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Scenes From TCA: The Backbone of Tom Arnold, the Backside of Bob Odenkirk, and a Clam up From Bobby Brown
July 30, 2018  | By Roger Catlin  | 2 comments

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — It takes a clown to take down another. That’s the basis of Tom Arnold’s ambitious The Hunt for the Trump Tapes coming to Viceland Sept. 18.

Arnold seems to know how ridiculous his premise may seem: that the fate of the country is in the hands of the goofy True Lies and Soul Plane costar.

But as he aggressively seeks damning tapes of Donald Trump on his rise to power, he deadpans in the show promo, “Don’t worry, Tom Arnold is on it.”

At the same time, he has a takes-one-to-know-one attitude when he starts his shows by saying, “He’s a kind of old school dumbass, like I am …But I don’t think I should be president.”

Amid the humor of his various obsessive misfires in trying to track down evidence, Arnold actually uncovers some news, at least in the first couple of episodes made available to critics, where a search for Trump’s many hours on Howard Stern’s radio show turns up a fan who had recorded and transcribed all the shows on his own, catching the president in previously unreported salacious give and take with Stern.

Stern wouldn’t release any Trump tapes on his own, Arnold said; he wouldn’t even release the video he had of Arnold on his show talking about the project, so on The Hunt for the Trump Tapes, the exchange appears in cartoon form.

Such is the result when investigative journalism and politics are on a collision course with entertainment.

But we are reminded how entwined those elements have been when Arnold Schwarzenegger is stalked by the comedian for some input. Not just the comedian’s co-star in True Lies, he was of course also governor of California for eight years.

“Arnold Schwarzenegger’s funny because he said — he’s a great guy, he doesn’t love Trump. But he said, ‘Tom, you know, you got to calm down. Talk about the environment,’ or ‘Don’t be so crazy on Twitter,’” Arnold told critics at the TV Critics Association summer press tour. “And then after Helsinki, he does this crazy video on his Twitter account and he looks as insane as I do.”

And Arnold didn’t acquit himself so well at the session, talking non-stop and wild-eyed, calling on reporters but careening right on without hearing their questions in his fractured train of thought.

Still, in a week where possibly damning tapes of Trump and his lawyer leaked out; and on a day where his ex-wife Roseanne Barr would appear on Fox News to not exactly apologize for the racist tweet that got TV’s most popular new show canceled, it seemed Arnold was onto something.

Arnold says he knew Trump casually over the years.

“We went to the Playboy Mansion together once,” he says. “He used to come on The Best Damn Sports Show Period, my sports show.”

And in both cases Trump showed his true colors, he says. “He was a little racist and definitely talked about women in a certain way.”

On an episode of The Hunt for the Trump Tapes, he gets Celebrity Apprentice finalist Penn Jillette (left, with Trump and Celebrity Apprentice winner Trace Adkins) to talk about racist and sexist things he heard. But as for tapes from The Apprentice and its outtakes, they are locked up by its producer Mark Burnett, who wouldn’t release them.

Those are some of the tapes he’d like to get his hands on for The Hunt for the Trump Tapes, but also notorious videotapes said to exist according to a dossier about Trump and Russia. There are also leads to other potentially incriminating tapes, he says.

“We explore all of these tapes and more,” says producer Jonathan Karsh. “Every episode is Tom’s journey off of Twitter in life trying to track down source, talk to people who may know, who may have strong opinions, to get to the truth.”

In addition to Schwarzenegger, Judd Apatow, Rosie O’Donnell, journalists like Michael Isikoff, David Korn, and Jane Mayer will appear, as will brief White House spokesman Anthony Scaramucci.

“I’m going to do this until he resigns,” Arnold vows.


The success of BET’s 2017 docudrama The New Edition Story got the network motivated to make the sequel, The Bobby Brown Story which premieres Sept. 4 and 5.

Brown (left), 49, was an adviser on the project which stars Woody McClain in the title role and Gabrielle Dennis as his wife Whitney Houston.

It was odd that he was doing promotion at the TV Critics Association summer press tour in the very Beverly Hilton hotel where Houston died in 2012.

But Brown, for his part, said “the spirit of my ex-wife is probably still here.”

Therefore he added, “it just feels good to be here and to promote this movie and to be able to … to be able to smile and be here.”

Things got more tense when reporters brought up reports of domestic abuse and on-the-record 911 calls during that marriage.

Asked if he regretted that their daughter, the now-deceased Bobbi Kristina, may have witnessed some violent scenes when she was a child, Brown answered, “There were no violent incidents between me and Whitney.”

Asked then about the 911 calls, he said, “No there wasn’t. You’re mistaken. You’re completely wrong. You’re completely wrong.”

When someone else looked up a report on the public record in 2015 and began to read it, he said, “No, the public record is wrong.”

An additional period of questions from reporters in a scrum that was scheduled was instead abruptly canceled, with publicists saying there was no time, despite the fact there was an hour until the next session.


Bob Odenkirk (left) was not scheduled to stop into AMC’s session at the TV Critics Association summer press tour Sunday, but he did so in part to show his devotion to the show.

He pulled down his pants to show a Better Call Saul Season 6 (temporary) tattoo on his left butt cheek.

It was off-putting and more in the spirit of Mr. Show with Bob and David than it was for the Jimmy McGill character on the AMC Breaking Bad prequel, covering the days before he became Saul Goodman.

Told that Better Call Saul was renewed for a sixth season, he vowed to get an additional tattoo to share that news.

Better Call Saul returns Aug. 6 on AMC.

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Hello, I read this nice article. I think You put a best effort to write this perfect article. I appreciate your work. thank you so much.
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Swedish traveler
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