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Roseanne offers Lewinsky money for an interview
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Watch the whole interview!

Roseanne talks about her new show (8:12)
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Roseanne takes some phone calls (6:28)
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More with Roseanne (5:14)
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Roseanne offers big bucks for Lewinsky interview

Web posted on: Friday, October 02, 1998 4:11:42 PM

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- There are dozens of talk shows on the air already, cluttering the TV schedule from early in the morning 'til late at night. So why would Roseanne, who is still sitting pretty after her sitcom "Roseanne" went off the air, do a talk show too?

"It wasn't anything to do with money," she said Thursday night on CNN's "Larry King Live." "It was just like, wow, I could go someplace and go back to my stand-up comic roots. ... It's the height of performance joy for a comic."

"I just am having a lot of fun," she declared. "It's a lot of fun."

She says her show is still "trying to find our voice," and expressed gratitude that she isn't competing directly with Oprah Winfrey, Rosie O'Donnell or Howie Mandel. "I was very lucky for King World," her syndicator, to give her show a fair shot on the airwaves, she said.

But she has already broken away from the talk-show pack on one issue. Unlike "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which earlier this week declared that it would not hold the first interview with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky because she wanted to be paid, "The Roseanne Show" is willing to pay Lewinsky as much as $2 million for an appearance.

Asked whether she would feel journalistically impaired if she were to pay for an interview, she answered, "Well, I don't feel I'm a journalist, so there's a difference there. I can understand why journalists have that integrity thing but, fortunately, for me, I have no integrity," she said, laughing. "It doesn't get in my way."

Roseanne and guest Patti LaBelle trying on shoes together

A new Roseanne

There is little about her newest gig that she doesn't like -- "I don't like sitting in hair and makeup for an hour and a half," she says. But she doesn't mind working every day, and she loves the sense of danger involved in working before a live audience -- she credits much of her show to a new attitude. Gone is the Roseanne renowned for firing her staff in a fit of anger; gone is the Roseanne who hates everybody.

What happened? Well, she's happy now, and she's grown up.

"I did all the internal work that you're supposed to do when you're, like, in therapy for 30 years that I have been in," she says. "It finally just clicked. I think having my baby and seeing my other kids become functional adults, that takes so much off you, I just got grateful. I got real grateful."

And now that she is back with her husband, Ben Thomas, since May after a three-month separation, she is getting an emotional boost from her work as well.

"I did that show ("Roseanne") for 10 years, I'm like, 'You know, I don't think if there's anything I'll be excited to learn anymore,' and now here, I'm excited again," she says.

Among her future plans for the show are a possible episode in which she visits a U.S. Marines camp and "just hanging out with Marines," and a "five divas in five days" week in which she would cross the country to interview famous women singers like Dolly Parton.

"This is a new frontier that we've approached, and just stepped into, which is so fun," she says. "And we're doing these awesome things and I love it."

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