John Goodman discusses bringing Dan back in 'Roseanne' reboot

John Goodman speculates on where the Conners are now for "Roseanne" reboot.

ByLuchina Fisher
June 08, 2017, 1:17 PM

— -- When the hit sitcom "Roseanne" returns to ABC next year, John Goodman will be front and center, even though his character died of a heart attack on the series finale.

So how will the new series address his death?

"I don't know," Goodman told ABC News. "I think they're just going to ignore it."

He added, "There might be a funny reference to it."

Although he hasn't yet seen a script for the reboot, Goodman is excited to return as family patriarch Dan Conner, alongside Roseanne Barr, who played his wife in the title role, and series regulars Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman, Lecy Goranson and Sarah Chalke.

"It's going to be all new turf. We were in our 40s when we left off," the 64-year-old actor said. "I myself have applied for Medicare. We’re going to have grandkids. It's just like a new life. I don’t know what they're going to do, but I'm excited to try it this way."

Announcing the revival of the show, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said, "The Conners’ joys and struggles are as relevant -- and hilarious -- today as they were then, and there’s really no one better to comment on our modern America than Roseanne."

Goodman agrees that the struggles of the working-class Conners are likely to resonate with today's audiences.

"Sure, we both are probably still working -- didn’t have the luxury of retiring, probably didn’t have a pension, living paycheck to paycheck. I guess we kept the house," he speculated about the Conners today. "A lot of people are going through the same thing. There are a lot of people who can’t retire when they’re in their 60s."

Not that Goodman, himself, has any plans to slow down.

The veteran actor also has a new movie, "Once Upon a Time in Venice," which hits theaters and video on demand June 16. Goodman stars opposite Bruce Willis, who plays a detective teaming up with his best friend (Goodman) for a wild escapade through Venice, California, in order to get his dog back.

For Goodman it was a chance to work with his old friend, Willis.

"Bruce and I have known each other since 1971, but we've never worked together," said Goodman, who had a guest spot on Willis' breakthrough series "Moonlighting" but never had any scenes with his old pal.

In "Venice," Goodman plays a retired pro surfer going through a bad divorce. Fortunately, he doesn't have to surf in the movie.

"The only time I ever tried it, was when Bruce had a place in Malibu -- he was renting a place -- and he had boards," Goodman recalled. "And I could not get up on that surfboard.

Goodman also opened up about his health, which improved dramatically after he slimmed down to nearly half his size.

"I'm great, my heart's in good shape, no blockages," he revealed.

Over the years, Goodman has given up drinking, overeating and more recently cigarettes.

"I finally quit smoking after years and years. I can’t afford to do it anymore," he said.

Looking back at his years on "Roseanne," Goodman told ABC News' Popcorn last year that he took for granted his years on the show.

"I didn’t appreciate it at the time. I started drinking a lot. Things were skewed. It was one of those things an alcoholic does. Whatever you’ve got isn’t good enough. You always want more. If I felt great, I’d have to have a drink to make it greater, to have more fun. Looking back on it I wish I would have appreciated more. I admired the hell out of Roseanne," he said.

Now, with the reboot on the horizon, he's eager to return to his TV family and hopes fans are looking forward to seeing them again.

"That’s part of the thrill of it, taking that rope swing over the river. You just don’t know. You run the risk of wearing out our welcome," he told ABC News. "People are excited because they have fond memories of the old show, which is still running. You run the risk of disappointing people, but don’t think it’s going to happen."

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events