Tom Arnold Says John Goodman Will Need ‘Trauma Therapy’ After ‘Roseanne’: ‘He Was Like a Hostage’

Tom Arnold is not holding back! While promoting his new comedy special, Past & Present Imperfectly, which debuted on the Comedy Dynamics Network on Tuesday, June 5, the stand-up comedian stopped by our Watch With Us podcast! Listen to the full podcast above or download on iTunes, and read the highlights below!

On why he did the special now:
I’m an old dad. I’ve got a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old. I have this life I’ve always dreamed of. I want to do a special and look back. I’ve been in Los Angeles 30 years now, I moved from the Midwest. All my dreams have come true. I also want to show people what I do on the road … People after the shows, when they come and talk to me, say, “Oh my gosh, I thought you would be mean to people or mean to your ex-wives,” and I’m not. It’s a good way to get to know people. Plus, I want my kids to go, “By the way, who is our dad? What was his life like?”

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Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold backstage at Farm Aid in Ames, Iowa on March 14, 1992. Paul Natkin/Getty Images

On doing press for his special at the same time as the Roseanne news:
I was supposed to start promoting it the day the show got canceled! She is cursing me. She intentionally took her show into the crapper just to destroy my special! She holds a grudge. She’s willing to take down her show just so no one pays attention to my little comedy special. She is dedicated! Twenty-four years later, she’s like, “Oh no, I’ve still got this guy. I’m like the frickin’ Terminator! I’m going to regenerate and take down his little comedy special.”

On the last time he spoke to Roseanne Barr:
I’ve talked to the woman for 30 seconds in the last 24 years and that was backstage at her roast in 2012 … there’s a few times over the years she’s called me late at night when she’s had trouble.

On the reports that Roseanne will return with Sara Gilbert and John Goodman:
I think John Goodman’s probably gonna have to go into trauma therapy for post-traumatic stress. Every time I looked in his eyes when I was sitting next to her, he was like a hostage.

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Tom Arnold, John Goodman and Roseanne Barr. Robin Marchant/Getty Images; MEGA

On how Barr has changed over the years:
This version of racism is a mental illness. I’d never met anyone like her. She was a feminist, liberal. I never heard the term “people of color.” I heard other terms, growing up in Iowa. She was a champion for these people.

On the reboot and why it shouldn’t have ever happened:
Sometimes things are just not meant to be. When I left [Roseanne] in 1994, the show was amazing. One thing she always wanted to do, what I wouldn’t do, was win the lottery. So when I left, they won the lottery, which really changed the show. The last season John Goodman wasn’t there, he quit, then the show got canceled. To make it come back … sometimes it’s like when a relationship has not worked out, there’s a reason for that. The kids are like, “Get back together for the kids,” and the parents get back together, and it’s not working. Sometimes that relationship implodes and people end up buried in the background. That’s kinda what happened here. It just wasn’t meant to be.

ABC’s reboot of Roseanne was canceled on Tuesday, May 29, following Barr’s tweet that referred to White House aide Valerie Jarrett as a combination of “Muslim Brotherhood + Planet of the Apes.”

Past & Present Imperfectly is available now on the Comedy Dynamics Network.

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