Paste doesn’t just own the world’s largest collection of live music recordings. Our archives are deep with stand-up from some of the best comedians of all time. Every Tuesday and Thursday we’ll be sharing classic stand-up from legends like George Carlin, Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy and more.
From a Live from the Improv compilation released in 1990, here’s a minute of Roseanne Barr stand-up from the 1980s. We know that because she says so herself at the very beginning, and then goes on to talk about that decade for the rest of the clip, where she also touches on televangelists and PMS. You know, two totally ‘80s topics that carbon-dates this as accurately as jokes about the Iran-Contra scandal or having to rewind VHS tapes before returning them to the video store. The Reagan years were also the heyday for period humor. Yep, nobody ever joked about PMS ever again once the ‘90s came around.
This clip was most likely recorded before Roseanne’s sitcom launched on ABC in 1988, and well before its revival returned to ABC’s schedule, uh, next summer. If you haven’t watched Roseanne before, you should definitely seek it out on whatever streaming platform currently hosts it; it stands up better today than almost any other sitcom from its era. The struggle of the working class will never grow old nor go away.