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Roseanne Barr’s ‘Return to Comedy’ Is Exactly What You’d Expect

Roseanne Barr participates in "Is America a Forgiving Nation?,'' a Yom Kippur eve talk on forgiveness hosted by the World Values Network and the Jewish Journal at Saban Theatre

Hot on the heels of her grand whine about the unfairness of having to actually experience consequences for her actions (hint, Roseanne: the unfair part is other stars getting away with it, not that you didn’t) Roseanne is, unfortunately, back, with a comedy special that appears to be an hour-long series of Facebook memes, hand-curated for the most tiresome class of Boomer.

Though ABC fired Roseanne over racism—specifically an allegedly Ambien-fuelled tweet in which she referred to former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett as “Muslim brotherhood & Planet of the Apes”—she’s decided to go for the low-hanging fruit with this special, combining the same exact “joke” every right-wing crank brings out about trans people, paired with a long screed about how stupid and ungrateful kids are these days.

It’s incredible how she manages to combine a person having, or just being curious about, gender with filial ingratitude, but somehow she does in what is truly the pinnacle of self-satisfied MAGA humor. No really, it’s art. In the clip released ahead of the hour-long, embarrassingly named Cancel This special, we get to see her responding to one of her children asking her what their gender is. I can only assume she’s made this scenario up in her head just to get mad at, if only because I can’t imagine any child actually asking this, least of all of Roseanne.

“Your gender is get a job,” Roseanne sneers, thinking she’s done something very clever here. I suppose finding a new way to correlate young people’s supposed lazy fecklessness with their having a case of The Genders might pass for clever among right-wingers these days. Truly though, it’s young people who “live in a bubble” and “have no concept of reality”. Why, according to Roseanne we don’t know what a woman is! Apparently we’re always asking, which is odd because the only people I ever see asking are transphobes presenting it as a gotcha question and then getting mad when we’re able to answer it without excluding trans women.

Roseanne knows what a woman is though—it’s Roseanne! With five ungrateful children and a prolapsed uterus! This does raise rather more questions than it answers, however, such as what gender a person who has only birthed four children or whose uterus stubbornly stayed in place after releasing ungrateful brat number five might be? Truly, we should be so grateful to have a font of wisdom such as Roseanne to guide us through this tricky gender minefield.

The clip finishes with Roseanne triumphantly declaiming that her pronouns are kiss/my/ass, to thunderous applause from her Fox brand audience, as if this is a clever, new idea and not a variation of the same sad attempt at humor found in every other transphobes Twitter bio. I suppose we’re just lucky she didn’t call herself an attack helicopter, but don’t worry—that was only ten minutes, there’s another fifty where she might still be able to fit it in somewhere.

(featured image: Rachel Luna/Getty Images)

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Siobhan Ball is a historian, an archivist, and loves Star Wars so much her English teacher once staged an intervention with her family to try and get her to read other books. She decided to go on and write about it for a living instead.