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Tom  Arnold

Tom Arnold

Comedian, Actor & Writer


As one of Hollywood’s most entertaining funnymen, you would think Tom Arnold has a lot to laugh about. But life has never been easy for this writer, producer and actor. He has struggled with addiction and multiple health scares for decades. Read More >

And yet, he continues to not only get back up when life knocks him down but also thrives. Sober for nearly 20 years, Tom relapsed after a motorcycle wreck led to an addiction to painkillers in 2007. He relapsed again several years ago and sought treatment once again. This summer, he celebrated five years of sobriety and the loss of 75 pounds after a mini-stroke. He’s also living his dream, Tom says, as a father of two.

And he is passionate about telling his story to give hope to others who face the same demons. "Sobriety has saved my life," Tom told Today.com. "It’s why I can be a good parent."

As a writer, producer, and actor, Tom has established himself with both television and film audiences worldwide, having won such awards as the Peabody Award for writing, and a Golden Globe for writing and producing. Additionally, he helped put Fox Sports Network on the map with his hosting duties on the Best Damn Sports Show Period.

Until recently, Tom cornered the market by playing the resident comic relief in films like Soul Plane, Cradle to the Grave and Exit Wounds. However, he has now started to take on more mature and dramatic roles, including the movie Pride opposite Terrance Howard, and The Great Buck Howard and Gardens of the Night, two films starring John Malkovich. In 2005, he received critical praise for his role in Don Roos’ Happy Endings for Lions Gate Films, starring opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal and Lisa Kudrow. He also starred in The Kid & I, an action comedy he wrote for a family friend, a 16-year-old boy with cerebral palsy. The film was directed by Penelope Spheeris with cameos by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis and Linda Hamilton.

Tom began his career in comedy at the University of Iowa before moving to Minneapolis, where he won the Minneapolis Comedy Competition in 1988. He then moved to Los Angeles to write for the highly successful television series, Roseanne, before eventually serving as executive producer for the sitcom. He went on to star in three installments of his own HBO special, Tom Arnold: The Naked Truth, and then wrote, produced and starred in three of his own television series: The Jackie Thomas Show, Tom and The Tom Show.

Tom’s other film credits include Nine Months with Hugh Grant, Julianne Moore and Robin Williams; James Cameron’s True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger; Hero with Dustin Hoffman; and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery with Mike Myers. In Animal Factory, directed by Steve Buscemi, he also received great critical notice for his portrayal of a convict.

Born in Iowa, he has established a writing scholarship and runs an acting workshop for students at the Indian Hills Community College in Iowa. He is also very active with the San Diego Center for Children, which cares for abused and neglected children, as well as The Race to Erase MS, The Kayne-Eras Center and Hollygrove children’s home. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

My Road to Recovery: How I Finally Stood Up to Addiction

Tom Arnold has a message for those with an addiction: Although there may be bumps and relapses along the way, it is possible to recover and dramatically improve your life, health and relationships. And he should know. The comedian, actor and writer has been struggling with addiction for decades. Today, he is twenty years sober, a proud dad of two and continues his successful career. In this deeply moving talk, Tom shares his journey to recovery, his active involvement in the recovery movement and how there is always hope—no matter what stage of addiction you’re in.

My Life in Hollywood

What has made Tom Arnold a success in Hollywood when so many others have failed? Besides his talent, it’s his unshakeable belief in himself and his ambition. This combination has led him from stand-up comedy in Minneapolis to the heights of Hollywood. In this talk, Tom shares his journey to the top of the entertainment business, how he overcame insurmountable problems, his battle with addiction and the lessons he learned that can be applied to anyone, no matter what career they’re in.