'Roseanne' director from Melrose Park talks about helming original and revival

CHICAGO (WLS) -- She's now one of the hottest comedy directors in Hollywood, but when Gail Mancuso was growing up in Melrose Park she never imagined a career in show business.

"I had a wonderful neighborhood to grow up in and we all knew each other, had block parties," Mancuso said.

Mancuso stopped by ABC in Los Angeles to share some memories about how she ended up in LA.

"There was one winter where I went out into the parking lot and I couldn't find my car. I was driving a white Chevy Nova and we had a complete white out and I was freezing and I was all over the parking lot and I said, 'As God is my witness I will never do this again,'" she recalled.

Mancuso's Hollywood story began when she went to a taping of The Dating Game. She boldly approached an usher.

"How did you get your job? He said, 'You want my job,' I said, 'Yeah, I want your job,' and he said 'You can have it because today's my last day.' I got hired on the spot and I was two days in LA," said Mancuso.

Mancuso worked on shows like "WKRP in Cincinnati."

"I worked on a lot of comedy shows and all we would do is laugh and I was like, this is kind of fun maybe I should get out of the business world and change into television and film," she said.

Mancuso moved up through the ranks, and got her first chance to direct from "Roseanne" on the original series. The cast and crew wanted her back for the relaunch.

When you're together for so many years for so long, and you go through life events like births and death. I taught Sara Gilbert how to put gas in her car," she recalled.

"It's so great because a lot of us are from Chicago, I'm from Melrose Park, Galecki, he was from Oak Park, Lecy's from Chicago," Mancuso said.

The director won two Emmys for ABC's "Modern Family" and she's now directing a movie. Mancuso and her husband have two grown sons and come back to Chicago often.
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