Still no answers to my ad... 'Wanted large house for large family and extended family, Illinois, Ladford area'... Not much to ask I thought.
I sipped my coffee and scoured the sales and lettings pages in the Tribune, but all I could find were 2 bedroom apartments and a dodgy looking 6 bedroom place that I swear was that hostel where all those kids died... sigh... I just needed 4 bedrooms, a good sized outhouse and, in my dreams, a pool, was that too much to ask for?
Suddenly I felt a vibration in my pocket... what the hell?... Ah, it was just my phone, I didn't recognise the number and it was out of state, it couldn't possibly be one of the hundreds of real estate agents I had called, but you live in hope.
I answered with a confident 'Hello!' - you know, just in case - and asked how could I help and if it was to do with a house... And, oh my goodness it was! And not only that, but it sounded perfect! The family who had lived there had 4 kids... Like us... and an extended family of, what sounded like, eccentrics... Yep, that all sounded very familiar! It was in the perfect area and well within our budget, so what was the catch? There just had to be a catch, there always was... No heating? No bath tubs? No windows?!
But it was still worth a gambit, so I took down the address, but as I was writing something came over me... Why was this guys voice so familiar? Why did this whole situation seem familiar? A home, a family, 4 kids, a mom and dad and a family of misfits and crazies? in Illinois? In Landford? Why did that all seem so familiar?
Should I ask for a name? Maybe that would give me a clue as to why these bells were ringing so hard in my head...
... And as soon as he told me the bells had stopped and a familiar tune started playing in my head a very, very familiar tune...
Wow, this was an opportunity not to be missed... So, making small talk, I dashed to my car, fed the zipcode into my Sat-Nav, put Michael on speaker phone and started off... Man, I needed to see this house, not only did it sound perfect, but it was a famous landmark in it's own right!
After I had safely pulled away, I started to ask him some questions...
You were only 6 when you started on Roseanne, did you truly realise what you had gotten into?
Wow... You'd never know!
" signed with an agent but there was no work due to the Writer’s Strike of 1988. The first audition for Roseanne came up and my parents didn’t want me to try out for Television or Movies. (Nothing long term) After seven auditions spanning about months I earned the role of D.J."
I hope your sister wasn't to jealous!
But did you learn any parenting tips from Roseanne?!
She remains a huge supporter and caring influence in my life. I was lucky most of my adult co-workers embraced me."
'Turn left at the next junction and keep going straight for the next 10 blocks...' Instructed the Satnav, I turned as it said, looks like the house wasn't as far as I had thought.
And were they on the set much?
My parents, grandfather or a nanny brought me each day. They took turns as each shifted their full time work schedules to accommodate my busy show schedule."
Robin Williams?! Wow, What did you say?
... you don't really say much. Robin goes a mile a minute, you try to keep up and hear through all the laughter.
He used to call me, “The Fish MAN”
"At times there has been jealousy. More than a few people tried to bully or starts fights but truthfully every kid gets teased or challenged growing up. I loved what I did so much it was always worth it."
"It’s surreal to watch the show now. It feels like home movies. I’m transported back, remembering things that occurred behind the scenes.
'Make a U turn at the earliest convenience' the Sat-Nav cried, oh dear, I must have missed my turn. I pulled up to the side of the road and paused the Sat-Nav, I think I better concentrate on one thing at a time and this conversation was definitely more important right now! I turned off the engine, put my feet on the dash and carried on with my questions.
Good answer... Very diplomatic...
Now, I thought... Onto something other than DJ… Well sort of...
So, would you do it all again?
"It’s hard to share stories, so many, and they all sound like bragging.
That was better than I had hoped for! Fabulous!
I know I wouldn't fancy squaring up to Ground Chuck! Wasn’t that scary? I mean, there were knives!
I suppose the kids know you as Michael, rather than DJ, but what’s the reaction when you tell them who you are… From them - and their parents?!
I checked my watch, Darn, I had to be at school to pick up the kids in 45 minutes... I decided, how ever much I was enjoying this, I really had to get on. Putting my feet back on the peddles, un-pausing the Sat-Nav and moving the stick into drive, I pulled off, but the questions didn't stop...
And then only 2 minutes from where I'd stopped the Sat-Nav spoke again telling me to pull into the left and 'You have now reached your destination'... I've never wanted a journey to last longer in my life, ah well... But maybe I could squeeze another question out before I went to check out the house.
Good choice of vocation I thought, Michael seemed a very caring man so I could really see that happening...
I turned off the engine and got out, there it was, the house... That yellow painted porch, the door, the garden, the shutters... It was unmistakable! I noticed the realtor standing out front, ooh maybe I could catch her, but as I made my way up the path, I just had time for one last question...
I waved to the realtor, unmistakable in her red jacket and saying a giant thank you to Michael before hanging up, requested to look inside property... 'Not that I really need to' I joked... 'I mean I watched that living-room every week for years after all!'
She smiled sweetly and opened the door... But what was this? This wasn't the Connors living-room?! This wasn't how I remember it! What? How...? Oh....
That was the moment when realisation set in and I suddenly understood why the interior of this house didn't seem right... Because the interior of this house was not real at all, but was actually just a TV set in the CBS studio centre, hundreds of miles away in California!!!... What an idiot!
Ah well, I suppose it's back to the newspaper ads for me...
For more info on Michael go to: his Wikipedia page, IMDB or his Facebook page.