Started off in a small theater in Springboro, Ohio called the Miami Valley Dinner Theater now called La Comedia Dinner Theater. He appeared in the show "1776" in 1975.
Born to Leslie Goodman, Sr, a postal worker (died in 1955), and his wife Virginia, a store clerk and waitress, he has a sister, Elisabeth (born after father's death), and a brother, Leslie, Jr (14 years senior to John).
Appeared in "A Streetcar Named Desire" with Alec Baldwin. Baldwin, who played the role originated by Marlon Brando, has played Robert De Niro on "Saturday Night Live" (1975). Goodman has played Brando and De Niro on "Saturday Night Live".
Is one of the favorite hosts on "Saturday Night Live" (1975), hosting the show 11 times and making numerous surprise appearances starting from the 1989-1990 season to the present.
He was in the original Broadway cast of the 1985 musical "Big River", which is based on The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn. He played Pap Finn and can be heard on the cast recording singing "Guv'ment".
Dan Conner, Goodman's character on "Roseanne" (1988), was ranked #13 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [20 June 2004 issue].
Was considered for the role of Buck Russell in Uncle Buck (1989).
Daughter Molly Evangeline Goodman (born August 31st 1990) with Annabeth Hartzog.
Has played both the King of England (in King Ralph (1991)) and the President of the United States (in certain episodes of "The West Wing" (1999)).
His unique style of throwing darts, holding the pointing tip of the dart with his thumb and index finger and then throwing the dart with the opposite end pointing to the board, so that the dart makes a 180-degree in mid air, with the pointed end to the stuck board, can be seen in many of his movies such as King Ralph (1991).
Was the first guest on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (1993) when the show premiered on 13 September 1993.
He was regarded as being so crucial to the feature film version of The Flintstones (1994) that the project would have been shelved if he had turned down the role of Fred.
On "Inside the Actors Studio" (1994), he revealed that of all the projects he has worked on, The Big Lebowski (1998) is his favorite.
Was considered for the role of Paul Hennessy on "8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter" (2002).
Was ordered by his doctors to lose a lot of weight in 2005. He referred to this as his biggest challenge since quitting smoking in 2003.
Quit drinking in 2007 and has vowed to remain sober.
Bought a $4.6 million dollar home in Pacific Palisades, California (2008).
In 2011, he was in two films that were Oscar nominated for Best Picture - The Artist and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.