‘The Conners’ Showrunner Discusses Having a Natural Disaster During Dan’s Wedding

by Michael Freeman

With Louise officially becoming a part of the family on The Conners, its latest season has a lot happening. In a recent interview, showrunners discussed the upcoming season, including a possible homage about a natural disaster during Dan’s wedding.

TVLine talked to The Conners executive producers Bruce Helford and Dave Caplan about the show. Specifically, they talked about current happenings and what may lie in the future for cast members. Interestingly, one question referenced the fact neither producer was involved with Roseanne until Seasons 5 and 10 respectively. TVLine then asked if the tornado during the wedding referenced a season 1 episode.

“No, actually,” Helford answered. “We had decided on the tornado and then someone in the writers’ room said to us, ‘You know, there was an episode about a tornado,’ and my comment was, ‘Well, I’m from Chicago and there’s more than one tornado you live through in your life.’ I experienced a lot of tornadoes.”

Helford goes on to say the events actually reference his own life as opposed to the older show. “Some of this was also based on when I was a kid and we had my bar mitzvah. It occurred during one of the worst ice storms in Chicago’s history. On the drive to the synagogue, we hit three parked cars as my father was skidding around, trying to get there…”

Caplan then jokingly added his own thoughts to Helford’s story. “We didn’t think it made sense for Dan to get bar mitzvahed at this point, so we went with the wedding instead. [Laughs].”

Norm MacDonald Receives Warm Tribute in ‘The Conners’ Premiere

Though the tornado during Dan’s wedding in The Conners wasn’t a reference to anything, the show did acknowledge someone during its premiere this year. The cast and crew dedicated the episode to Norm MacDonald, who had just passed away.

At the end of the live premiere, the cast gathered on the sofa with the sign seen in the tweet. The sign reads “Dedicated to the memory of our friend and colleague Norm MacDonald.”

Additionally, Helford spoke to Deadline about their work together and how unique MacDonald was. “We did his Norm show together, which is one of the best shows I’ve ever done,” Helford told the outlet. “And it was because he was so brilliant and irreverent and he pretended he didn’t care, but he cared very much and worked really hard to create something unique. He was so admired by other comics because he had that rare gift — a voice that no one else had. A rhythm and a brain that were unlike anyone else.”

Norm MacDonald passed away on September 14 of leukemia, which had been diagnosed eight years earlier.