ROSEANNE BARR: Slightly To The Left Of Normal

ROSEANNE BARR, TV's hottest star, as unfettered off camera as on, talks about the pain and anger that produce her unique brand of humor

Q. Mark Twain once said that the secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow.

A. True, in my case. Humor was a coping skill, I guess you could say. A way of responding to the intense agony of my family. Performing was a way of being O.K. in a world that largely disgusted me. A friend once told me, and it's true, that one foot onto the stage and you're suspended in another world, a world you control totally.

Q. Why the need to escape?

A. I grew up Jewish in Salt Lake City, a very conservative Mormon place,...

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