The Best Comedic Debuts on 'The Tonight Show'

Legendary sets that made careers of Joan Rivers, Jerry Seinfeld, Drew Carey, Garry Shandling, Roseanne and more

Roseanne Barr

Sometimes, during the Carson era, one spot was enough to introduce an audience to not only a comic but an entire comedic ethos. This was the case with Roseanne Barr, who distilled her entire "domestic goddess" worldview into one chatty, sassy, ear-piercing monologue. Every dismissive aside, delivered with a matter-of-fact tone and a little gum-chewing, solidifies the caustic, demanding persona which became so familiar during the nine-year run of Roseanne and beyond. 

After talking about how little fun she’s having as a housewife, she announces, "I'm fat. Just thought I'd point that out." Then she talks about the advantages of coming home to a fat mom and her methods of curing depression: "Let's have pudding, Oreos and marshmallows. When you wake up from that sugar coma, it'll be a brand new week." This set was filmed on August 23rd, 1985, and was just the thing Americans were ready to see: Moms with real hips being selfish, fed-up, human. And as opposed to her later TV persona, this stage persona is surprisingly bubbly and giggly, and endearing in its way.