At a Gawker-sponsored Soho House party for the movie tie-in edition of Toby Young’s How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, the high point of our evening, refreshingly, was a cockles-warming encounter with two dudes — comedian–Roseanne ex Tom Arnold and journalist-memoirist Dave Carr?! — who’ve managed to stay friends despite, well, everything. Below is our conversation. Please note the part where Tom Arnold totally calls us out for being blatantly, unignorably homosexual.
New York: How long have you been friends?
Tom Arnold: Over 25 years, from Minneapolis.
David Carr: From doing drugs together.
New York: What drugs?
Tom Arnold: All drugs. I never even smoked pot until I was out of high school. I was just an alcoholic and thought that was okay. I was from a small town in Iowa. I moved to Minneapolis, got in with David and his buddies. And I found my drug of choice, my dream drug, which was cocaine, which quickly escalated to—
David Carr: Unfortunately he never found the money to go with it. He never got any money till he sobered up. It was bad.
Tom Arnold: But David, you still owe me money for at least two grams of coke, I’ll tell you right now.
David Carr: If I owe Tom money for drugs, I’m the only person on the planet who owes him money. He owes everyone.
Tom Arnold: When I got sober, I did make a list of people to make amends to. And it was quite long. But I don’t remember your name being on it.
New York: What was your favorite thing to do together before and after your recoveries?
Tom Arnold: I liked comedy, and he was a good laugher. And I like reading—
David Carr: He liked telling jokes and I liked listening to them.
Tom Arnold: I love David’s writing.
David Carr: We went out last night, and we’re both very athletic eaters. Eating a lot of food is not a problem as long as you take your time and just keep going.
Tom Arnold: I’m on a cleanse so ….We ate at Bar Americain. He ordered what I wanted to eat, so I just ate it.
David Carr: Yeah, he ate my cheese grits. My wife and I just got back from Fatty Crab. My God. The short ribs and curry. Amazing. The pork buns. Amazing. Some greens. You can get high off food. Just not as high.
Tom Arnold: He wrote in his book that we’re the only guys who are serious coke addicts who are also fat. Because we still ate. Dave, Justin was asking how to lose friends and alienate people …
David Carr: Remember Andrea? She was really cute. The kind of girl who was fond of making an entrance, right? If she came into this room right now … are you gay or straight?
New York: I’m gay.
Tom Arnold: Duh!
David Carr: You would notice either way. She’s beautiful.
New York: Well, I love beautiful women.
Tom Arnold: I don’t.
David Carr: If you’re a headlight guy at all, you would notice her. She would make a huge entrance, and I would immediately as her amped-up, coked-up boyfriend say, “She’s not a TV set! Don’t look at her!!” And I was with this woman who was a total vamp and who was flirting with everyone around and I would keep getting into it, accusing people of looking at my girlfriend who was in fact beautiful, flirty, and loved being looked at.