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Tom Arnold : Comedian You Should Know

Updated: Jun 12, 2023 10:34
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The ‘Comedian You Should Know’ series highlights funny people performing in San Francisco.  Tom Arnold has been making us laugh since the 1980’s, he’s had a prolific film and tv career and he just so happens to be performing 4 standup shows at Cobb’s June 12th & 13th.


From starring along side Arnold Schwarzenegger, to marrying Roseanne Barr, to hosting The Best Damn Sport Show Period, Tom Arnold has had an incredible career that comes with many amazing stories and relationships.  Never a dull moment, we were really exited at the chance to ask Tom questions and he did not disappoint!  Here’s Tom Arnold on dieting with Robin Williams, yelling at Suge Knight, and of course his 5 favorite comics of all time.

When was your first set, and how did it go?
First time onstage was April 1982 University of Iowa Student Union . Before the show my friends and I drank a lot of Everclear Punch (Powdered Gatorade mixed with 180 proof grain alcohol). My show went great or so I thought at the time. My uncle’s video proved that to be incorrect but it was still one of the best nights of my life. I was officially a comedian.

Ever hangout with Robin Williams in San Francisco?
I filmed NINE MONTHS with Robin in SF for 5 months in 1995. I’ve never seen a man so proud of his hometown. I worshiped Robin so I did whatever he did. If he liked a restaurant, I loved that restaurant. If he went hiking, so did I, same with biking. Even dieting. Robin and I ate only turkey, mustard and special Chinese herbs for 2 weeks. One day he ran into the makeup room, pulled me aside and asked “did you think you were having a heart attack last night?” “Yes Robin, I did think I was having a heart attack last night” “Tom, we have to stop taking those herbs.” “I’ve thought that I was having a heart attack every night since we started this diet. I thought that meant the diet was working”.

A ridiculous story from your appearances on SNL?
I hosted 3 times and it’s always frightening when Don Pardo counts down the last 10 seconds before they open the door and you know you are on live TV and in the next few seconds you could do something that could ruin your life. At one after party, Tupac was the musical guest and he’s sitting at a table with a bunch of big badasses and one (Suge Knight) yells at me “Where’s Roseanne?” and it gets quiet after a beat I yell back “She’s in the trunk of my car. You lookin for some lovin, you fat bastard?” and now it’s dead quiet and suddenly Tupac busts up laughing and so does Suge and they come over and join me at my table. We were pals after that. Amongst his many talents Tupac was a really funny, sweet guy.


What was your first job?
My first job was detasseling corn in the fields of SE Iowa for $1.40 an hour.

The Best Damn Sport Show Period had a big influence on sports broadcasting, highlights?
Interviewing my childhood heros. Willie Mays on one side of me. Ernie Banks on the other. Catching passes from Joe Montana. Breaking my ribs in what was supposed to be a fake fight with Michael Strahan. Getting paid big money to do something I do every day for free: talk about sports.

How many times have you been stabbed?
4 times (I worked in a meat packing plant for 3 years) but only once by a wife.

Do you have a favorite 1 liner?
“What kind of a sick bitch takes the ice cube trays out of the freezer?” (True Lies)

What’s your favorite joke in your set right now?
The story of the 25 year journey I took to meet my son.

Who is a performer you’re embarrassed to like?
I was just pounding the elliptical to Taylor Swift’s Haters Gonna Hate song.

Your Top 5 Comedians of all time?
Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Don Rickles, Jack Benny, Jonathan Winters.

Have anything coming up?
My series “Sin City Saints” is on Yahoo Screen, “Any Day” with Sean Bean, Eva Longoria and Kate Walsh is in theatres and 2 more movies coming out this fall. Shooting one of my all time favorite TV shows “Trailer Park Boys” with Snoop Dogg next week and Maximum Impact (an action comedy) in Russia this summer. I just finished writing 2 TV pilots, a bunch more stand up and maybe just maybe one more kid.

Catch Tom this weekend at Cobb’s Comedy Club
June 12th 8PM & 10:15PM
June 13th 7:30PM & 9:45PM

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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