Lifestyle Baltimore Insider

Local comedian Joe Robinson at odds with Tom Arnold; Baltimore Comedy club responds

Update: March 31: Baltimore Comedy Factory general manager Chip Cucchiella contacted The Baltimore Sun two weeks after the back and forth between Joe Robinson and Tom Arnold occurred, saying that Robinson had blown the events out of proportion. Cucchiella disputed Robinson's version of the story.

“Tom [Arnold] is taking so much heat for this. He was a very, very nice guy. It’s making him sound like he’s a diva or just hard to deal with … that couldn’t been more further than the truth," Cucchiella said. "It’s unfortunate that it got out the way that it did and he got the brunt of this. He was just a pleasure to work with."

Cucchiella said that as manager, he made the decision to turn the three-act show, which included the emcee, to a two-act show to focus on Arnold and Robinson. Robinson had said the emcee was cut because Arnold's set ran over. Cucchiella also said he asked Robinson to help sell T-shirts as a favor, which is common at the club. As for the green room, Cucchiella said it’s designated for the headliner, "period."

“You shouldn’t be in there anyway unless the headliner allows you in,” he said.

The original article, published March 16, appears below:



Baltimore comedian Joe Robinson has cultivated a bit of a feud with comedian and actor Tom Arnold, whom Robinson opened for this past weekend at the Baltimore Comedy Factory.

Robinson told hosts of the 98 Rock morning show Monday that Arnold shut him out of the green room at their performance, and that matters only got worse. Arnold responded with a 55-tweet explanation of the event from his perspective, claiming that he was never confronted and didn't know there was an issue. Robinson gave another rebuttal on 98 Rock this morning.

According to Robinson, the tension between the comedians began when Arnold, who headlined the show, asked for a place to change his clothes. Robinson pointed him to the venue’s green room, where Arnold stayed — door closed — for an hour between shows, Robinson said, closing him and the emcee out.

“He shuts the door and he never opens it. I’m not allowed in the green room. I have to sit in the audience,” said Robinson, who opened for the Arnold on Friday and Saturday night.

According to Robinson, Arnold’s set ran over schedule on Friday, leaving no room for the emcee, who was later cut from the Saturday show.

After the show, Robinson said he was put on T-shirt duty, selling merchandise for Arnold and taking pictures of him with fans for 45 minutes. Later, Arnold mistook Robinson for the DJ, Robinson said.

"You know I'm the comic, right? You know who I am? I'm the guy who goes on before you," Robinson said on the radio show.

Arnold responded to Robinson’s claims this morning by airing his grievances on Twitter in a series of 55 tweets, all including the link to the 98 Rock segment, saying that though Robinson had seemed "malcontent," Arnold hadn't realized Robinson had been insulted. Arnold has since deleted the tweets.

Arnold said his time in the green room, which he said was promised to him by management, was used to change his shirt and wind down between shows. Arnold also explained via Twitter that management asked Robinson to help out with T-shirts, all of which were sold for charity. Arnold said Robinson never confronted him.

“Again Joe didn't say a word. I'm sorry his feelings were hurt and I'm even sorrier he chose to air it out in public,” Arnold tweeted.

Management at the Baltimore Comedy Factory couldn't immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Arnold also said via Twitter that Robinson went past his stage time by 15 minutes, which was the cause for cutting the emcee. He said that Robinson shouldn't whine and that no one wants to work with a comedian who is bitter.

“Reality check Joe: you are not a Syrian refugee living hand to mouth with ISIS,” Arnold tweeted.

Robinson went on the 98 Rock show again this morning to "defend" himself. He stood by his statements.

"I didn't misrepresent it. What I said happened is exactly what happened," Robinson later told The Baltimore Sun, calling Arnold's tweets "defensive."

"He took shots at me. He took shots at the club. It was like O.J. [Simpson's] defense team. 'What can we get?' Whatever we can grab at to prove that we’re not responsible for our actions," said Robinson.

“It was one of these things where, the fact of the matter is, is he better than me? He probably is better than me. He’s worth $30 million, but I still get to tell my stories if you’re not nice to me,” Robinson said. “If you shut the door to the room where we’re supposed to sit in, I can tell that story. It's hilarious."

Arnold responded to a Sun reporter via Twitter about the dispute with Robinson this afternoon, stating that there was no dispute."He's trying to make one. It's the silliest thing I've ever heard of. The guy is thirsty & thinks dogging me helps him. Sad," Arnold tweeted.

Arnold has recently deleted his previous tweets, but you can find remaining evidence of his rebuttal here.

Listen to Robinson on 98 Rock on Wednesday:

And listen to Robinson’s Monday account here:

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