Dan Conner, John Goodman’s beloved character on Roseanne, suffered a fatal heart attack during an episode that aired more than 20 years ago. Now, on the upcoming ABC revival, he’s back as if nothing ever happened.
“I thought it was a clever way to do it, to handle it and get it out of the way,” Goodman, 65, teased at a Television Critics Association press tour panel in Pasadena, California, on Monday, January 8.
While it is still unclear exactly how Dan returns, a recent teaser trailer showed him being awakened in bed by his wife, Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr), because she was afraid he was dead. (Dan initially survived the heart attack he suffered during Darlene and David’s wedding, but it wasn’t revealed until the series finale that he actually had died.)
During the TCA panel, the cast of the highly anticipated revival also discussed how the titular character will be a supporter of President Donald Trump, staying true to the original sitcom’s working-class roots.
“We had a lot of discussions in the very beginning about all of our beliefs, about all the things we feel, and issue by issue, things we were going to decide what to deal with on the show,” executive producer Bruce Helford said. “What we really wanted to do was find a way for this particular family, which represents a full cross section of values and beliefs. Everybody in the family has a different take on things. And we wanted to get that debate going in a very honest way, in a very real way.”
Sara Gilbert, who plays Darlene Conner, chimed in, “I think this is a time, as we all know, where our country is very divided. And we did have a wonderful opportunity to talk about this in the context of a family, and I think part of what’s going on is that people feel like they can’t disagree and still love each other or still talk to each other. So, to me, it was a great opportunity to have a family that can be divided by politics, but still is filled with love. And what a great thing to bring into this country right now.”
Barr, who has been vocal about her support for Trump, said she wanted her real-life views to match her character. “I’ve always attempted to portray a realistic portrait of the American people and of working classic people,” she said during the panel. “And in fact, it was working class people who elected Trump.”
Roseanne premieres on ABC on Tuesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. ET.