MovieChat Forums > Roseanne Discussion > Dan was a boorish, conservatieve prude

Dan was a boorish, conservatieve prude

Many people are still talking about the dumb Roseanne controversy over that tweet that seems so minuscule compared to what many others get away with in Washington.

Let's get back to the actual sitcom. While John Goodman was an exceptional actor, I always thought Dan Connor was a horribly close minded jerk- almost borderline abusive. When ever he didn't get his way, he would slam his fists on the kitchen table, punch holes into the wall, tell people "to get out of my way, or I'm going to do it for you." He provoked violence in many situations, and despite some touching moments where he shows his feeling for his loved ones ("Crime and Punishment" sticking up for Jackie and the abusive Fisher; taking Roseanne out to dinner after Darlene and Becky con her on Mother's Day in "Don't Make Me Over"), I didn't care for him.

- He always complained about there never being enough work even though his skills were limited to dry walling.

- He was physically and mentally cruel to David, Darlene's boyfriend- but always stood up for Mark, even yelling at David that Mark "was a real man who took care of his family."

- He hated his father because his Dad actually was successful and encouraged Dan to try to do more.

- He held Roseanne back from accomplishing things like her writing career (the pitiful basement set up he did in season 2 was an excuse the writers threw in and then we don't see her do anything until the dumb finale in season 9).

- He has conservative values about race relations, with DJ kissing a black girl at school. He didn't want Roseanne to have the baby because he couldn't cope something might be wrong with it.

- He was not an educated person, and didn't even attempt to go back to school. His way with words often included the words "ain't" and "I's gonna get another beer."

Why Roseanne would want to stay with such a bully of a husband is beyond me. She even mentions to him many times that he often just sits on the couch watching TV, works only 6 months out of the year, never spends time with his kids past Darlene's basketball days, and goes around feeling pity for himself and his failures, while being jealous of others prevailing (including Roseanne and the restaurant).

The treatment of David was really what set me off. He actually put his hands on the kid for just kissing his girlfriend Darlene, and was at the point of rage so bad that Darlene and Roseanne both escape to Jackie's house. A more educated and level headed father would not have acted like he did. He belonged in prison. If I were David, I would have called my allegedly "abusive" mother and filed charges against Mr. Connor.

Anyone else seen Dan wasn't this "perfect" father many people praise him to be. Often they praise him because they just like John Goodman.


Dan Connor may not have been every woman's idea of the "ideal man" but I hardly think he was a "horribly close minded jerk". He had his faults. He was a loudmouth, but look who he was married to!! Rosie was a bossy, pushy loudmouth woman. I'd say that they were suited for each other.

He loved his family and supported them. He didn't walk out when times got tough. That's a a lot more that can be said for many guys.

Sure he complained about his work. He got bored with dry walling. Many people get bored with their jobs. Hardly makes them "jerks". He wasn't exactly in a financial position to go to college and get his Master's degree. He had a family to support. Like most blue collar workers, he just didn't have the money or the means to change his financial situation.
He did try other things like the bike shop. Unfortunately Lanford didn't have enough customers to support his business.

Yes he did yell at David. But on the flip side, how many fathers allow the boyfriend of their teen-age daughter to move in? Not many! My dad sure would not have. Dan already lost one daughter to an ill-conceived teen elopement. He probably feared another one.

He didn't hate Ed. Ed simply grated on his nerves with his endless advice, long winded stories about "almost making a million dollars"and "work smart Danny, not hard."

Also Dan resented his father for the way Dan, erroneously, believed Ed mistreated his mother. Ed tried to shield Dan from his mom's mental illness and it resulted in Ed looking like the villain.

Dan came through and was Ed's best man even though he knew that Crystal was making a mistake. He warned her that Ed would be on the road a lot and she'd be stuck home alone with the kids. She wouldn't even be able to "date the guys Rosie sets you up with."

He hardly held Rosie back. She did dream of being a writer, but she married young and had three kids. What did she expect? They had bills to pay, kids to raise, jobs were often hard to come by,etc. I don't think Dan would have been upset if Rosie holed up in the basement and wrote a best seller! It's just the circumstances of life that keep many people from pursuing their dreams.

I do not get the "conservative values" argument at all! DJ didn't want to kiss the black girl in the school play. It's not unusual for boys that age to be shy about kissing any girl. People are often uncomfortable around people who are different. It's human nature. And Dan did have black friends. He had no problem with Leon when he found out he was gay.

