Tom Arnold on Reconciling with Ex-Wife Rosanne Barr: ‘When Things Go Good, You Just Want to Leave It Good’

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Celebs who stayed close despite splitting.
Tom Arnold made a surprise appearance at ex-wife, Roseanne Barr’s Comedy Central Roast last month, a move that took days of wrangling between publicists and lawyers to bring the estranged couple together.

“I had a lot of fears,” Arnold confessed to Celebuzz. “It’s her thing, it’ s her night to be honored. It’s her friends and I’m not one of those guys.”

Taped on Saturday, August 4th, the roast aired this past weekend. The Tuesday before the taping, Arnold got word that Barr had an idea for a gag where he would come out dressed as a waiter, serve her a drink and walk away.

Not surprisingly, this idea was nixed, with Arnold holding out for something a little more edifying.

The next day, Barr’s team came back suggesting Arnold appear half way through the event with a fusillade of jokes directed at the roasters, but not Roseanne herself.

Arnold’s publicist’s response: “Over my dead body.”

Barr and Arnold’s vitriol goes back to a sordid and messy divorce that reflected a publicly sordid and messy marriage.

Arnold, a former meat packer from Iowa, rode Barr’s coattails into showbiz, eventually reaching a career high costarring in 1994’s True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Barr enjoyed a meteoric rise from midwestern comedy clubs to become one of the biggest stars of the nineties with her top-rated working-class sitcom, Roseanne.

“We literally haven’t spoken in 18 plus years,” said Arnold about his ex-wife. So Arnold decided to put in an appearance on the condition that Roseanne say one nice thing about him.

Roseanne came back with, “I want to thank everybody for coming, and I do mean everybody.”

“She hasn’t said one nice thing in 18 years and that’s the best she can do?!” Arnold gasped. In the end, she agreed to say, “Tom was great for coming here. I’m glad he came. He’s always made me laugh.”

Only Roseanne knew Arnold would be there that night. So when he took his place at the mike, a shock rippled through the crowd, followed by a standing ovation.

When it was all over, Roseanne called him over.

“I just want to say, I know why you were nervous,” she told him. “But I’m glad you did this. I’m in a good place. You’re in a good place.”

Afterward, the two exchanged a few emails, but they don’t really keep in touch.

“I felt like let’s leave this where it is,” said Arnold. “When things go good, you just want to leave it good.”