Roseanne Barr likes to make up new jokes while mowing her lawn. “I have a wonderful tractor and a big property. I get my best ideas when I’m up on my tractor cutting long grass,” says the Emmy-and Golden Globe-winning comedian, whose primary home is a 46-acre farm on Hawaii’s Big Island. “There’s nothing more fun to me than when your brain just kicks in and you’re starting to really be funny and get funny ideas.”

Five years after being fired from her rebooted self-titled sitcom, Roseanne, 71, isn’t bitter. She’s enjoying her liberty. In addition to writing material for a new memoir and series, she’s hosting a podcast and voicing a character on the new animated series Mr. Birchum. “Adam Carolla asked me to do it,” she explains of the project, available on the Daily Wire’s streaming service. “I hope viewers get some laughs and a little bit of insight into another point of view.”

Roseanne’s unfiltered insights into domestic life made her a comedy star in the 1980s — and a trailblazer. “My big break was going on The Tonight Show in 1985. At that time, they didn’t think women were funny,” she notes. “I broke down a door, not just for women but for other comics who didn’t follow the sanctioned pattern of comedy on TV.”

She’s never stopped kicking down doors. While there have been misfires, like her widely panned national anthem performance in 1990, there have also been hits. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a 1994 episode of Roseanne that showed a kiss between female characters in a gay bar, drew an audience of 30 million and much positive feedback. “They wanted not to show it, but I held my ground,” she says. “Once again, I was proven right that the viewers are smarter than [network execs] think they are.”

Roseanne still puts her faith in the intelligence of her audience. “The most important lesson I have learned is to be stalwart in your faith and your belief that people are mostly good and that they get it,” she says.

Roseanne Barr on ‘Lesson’ She Learned About Being Canceled
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Roseanne Barr Is Back on Stage

This month, Roseanne is bringing her comedy live to Austin, Texas, for three shows. “When I go out onstage, people love me,” she says, adding that ironically, “they want to hear what I have to say even more than before I was cancel-cultured.”

She also hosts her own podcast, a venture she says she is “loving.”

“I like to interview people. I had a talk show for a couple years in the ’90s but I really like when people expose their soft and vulnerable side,” the comic explains. “I really like that. That’s what I think I have the gift to get to with people because I’m not afraid to express that in my own life and career. I like to see powerful people as human beings.”

Her favorite audience of all is her 10 grandchildren. “I love to make them laugh. They’re all hilarious,” says Roseanne, who notes that two of the older ones have already caught the bug and are doing stand-up. “They’re very funny,” she says.

“I like to nurture that in my grandkids because for me I think comics are just the greatest people,” she explains.

She also delights in firing up the youngest ones. “I like to do little sketches with them and film it,” she says. “I like to stoke their imaginations. I don’t want them to be drones and clones. I want them to be unafraid of the world and to see it as a funny, funny place.”

As for whether or not she has any regrets in her career, Roseanne reveals that she hopes to write a book about her life some day.

“Well, for the time and place I existed in I think it’s a great story,” she says. “I’m going to write a book about it. Everyone’s telling me to write a book about my years on the show and all that.”