Actor and comedian Tom Arnold has not always had the most respected reputation in the entertainment business. He is currently on his fourth wife and has fought through a nasty cocaine and alcohol addiction. However, on Saturday September 20, 2014, Mr. Arnold dazzled his audience with his mostly self-deprecating humor at East Andrews Bar in Atlanta.
East Andrews is known for a being an upscale cluster of bars, restaurants, and speakeasies in a well-to-do area of Atlanta. Being from Atlanta, I was aware of its reputation of being lively and busy every weekend. I am close with the coordination and management staff of the bar so when I heard Tom Arnold was coming into town, I took up the opportunity to see his show, despite being underage. Walking into the building I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere. The music was loud, the people were smiling and dancing, and the smell of food and cigarettes filled the air. Above us was a second story filled with restaurants, offices, and bars. Looking up, I found there was no ceiling, revealing a canopy of night sky and string lights. As we made our way closer to the improv area, the sound of laughter grew louder and louder. When we slipped through the door we were able to find our table behind the curtain on the side of the stage where the performers could enter and exit. By the time we sat down, Tom Arnold’s opening act was wrapping up and he was about to step on.
When Tom Arnold walked through the back door, he eagerly came up to my small table and shook our hands, introducing himself as if he were not famous at all. After a brief chat, he hopped on stage and lit up. It was obvious that this man loved making people laugh, as he spent most of his Hollywood career doing exactly that.
In an effort to relate to his audience, Tom Arnold joked about the everyday fights of life such as marriage, kids, and the struggle to lose weight. In fact, one of his biggest sections of his act dealt with his struggle with weight loss. Tom Arnold had always struggled with his weight but in the past year he has been working toward his goal of losing one hundred pounds. Since the beginning of his weight loss journey to now, he has gone from two hundred and eighty seven pounds to one hundred and eighty seven pounds. Arnold even joked about his Opera inspired diet to be “three chocolate shakes and a whole bunch of cocaine a day for three months”. As the audience howled at his jokes, he lit up more and more.
As Arnold dove into family life, his skit became more personal. He explained he and his wife’s problems with getting pregnant. Although it must have been difficult to talk about, he joked about his test results showing his infertility and he and his wife’s decision to resort to a sperm donor. As any parent does, he went on to talk about his son, Jax and how he amazes him everyday. At this point, his words were touching the audience, as some of them were old enough to have children, or at least newborns.
At the end of his show, Mr. Arnold offered to take pictures with anyone who wanted to before quickly running offstage past us exclaiming “I have to pee!”. The audience clapped and cheered as they finished their wines and gathered their belongings. When I walked out, he was there taking pictures with his fans and thanked us for coming to his show.
Overall, Tom Arnold’s show was very relatable for most of his audience and it was hysterical. He did a good job with interacting with the audience and being open about his personal life. It was apparent that he enjoyed his career and all the adventures it brought him. It was definitely a show worth recommending.