Tom Arnold, Laurie Metcalf Superfan, Says Roseanne Banned Them From Dating

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Laurie Metcalf. Photo: ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images

Tom Arnold sounds like a man with good taste. In his review of the Roseanne reboot for THR, he writes that Roseanne Barr prevented him from pursuing a relationship with Laurie Metcalf in the show’s early years. This all took place back when Arnold was the audience warm-up guy for the show’s pilot, before he was a writer on the show or married to Barr herself, and while Metcalf had already secured the role of Jackie Harris. “I’ll full-on admit to Laurie Metcalf superfandom, personally and professionally,” Arnold wrote. “One night while partying during pilot week in 1988, Roseanne, who was in the front seat with [John] Goodman, noticed me holding Laurie’s hand in back. The next morning she called me into her office and told me, ‘Writers cannot date actors. That’s a rule of show business.’ Who was I to break a rule of show business?’” Yes, Arnold sees the irony of it all, as he ended up marrying Barr two years later — a tumultuous marriage that lasted four years. “But Laurie is a tour de force,” he said. “She could carry this show. She could carry every show ever.” That is, factually, correct.

Tom Arnold: Roseanne Banned Me From Dating Laurie Metcalf