The Loudest Woman in Comedy | Roseanne Barr | EP 452

The Loudest Woman in Comedy | Roseanne Barr | EP 452

Coming up (00:00:00)

  • Roseanne Barr discusses the decreasing freedom of comedy due to societal constraints.
  • She expresses joy in seeing diverse audiences laughing together at the absurdity of life.
  • Barr compares the current state of comedy to a revolution for free thought and ideas.

Intro (00:00:40)

  • The speaker introduces Roseanne Barr as their guest.
  • They mention Barr's recent work on the Daily Wire's show, Mr. Burum.
  • The discussion covers various topics, including the nature of comedy, the ability of comedians to convey truths in a way that elicits joy and laughter, and the phenomenon of comedians making a mark on pop culture.
  • Barr shares her experiences with cancel culture, class discrimination, and her adjustment to the Hollywood comedy scene.
  • The speaker highlights the rise of Austin as a comedy hub due to Joe Rogan's influence.

Voice acting on Mr. Birchum (00:02:37)

  • Roseanne Barr is excited about her voice acting role in the animated series "Mr. Birchum".
  • She praises the show's process, people, and the opportunity to be part of something intentionally offensive.
  • The show is based on Adam Corolla's 30-year dream of portraying his unconventional and influential shop teacher.
  • Mr. Birchum is a gifted teacher who challenges students to think and do their best work.
  • Roseanne plays the principal who is close to retirement and trying to protect Mr. Birchum from the collective's scrutiny.
  • Tyler Fisher plays Carl Ponzi, a liberal character who tries to get Mr. Birchum fired using the rules that Mr. Birchum doesn't follow.
  • Roseanne's character tries to protect Mr. Birchum and her retirement.

The Trailer Park Boys: capturing the absurdity of reality (00:06:26)

  • The Trailer Park Boys is a show that captures the absurdity of reality.
  • The characters are completely reprehensible but have a genuine connection that makes the show more than just cynical.
  • The show is funny because it holds up a mirror to the absurdity of real life.
  • Roseanne Barr had many people in her life like the Trailer Park Boys.
  • The show provides insight into class consciousness, which fascinates Roseanne Barr.
  • Class-based culture is present in the show and is hilarious.

How working class culture intersects with comedy (00:09:17)

  • Roseanne grew up in a working-class town where humor was a way of gaining status and taking jokes was essential.
  • Intellectuals, especially posers, often lack humor, making them dull and pretentious.
  • Comedians and automobiles are hated by dangerous people because they represent personal mobility and freedom.
  • Cars signify freedom, and comedy allows one to say whatever they want as long as it's funny.
  • Roseanne's dysfunctional family used humor to express dissatisfaction, anger, and rage, and jokes that bombed in front of her father resulted in slaps.
  • Being a comedian became a way for Roseanne to express herself and survive in her environment.
  • Snappy wit was appreciated in her friends' households, even if it sometimes led to physical punishment.

Humor shines light on darkness and dispels its power (00:12:41)

  • Discussing dark things with humor has two advantages:
    • It shines a light on the darkness.
    • It shows that one can transcend the darkness.
  • Laughter indicates a willingness to look at and rise above negative things.
  • Comedy has the power to dispel the power of negative things.
  • Comedians have the power of naming things and dispelling their power.
  • Precise aim is a mark of comedy.
  • Tyrants can be identified by their attitude towards comedians.
  • Naming something has a real title alliance with wit.
  • Coining a new phrase that spreads is a rare occurrence and a mark of precise aim.
  • Scorn is also relevant to comedy.
  • Tyrants can be identified by their attitude towards comedians.

Why tyrants laugh (00:15:35)

  • Tyrants detest comedians and have no sense of humor.
  • Comedians study the content and politics of humor.
  • People laugh at different things based on their class, sex, and other factors.
  • Tyrants laugh downward at those they consider lesser.
  • Tyrants never laugh at themselves and despise being the joke.
  • Roseanne Barr was fired for making fun of the Obama Administration's policies in the Middle East.
  • Leftists don't have a sense of humor and resent being made fun of.
  • Fascists despise dialogue, humor, and discussions about class.
  • Working-class humor tends to be self-denigrating, which is a mark of character.
  • British and Canadian humor have an edge in self-denigration.

