An off-screen romance web was tangled up between Roseanne Barr, Tom Arnold and Laurie Metcalf during the early days of Roseanne. Years before marrying Barr, Arnold says he had a short-lived fling with Metcalf in the heat of the moment.
The 59-year-old actor was a gust on The Howard Stern Show on Wednesday where he opened up about his dating life during the early days of Roseanne. Arnold, who was an actor and writer on the TV series from the late '80s until the early '90s, told Stern that he had a brief romance with co-star Metcalf during the filming of the show's pilot episode.
"The night we shot the pilot, yes, Roseanne was in the front seat getting romantic with John Goodman. I was in the backseat. Roseanne looks back and I'm holding hands with Laurie Metcalf and then we're having a great time," Arnold said.
"We went to the Improv, we were just hammered. The next morning [Barr] calls me into her office and she goes, 'Tom, I was a writer too. Writers cannot date the actors. That's the rule of Hollywood,'" Arnold shared. "I was like, 'Oh, OK...I apologize. That's the rule of Hollywood I would not violate it.' And then I couldn't date Laurie Metcalf. And little did I know Roseanne would eventually make me marry her...I could never tell how women like me but apparently if they're really, really mean to me...I appreciated that."
But Arnold revealed that while sparks definitely flew between him and Metfcalf, there was nothing more to the fun night.
"Well, no, we had a night...it's like I'm sure we were out partying, we did a pilot for a TV show, this is exciting...well whatever...there was something that night, 100 percent," Arnold revealed. "Of course I don't know what. Well they kissed and made out...well, whatever they want...well they were backing down in a car, I don't know."
Arnold went on to tie the knot with Barr in 1990, but the couple divorced four years later. While long-standing tension still exists between Barr and Arnold, he penned a full-length review of the show's revival season and said he was pleasantly surprised.
“The world is different now than when Roseanne and I went to Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1992, and a lot has changed since the show went off the air in 1997,” he began his lengthy post for The Hollywood Reporter, adding that when he learned about the reboot he was “happy for Roseanne and the other actors.”
He continued, saying he “knew the new show’s success would rest on one thing: Who will Roseanne Conner be in 2018?” before elaborating on her outspoken pro-Donald Trump political views.
Arnold went on to write that when he “read on the internet that Roseanne Conner was going to be a far-right Trump lover,” and that the show “would now be more about Sara Gilbert’s character, Darlene, and that Roseanne’s role wouldn’t be that big of a deal,” he didn’t think it sounded good.
He detailed his reaction to the premiere episode titled “Twenty Years to Life,” including the revelation that Dan Conner is alive despite “what everyone assumed was a fatal heart attack in the 1997 series finale,” and he praised the performances of Barr and John Goodman.
“[They] haven’t skipped a beat,” he wrote. “Reboots have to be tough to write because they aren’t pilots, but they kind of are, so you have to introduce your characters to new people but not over-introduce them to fans. But honestly, once my eyes adjusted a bit, the cold open could be from the ’90s.”
He told fans of the original show that the reboot is “as good as it’s going to get.”
“[Barr] has done everything from pulling my hair transplants immediately after surgery to saying I had a 3-inch penis on SNL, so I figure if I can give the show another shot, maybe other people could too,” he wrote.