As for Dan wanting Rosie to abort the baby, that is HARDLY a conservative value!! Most conservatives that I know (including myself) are against abortion for almost any reason. Not to get into a sticky debate here. But that did not mean Dan was "conservative". He was just scared.

Dan was loud and not very educated. But Roseanne used the same bad grammar. I read that the most successful relationships are between people who are at the same or almost the same level intellectually. Dan and Rosie were hard working, high school grads, not well read but intelligent enough nevertheless. They communicated with each other, often at the top of their lungs, but they understood each other.

I just don't see Dan as some Neanderthal cave man. Loud and often boorish, sitting on the couch with his beer, but that doesn't make him much different than a lot of other husbands.


You have made a number of good points.




I loved John Goodman but you're right. In the beginning of the show, Dan was just a normal, flawed working class guy, but then he was turned into kind of an asshole. It's been ages since I saw the show but I remember that it was his treatment of Becky that was the reason why she turned out the way she did, in spite of having a bright future ahead of her.

Also, in the later years, the writers definitely took his character in a somewhat disappointing direction, which is why I think maybe Roseanne chose to kill him off. Once he was turned into a racist, I think they became disenchanted with him.


i don't get what you mean about Becky. She went behind her parent's back and dated Mark. Dan didn't like him, but it was Roseanne who really hated Mark for a long time.

Dan even explained to Becky that her mom was scared because she herself took off with a guy her mother hated (Dan) and married very young.

When Becky and Mark broke up, she wanted Dan to fire Mark from his job at the bike shop. Dan refused, saying that Mark was doing a good job and it wouldn't be fair to fire him.

There was no reason that she had to run off and marry Mark. And later when they returned, new Becky was angry that Mark was working so many hours and things weren't the way they were when they were dating. Even Roseanne was exasperated at Becky for being such a brat and wanting to go back to "dating" her husband.

I know Becky was angry and disappointed that there was no college fund for her. But didn't she ever hear of student loans? That's what I had. My working class parents couldn't save up to send me to college without loans.

I don't see Dan treating Becky so terribly that she turned out to be an alcoholic waitress in the reboot of the show. She was a smart girl who had a bright future. She even told Dan that she was too young to get married. "I want to go to college and Europe and have a career and stuff."

It's not Dan's fault that she allowed her hormones to dictate her future.

The writing of the show did change somewhat. But I never saw Dan as a racist a-hole.


Like I said, it's been ages since I saw the show. But from what I remember, Dan was very cold towards Becky many times. I don't mean angry or disappointed. I mean distant and pretending she didn't exist. There was an episode I remember where she messed with his bike, and he stopped talking to her, even when she was trying to get close to him. Maybe that doesn't sound like a big deal but to me, it is. It's one thing if a parent grounds or yells at a child, but giving a child the silent treatment is a form of mental cruelty IMO, and it was little things like that on the show which I remember feeling contributed to Becky turning into a rebellious kid.

But I never saw Dan as a racist a-hole.

In the episode where DJ refuses to kiss a black girl, Roseanne calls him out for being racist like his father and blames both of them for DJ's behavior.


Well I can understand if you haven't seen the show in a while that you'd be fuzzy on details!

But Becky was actually quite rebellious long before Dan was, as you said, "cold towards her". Do you recall the episode when she was very rude and mouthing off to her mom because Roseanne had the "nerve" to ask her where she went and what she was doing? Her mom had no right "to pry" into her life
She screamed at the dinner table, shoved her chair and stormed out. Roseanne was angry. But Dan said that Becky was "only trying to get a rise" out of her and Becky was just being a teen-ager. He was often more lenient. Roseanne's solution was to take the door off Becky's room.
That behavior would never have been tolerated in our house when I was growing up!!

There was the time Becky and her friend got into the liquor cabinet and got roaring drunk. Dan's solution was to put a lock on the cabinet.

The bike episode was preceded by the episode when the Connors met Mark. He was disrespectful and rude. The final straw was when they saw him drinking at the Lobo. Understandably they did NOT want their underage daughter dating a guy with a fake I.D. Dan told her flat out that she wasn't to see Mark. And she flat out lied to his face and said that she wouldn't see him.