Monty Python, when Jordan Peterson met John Cleese (00:19:03)

  • Monty Python's humor was incredibly good and timeless because it rarely focused on politics.
  • John Cleese mentioned plans for a Broadway revival of "Life of Brian," but there was resistance to including a scene where a character decides to become a woman.
  • The scene in question satirically portrays the character's desire to be a woman with dignity, but it highlights the current inability to laugh at such topics.
  • Despite its age, "Life of Brian" has become more relevant today due to its accurate portrayal of radical leftist nonsense, which was less prevalent in the 1970s compared to now.

When Roseanne performs for liberals (00:21:59)

  • Roseanne Barr performed at a comedy club in Austin, Texas, and was surprised by the positive response from the audience.
  • She believes Austin's comedy audience is different from other liberal cities because they are not "woke" and are willing to be challenged and laugh at themselves.
  • Barr argues that people in liberal cities are often censoring themselves and don't realize they are under a weight of continual lying.
  • Austin's Joe's comedy club is dedicated to freedom of speech, which attracts comics from all over the country who want to be able to work without fear of censorship.
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Funny lives on the ragged edge of disaster (00:28:03)

  • Comedians walk a fine line between humor and offensiveness.
  • Pure craziness is not funny, it's sad.
  • Comedy operates at a profound unconscious level, it's there before words.
  • Laughter is a genuine reaction that can't be faked.
  • Sense of humor develops before language and bonds people together.
  • Kids find humor in universal reflexive body issues like farting.
  • Competitive comedy keeps the tradition of humor alive in the household.
  • Michaela, Roseanne's daughter, has a great sense of humor and everything she says seems like a joke.
  • There's always an edge to humor and it challenges others to tolerate, understand, and appreciate it.

Turning pain and suffering into joy (00:32:59)

  • Roseanne discusses the art of transforming suffering into joy through comedy.
  • She mentions a young woman with a disease who did a great comedy set despite her condition.
  • Roseanne highlights the essence of comedy as reaching into one's pain and bringing out beauty and joy.
  • She shares her daughter's experience with juvenile arthritis and how she turned her painful experiences into humorous stories.
  • Roseanne emphasizes the significance of being able to find humor in difficult moments and the healing power of laughter.
  • She compares this process to medieval alchemy, transforming negative experiences into something positive and shareable.
  • Roseanne describes the joy of seeing people laugh uncontrollably during comedy shows and the cathartic effect it has on them.

“It took me four decades to realize this” - the release of ghosts and devils (00:36:33)

  • Laughter is associated with play, which is the opposite of power and aggression.
  • When people laugh, they lose their muscular force and collapse into laughter.
  • Laughter can be seen as a universal expression of letting go and releasing secrets, ghosts, and devils.
  • It is powerful to experience laughter communally.

Trust is a necessity for laughter and flourishing (00:38:24)

  • Trust is the only true natural resource.
  • Comedy requires a tremendous amount of trust between the comedian and the audience.
  • The audience must trust the comedian and the comedian must trust the audience.
  • Comedians learn how to build trust with their audience through trial and error.
  • When the audience trusts the comedian, they can't help but love them back.
  • Comedy is about putting the severed parts together and giving words to vague thoughts.
  • Comedy is a positive energy thing that affects people in a spiritual way.

Collecting the jokes that land, how comics structure their sets (00:43:51)

  • Comedians collect jokes that land during their sets.
  • Stand-up comedy involves a dialog element during initial practice.
  • Comedians can generate material by trying out jokes and keeping the ones that get laughs.
  • The audience's reaction helps comedians identify funny content.
  • Effective lectures often involve saying things the audience knows but cannot articulate.
  • Comedians excel at expressing what people already know but cannot say.
  • Combining humor with insightful observations creates a powerful impact.
  • A well-structured comedy set builds on ideas and culminates in a surprising twist.
  • Misdirection and subverting expectations can lead to big laughs.
  • Being one of the few women in comedy has been an advantage for Roseanne.
  • Her unique perspective allows her to connect with audiences in a different way.

Being a rare female comic, the humorous mother (00:47:34)

  • Roseanne discusses being a female comedian in a male-dominated industry.
  • She highlights the challenges she faced as a woman in comedy, including being censored and not being taken seriously.
  • Roseanne mentions that her mother was a significant influence on her comedy and that she could always make her laugh.
  • Roseanne talks about her experiences as a female comedian on the road.
  • She describes the difficulties she faced, such as performing in alternative venues like punk clubs and biker bars.
  • Roseanne explains that these experiences made her a better comedian and helped her develop her fearless style.
  • She credits some male comics from Los Angeles for advocating for her and helping her get back into the club that had censored her.

