the first season, which may have been one reason the show didn’t take off. She agreed to voice Rosey in the second season, but the show was suddenly cancelled and replaced by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Barr claimed that ABC gave her cartoon the axe because they were offended by her rendition of the National Anthem at a San Diego Padres game.

14. BARR HAS PREDICTED WHERE THE CONNERS WOULD BE TODAY ... AND IT ISN'T A HAPPY ENDING.

In 2008, Barr told Entertainment Weekly, “I’ve always said now that if they were on TV, D.J. would have been killed in Iraq and [the Conners] would have lost their house.” Barr divulged more potential plotlines in her blog a year later, including Becky’s job at Walmart, David and Darlene divorcing, and Roseanne and Jackie opening the first medical marijuana dispensary in Lanford. I guess we'll see how accurate those predictions were when the series returns in 2018.

15. ROSEANNE HAS ALWAYS WANTED TO COME BACK TO PRIMETIME TV.

When Roseanne ended in 1997, ABC considered a sequel about the main character’s life as a widow. It never materialized, but Barr has since had a talk show, a reality series, and a few sitcoms in the works. In 2011, she filmed a pilot called Downwardly Mobile about life in a trailer park, but it wasn’t picked up by NBC. In 2013, Barr was in talks with NBC again for a 10/90 sitcom deal—an agreement in which the network orders a straight-to-series run of 10 episodes and then orders 90 more if the show’s successful. The deal never came through. It looks like it took returning to her roots to finally make that comeback happen; in May 2017, ABC announced that Roseanne would return to primetime in 2018.

16. THOUGH THE ORIGINAL SERIES ENDED WITH DAN DYING, HE'LL BE ALIVE IN THE REVIVAL.

We're not exactly sure how this plotline will play out, but when Roseanne makes its return to television, Dan Conner will be alive and (presumably) well. ABC president Channing Dungey recently confirmed that the new season will conveniently ignore some of the major events that occurred in the series' finale.

“I can confirm that Dan is still alive,” Dungey said at TCA, though she didn't elaborate on how that will play out. Nor did she say whether any more of the last season's revelations would be ignored for the reboot. However, she did confirm that the network is currently in talks with The Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki about reprising hs role of David on the series.

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