Now I know every teen is rebellious to a point and a smart aleck. But Dan was the head of the house and he had the right to expect his kids to obey him even if they didn't like his rules. Expecting to be respected hardly made Dan a jerk.

A few episodes later, Becky lied and said she was going to a friend's house when she was going out with Mark. Lied to her mom's face. Rosie knew and kept calling the friend's house to ask to talk to Becky. The friend would call Becky wherever she was and she'd call home.

When that little brat got home she had the NERVE to be angry with her mom because it messed up her evening with Mark and he'd probably never want to see her again. If I had lied and disobeyed my parents like that, never mind the "silent treatment", I would have been grounded until I left for college.

Becky could be so horrid to her parents and Dan still tolerated a lot.

in the bike episode, Becky deserved Dan's disdain. She wanted a car. Dan was working on a solution for her to get one. But still, she and Mark took Dan's bike.

It was established early in the episode that it was Dan's pride and joy. He allowed no one to touch his bike. He had the right to expect his kids to respect his rights and HIS private property even if he was "only" the dad. Parents are people too!
Becky's flimsy excuse was that her parents took the car so she had to take the bike. She didn't ask because she knew Dan would say no. And the final straw was Mark "adjusting" Dan's carburetor! Gee, where I come from, you don't touch other people's stuff, especially when it's a prized possession.

When Becky asked what her punishment was, no wonder Dan was at the end of his rope and said she had no punishment because, "You'll just do whatever the hell you want anyway."
I don't blame him for being furious and giving her the cold shoulder. What else could he do? He tried being understanding, giving warnings, punishments,etc. And the little brat did whatever she wanted.

He was angry. But I think he was hurt too and frustrated. She openly defied him at every turn. So as a human being, he finally thought, "The heck with her!"
So the little princess got her feelings hurt, boo-hoo. She deserved it. She was thoughtless and selfish.
What do you think would happen if you "borrowed" a friend's car without asking him first?

As for Dan's supposed racism, I honestly never saw it. He had several black friends who were always there on poker night. And Ed was mostly just a gasbag. I think the whole racism subject was another example of Roseanne Barr going on one of her soapbox rants. Like when the baby might've had a birth defect and she was considering terminating her pregnancy. She had to use her show to get on her soapbox about "no man has no right to tell a woman what to do." Apparently not even the father of the child!

Well sorry about MY rant! LOL Believe me, none of the anger in my post was directed at YOU. It's the anger I feel towards obnoxious thoughtless teens like Becky. We're talking about fictional characters here. But I know enough teens in the real world like Becky.


People need to give up this notion that a formal education / money equates to having more character. Look at all the privileged scumbags in the news lately. Also, people need to stop using the term ‘educated’ as a synonym for having a college degree. There are people who have a PhD who are severely lacking in intellectual curiosity and never pick up a book once they’re out of school. Most education occurs outside the classroom.

I agree with some of your points, but I never got the impression that Dan tried to hold Roseanne back. Why try to diminish her writing space gift? What more could they do with what they had? And she herself was boorish, domineering, and reactionary.


Also "educated", college or otherwise does not mean intelligent. Plenty of people have smarts and common sense without a formal education.

In contrast there are some people you meet with several degrees and they are so dumb, you wonder how they dress themselves in the morning!

Having money does not always equal "class" either. Some of the poorest people are classy and well mannered. Some rich folks are snobs and rude to those "below" them in social status.


More good points.


Dan was pretty typical of all the households where I grew up, including my own. I thought he was a very true to life character. Life isn't sunshine and roses. It's filled with selfish assholes being mean to each other.


So, his only redeeming quality seems to have been that he was a conservative.


As opposed to his wife, who was all roses and sunshine, right?

- He was not an educated person, and didn't even attempt to go back to school. His way with words often included the words "ain't"

Oh, the horror.

It seems that your definition of "conservatieve" is simply anything that rubs you the wrong way? Very well, although it doesn't seem to have much to do with that other word it's spelled oddly similarly to.

This post was as about pleasant to read as Roseanne Barr singing the national anthem is to hear.


I thought that Dan was a flawed but realistic character just like nearly everybody in real life. There are good and bad in conservatives as well as liberals. I always thought that a very low point in the series MASH was making Hawkeye this supreme being that the audience was to perceive as having no flaws.