Overnight success in Hollywood, the Tonight Show and Julio Iglesias (00:53:03)

  • Roseanne Barr had an overnight success in Hollywood.
  • She appeared on The Tonight Show and Julio Iglesias picked her to go on tour with him.
  • This led to her getting her own TV show.
  • Performing in front of large crowds was overwhelming but fantastic.
  • She became more efficient as a comic, delivering the mail (punchlines) without any fat or extra words.
  • Famous comedians like Rodney Dangerfield, Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, Dick Gregory, and Richard Pryor mentored her.
  • They taught her the importance of efficiency in comedy, removing unnecessary words and using the perfect rhythm, inflection, and expression.
  • Timing is crucial, as laughter can sometimes interfere with the punchline.
  • Comedians monitor the laughs they get and aim for big laughs.
  • Comedy, like music, requires being in the now, fully present without thinking about the past or future.
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Callbacks, God’s sense of humor (00:58:16)

  • Roseanne compares comedy to plate spinning, where multiple stories are woven together to create a cohesive point.
  • Callbacks, where a comedian reminds the audience of a previous joke or story, are the most enjoyable part of comedy and often receive the biggest laughs and applause.
  • Roseanne believes that comedy is a gift from God and that her best jokes come to her as if downloaded from a higher power.
  • She describes the feeling of receiving these jokes as a physical sensation, like her head opening up and God inserting an idea.
  • Roseanne considers God to be the funniest comic of all, finding humor in the world's relationships and people's obliviousness to them.

Cutting the wheat from the chaff, dancing with the audience (01:01:20)

  • Roseanne compares writing to cutting wheat from chaff, discarding 80-90% of her work to improve the final product.
  • In comedy, timing is crucial and comedians must pay attention to the audience to capitalize on it.
  • Roseanne acknowledges her weakness in telling jokes but excels in spontaneous humor.
  • Comedians' ability to pay attention to the audience contributes to their success on YouTube.
  • Heckling and audience participation enhance Roseanne's enjoyment of performing.
  • Comedians thrive in the heightened awareness and pressure of live performances.
  • Roseanne expresses gratitude for her comedic gift, comparing it to a great musical performance.
  • She highlights the attention to detail and precision in every word spoken by successful musicians like Billie Holiday.

Pushing through the bad jokes, Mike Tyson (01:06:34)

  • Roseanne compares stand-up comedy to mental jousting, requiring control and mental strength.
  • She draws a parallel to boxing, viewing it as a challenge rather than something to fear.
  • Roseanne sees her ability to persevere through difficult jokes as a survival mechanism developed during her childhood.
  • She refuses to let setbacks defeat her and maintains a determined attitude to improve.
  • Roseanne considers comedy a living thing that allows for constant improvement.
  • She believes in her ability to overcome obstacles and refuses to let anyone stop her from pursuing comedy.
  • Roseanne expresses her determination to continue performing until her last breath, defying any attempts to silence her.

Arming people with humor, Richard Pryor, Michael Malice (01:10:06)

  • Roseanne Barr believes comedy is truth and aims to make the world better by speaking the truth.
  • She sees herself as a "word warrior" fighting for those who are told to shut up.
  • Working-class comedians have the privilege of articulating the thoughts and feelings of the working class, who may not be as articulate themselves.
  • Roseanne finds joy in writing jokes that resonate with everyday people, giving them words to express their truths.
  • She draws inspiration from comedians like Richard Pryor, who she idolizes for his ability to break down stereotypes from within.
  • Roseanne's friend, Michael Malice, describes her humor as pathological, as she can't turn it off even in private.
  • She acknowledges her humor is pathological but embraces it when she's in the mood.
  • Roseanne identifies herself as a crusader, like many other comedians, including Richard Pryor.

Why the show “Roseanne” worked, collaborative comedy (01:13:38)

  • Roseanne Barr, inspired by shows like "The Honeymooners" and comedians like Jackie Gleason and Mr. Bean, created the successful sitcom "Roseanne," which depicted a realistic working-class family.
  • Despite the challenges of collaboration, Barr maintained her comedic style and creative control by having the final say on the show's content.
  • With an estimated 120,000 jokes written, including six hours of stand-up comedy material and numerous jokes for her show, Barr emphasizes the importance of crafting truly funny jokes and the effort required to achieve this.
  • Barr suggests that well-timed jokes can provide pleasure and release tension, and believes that mastering comedy involves playing in the moment and bringing a spirit of play to every situation.

