'The Conners': George Clooney Appears, But Not How Fans Hoped

During the Season 3 premiere of The Conners, the family discussed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and reminisced about some moments from their pasts. For Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), one of those moments tied back to her former love interest, Booker, who was played by George Clooney on Roseanne. The show even featured a special appearance from Clooney's Booker, albeit not in the way that fans might have hoped for.

Towards the beginning of the episode, Dan (John Goodman) tells his family that Wellman Plastics, the facility that Jackie and Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) worked at during Roseanne, was hiring several employees amidst the health crisis. At that point, Jackie began to reminisce about her time at Wellman Plastics and, more particularly, her relationship with the factory's former foreman, Booker. "The supervisor looked just like George Clooney," Jackie said, which prompted the show to play a throwback clip from the original series that showcased Jackie and Booker engaging in some playful banter. Present-day Jackie later said, "Man, I shoulda hit that until I broke it." Later in the episode, Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Becky (Lecy Goranson) followed in their aunt and late mom's footsteps by securing jobs at the factory.

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Bruce Helford, The Conners' showrunner, discussed how Clooney's "cameo" on the show came to be in an interview with TVLine. “As soon as we decided that Darlene and Becky would work on the Wellman line like their mom and Jackie before them, we knew it’d be fun to pop in a memory of George," the producer explained. "There’s such a rich history to this show and we have the unique gift to be able to flash back to earlier times with our characters, so we pick carefully.”

Helford also said that if Clooney did want to make an actual appearance on the show, then The Conners would definitely welcome him with open arms. He added, “George knows there’s an open invitation to come visit the show, but we knew his schedule would be tough and even tougher in these times. But who knows what the future may bring?” Clooney portrayed Booker for 11 episodes of Roseanne from 1988 to 1991. He later left the show, secured a role on ER, and became the well-known movie star that he is today.