The former sitcom star and ex-husband of Roseanne is not someone any of us consider to be a serious man, so when he was announced as the host of Hunt For The Trump Tapes, none of us really thought that his search would amount to much.
But why not? The release of hidden tape archives very rarely ever come from the places you'd expect. Tom Arnold is a surprisingly well-connected guy who just needs to talk to the right person. Could Tom Arnold actually do it? Could he find tapes that would shock US voters out of supporting their current President?
Who is Tom Arnold?
To say that Tom Arnold has had a turbulent career is an understatement. Brought in as a writer by Roseanne on her sitcom in 1989, Tom Arnold not only wrote himself into the show as recurring character Arnie, but he also married the sitcom star in 1990; This led to his own sitcom, The Jackie Thomas Show, a short-lived sitcom that was cancelled near the conclusion of its one and only season. The cancellation came despite airing in the timeslot after one of America's biggest comedies at the time - Roseanne.
1994 saw Tom Arnold co-starring against Arnold Schwarzenegger in the James Cameron-directed True Lies. The same year, Tom Arnold also divorced Roseanne. Subsequently, his career began to falter. Despite movie stardom never quite locking in for him, he has always kept busy, often appearing in smaller indie films.
In addition to appearances on shows like Sons of Anarchy, ER, and NCIS: New Orleans, he has become a talk and reality show staple, appearing on shows that include the Australian version of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, and a series of Redneck-themed shows: My Big Redneck Wedding, My Big Redneck Vacation, and My Big Redneck Family.
Why does Tom Arnold think he will be able to find incriminating tapes?
Both Tom Arnold and Donald Trump used to travel in similar circles, fighting for screen time along with a slew of C and D level celebrities. So, when Arnold is looking to bring down Trump, he isn't viewing Trump as the US President, he views him as a contemporary.
“It’s not a compliment... to myself or Donald Trump that we know the same people.” - Rolling Stone
Through knowing a lot of the same people, Arnold claims to have already seen some incriminating tapes and has heard whispers of more.
“There was a compilation tape of Apprentice outtakes. In the fall of 2016, I was doing stand-up comedy and the Access Hollywood tape had not taken him down. And I said, ‘I’ve seen a tape, because people share stuff, of him.’ I talked about the outtakes that I’d seen and I went into detail about the specific beats that were put together on the shows and the specific things he’d said. There was a soft N-word, there was calling Eric [Trump] the R-word. A compliment was him saying some of the work there was ‘f—able.’" - People.com
He also views himself as being on the same level as famed journalists Woodward and Bernstein:
“In this moment, like Bob Woodward and I are fucking soul mates because what he’s putting out there is what I’ve been selling this whole time. I’m pretty sure that we both had our asses chewed hard by Carl Bernstein. I have a great voice mail from Carl Bernstein where he chews my ass pretty hard. I’m very proud of that.” - Salon.com
What is the likelihood that Tom Arnold will find tapes?
You're a smart person. I'm a smart person. We both know that there's NO WAY that Tom Arnold, of all people, is going to find taped evidence that will bring down Donald Trump.
But... that isn't to say that he won't.
Yes, to even think Tom Arnold could play a vital role in this news story is ridiculous. But, hasn't everything about the Trump presidency been kind of ridiculous? Maybe our thinking on all this is wrong - to bring down the first reality star US President might require an equally ridiculous celebrity to get involved.
Right now the world needs a hero. And who are we to say that the star of the 1996 film The Stupids, Mr Tom Arnold, isn't the man for this moment...
Hunt For The Trump Tapes airs Wednesday nights at 8pm on SBS VICELAND, with episodes streaming anytime after at SBS On Demand.