When Roseanne ran for president (01:23:30)

  • Roseanne ran for president in 2012 on the Peace and Freedom Party.
  • She believes Dick Gregory might have won the election in the 60s if votes were tabulated correctly.
  • Roseanne's presidential campaign speech was humorous, but she emphasized that she was a serious comedian.
  • She criticized other comedians for going for cheap laughs that are not connected to anything else.

Bill Cosby, the thin line between madness and genius (01:24:52)

  • Roseanne praises Bill Cosby's storytelling abilities and humor.
  • She recalls seeing Cosby perform in Edmonton in the mid-70s and being amazed by his ability to make the audience laugh hysterically.
  • Roseanne acknowledges the controversy surrounding Cosby's personal life but emphasizes his talent and mastery of the stage.
  • She suggests that there is a thin line between madness and talent, and Cosby's case exemplifies this.

Roseanne live in Austin (01:26:47)

  • Roseanne will be performing at Cap City Comedy Club in Austin on June 17, 18, and 19.
  • The venue has a capacity of around 300 seats, providing a good environment to work on her new material.
  • Roseanne aims to develop a new 90-minute show and is excited to perform it in Austin.
  • She previously performed at Joe Rogan's Comedy Club but only did short sets of 15-20 minutes.
  • Roseanne hasn't done a 90-minute show in Austin before and is looking forward to it.
  • She has been working on her new material for about a year and a half.

The Roseanne Barr Podcast, Tulsi Gabbard (01:28:16)

  • Roseanne Barr has a podcast called the "Roseanne Barr Podcast" where she interviews intelligent people and discusses topics that are not often talked about.
  • She chooses her guests based on those who call and want to be on the podcast.
  • Roseanne recently interviewed Tulsi Gabbard, a former Democratic presidential candidate, and they discussed Hawaii's culture and politics.

Roseanne is voting for Trump (01:29:52)

  • Roseanne is a huge Trump supporter and believes in populism.
  • She thinks Trump is a comedian and appreciates his vicious wit.
  • Roseanne finds it humorous when people write up Trump's jokes as if they are serious, as it shows their arrogance.
  • She compares this to Henny Youngman's joke "take my wife please" being written up as if it were a serious attempt to traffic his wife.
  • Roseanne believes that this type of humor is also one of the real dangers of the current political climate.

The danger of telling a great joke (01:31:43)

  • A great joke taken out of context can appear dark and bad.
  • Jokes rely on context and timing, making them vulnerable to misinterpretation.
  • People often try to damage someone's reputation by taking their jokes out of context.
  • Roseanne faced criticism in Hollywood for not having a college degree and for reaching people.
  • Trump also faced criticism as an outsider to the elites.
  • Trump's appeal to working-class people stems from his relatability and his ability to speak from the heart.
  • Trump's straightforward communication style, without political filters, shocked the system.
  • Roseanne appreciated Trump's ability to challenge the status quo and speak directly to the people.

The humor found in the Torah (01:35:21)

  • Roseanne finds humor in the Bible, particularly the Torah, when read and interpreted correctly.
  • She believes God is "The Funniest Comic" due to the humorous outcomes and twists in the stories.
  • Roseanne highlights the Israelites' complaints and lack of gratitude after experiencing great miracles during the Exodus.
  • She draws attention to the comedic premise in the story of Adam and Eve, where Adam blames both Eve and God for his troubles.
  • Roseanne suggests that these humorous premises are meant for self-reflection and recognizing the need for change.

The hardest thing for most human beings (01:38:55)

  • The hardest thing for humans is to admit mistakes and apologize.
  • The left never admits mistakes and continues to ruin people's lives.
  • Tyrants double down on errors, leading to worse consequences.
  • The Israelites escaped tyranny but spent years in the desert before reaching the promised land.
  • Many people stay in tyranny to avoid the painful process of freeing their minds.
  • Roseanne and Dave plan to meet in Austin in July, possibly visit a comedy club together.
  • Dave mentions Tyler Fischer's impersonations, including a spot-on impression of Roseanne.
  • Roseanne and Dave will continue the interview on The Daily Wire side for another half hour.
  • They plan to discuss cancellation, how Roseanne has coped with it, and what people should do when facing similar situations.

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