Tom Arnold likes to take risks onstage and off

CorrespondentFebruary 28, 2013 

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Tom Arnold.

ANDREW H. WALKER — Getty Images for Playboy

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    Who: Tom Arnold

    When: 8 p.m. & 10:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday

    Where: Goodnight’s Comedy Club, 861 W. Morgan St, Raleigh.

    Cost: $25

    Details: 919-828-5233

No outrageous joke topped Tom Arnold’s surprise appearance during last April’s Roseanne Barr roast, which aired on Comedy Central. The actor-comic brought down the house when he shocked his controversial ex-wife.

What’s great about Arnold is that he is willing to stick his neck out. He’s not afraid of looking bad.

“I like to take chances,” he says. “I have no problem rolling the dice.”

That’s evident since Arnold has been married four times, most notably to the unpredictable Barr. Arnold, who will perform Friday and Saturday at Goodnight’s Comedy Club, has appeared on television shows as diverse as “Roseanne,” “The Best Damn Sports Show” and “My Big Redneck Wedding.”

Arnold has also starred in major features such as “True Lies.”

“It’s all work and it’s fun to be able to work on such productions,” he says. “It beats the alternative.”

Even with all of his television and film success, Arnold continues to toil as a stand-up comic.

“That’s where I started,” he says. “I never lost the desire to be a stand-up. It’s not something that goes away. You look at guys like Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Cosby. They could have stopped doing stand-up many years ago with all of their success. But the stand-up bug is something you can’t get rid of. It’s like when you start out in this business, you’re compelled to do stand-up, even though you’re not making any money. It’s like an addiction. So when you have some success in other areas in entertainment, you still want to do stand-up.”

The unpredictable Arnold is an ace yarn spinner who is at his best when detailing his colorful life.

“I’ve had so many interesting experiences dating back to before I ever had any fame,” he says. “I love talking about things onstage that happen in my life. A lot of what I talk about is relatable.”

Even though Arnold has been in a plethora of films such as “Big Bully,” “The Stupids” and “McHale’s Navy,” fans can’t help but ask him about “True Lies,” the 1994 hit action spy film directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzennegger and Jamie Lee Curtis.

“It was a great movie and I think people can see how much fun I had,” he says. “I got to work with my buddy Jim, who is a master. And then there is Arnold, who is such a fun person. I’m fortunate. I’ve had incredible opportunities and I’ve made the most of them. I would love to be in another film like ‘True Lies.’ Whether it happens or not, we’ll see.

“I’m just pleased that I have stand-up, no matter what happens.”

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