He was a Minneapolis comedian with a zany act —his Fabulous Goldfish Revue included the titular fish doing stunts, including being taped to a tiny motorcycle and shot through a flaming hoop, before being swallowed alive —when he met comic Roseanne Barr, who would go on to be a megastar, and also his wife. The sire of this soon-to-be-notorious Hollywood marriage was a slew of sitcoms, including the groundbreaking Roseanne. In the two decades since, Tom Arnold has continually defied naysayers who tried to label him as a second fiddle; he's played prominent roles in hit movies (True Lies, Nine Months) and indie darlings (Happy Endings, Animal Factory), was a longtime co-host of The Best Damn Sports Show Period, and established himself as a frequent and frequently unpredictable guest on late-night TV shows across the dial. Now Arnold is taking the stage again for his first standup engagements in over 15 years, and this weekend his expansive tour takes him back to the Twin Cities. "Tom has a rapport with the audience that is unbelievable," says comedian Bill Bauer, a longtime friend and colleague who will co-produce Arnold's Valentine's Day show in Mankato ($25-$35, 7 p.m., City Center Hotel; 507.345.1234). "I've only seen a few people who had that ability. Louie Anderson has it, Roseanne has it, and Tom has it."
Feb. 12-13, 8 & 10 p.m., 2010