Tom Arnold Surprises Ex-Wife Roseanne at Her Comedy Central Roast
The Two Had Not Been in the Same Room for Nearly Two Decades
Comedy Central saved the biggest surprise of Roseanne Barr's celebrity roast for near the end of the show's taping Saturday night: her second ex-husband, Tom Arnold, took the stage, marking the first time the bitter twosome had been in the same room in nearly two decades.
A Comedy Central representative told Yahoo! TV that Arnold's appearance on the roast was unplanned until right before the taping began.
Despite the contentious relationship they've had since their very public 1994 divorce, Arnold's comments about Roseanne, who was also his boss on the TV series Roseanne and The Jackie Thomas Show, were mostly positive during the roast.
The exes even hugged each other as Arnold left the dais and the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
"We have not been in the same room for over 17 years," Arnold told the audience. "Is this really the best format to do this? Getting together with your ex at a roast?"
Roseanne's reaction to his comments: "I'd really like to thank Tom for showing up. It was very brave and he was very funny," she said, before getting in one funny jab of her own.
"But Jesus Christ, how many jobs do I have to get that guy?"
The roast, which taped at the Hollywood Paladium and will air on Comedy Central on Aug. 12 (10 p.m. ET), also included stars like Carrie Fisher, Sharon Stone, Seth Green, Roseanne's sitcom kids Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman, and Glee star Jane Lynch, who served as the roast hostess.
Comedy Central Roast regular Jeffrey Ross, the self-proclaimed "Roastmaster General," also stole a bit of the evening's thunder when he showed up on the red carpet dressed as the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, accompanied by two young-looking boys who were wearing nothing but football helmets and towels wrapped around their waists.
Ross also later made jokes about the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shootings during the roast, which drew boos from the audience.
But Arnold's pop-in remained the evening's highlight, as he recalled Roseanne's big break, a 1985 Tonight Show appearance with Johnny Carson that sparked her huge success.
"Roseanne you were my Johnny Carson," Arnold told her during the roast. "Thank you for your thumbs up and for letting me sit on your couch for a little bit."
Roseanne, who is a popular Twitter presence with her political and social commentary, was formally nominated by the Peace and Freedom Party in Los Angeles as a presidential nominee on Saturday, said her ostensible makeup with Arnold could bode well for everyone.
"If I can bury my roiling, boiling ceaseless hatred for Tom Arnold," Roseanne said, "maybe there is a chance for world peace."