Inside the Roseanne/Julia Louis-Dreyfus Blood Feud
I wouldn’t know what it’s like to have my own parking space outside of Cracked World Headquarters, but if I did, I imagine I’d be a little miffed if Julia Louis-Dreyfus filled it with her Elainemobile when I wasn’t looking. Then again, I can’t imagine escalating it to the limits that Tom Arnold and Roseanne did back in the days when all of them were riding high on the sitcom charts. Here’s how a parking mistake turned seriously ugly.
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It all started, according to Seinfeldia: How A Show About Nothing Changed Everything, when Louis-Dreyfus parked in a spot designated for Tom Arnold. How does Tom freaking Arnold get his own parking space, you might understandably ask? This was 1993, when Arnold rode the wave of his wife Roseanne’s success to his own sitcom, The Jackie Thomas Show. It won’t surprise anyone to learn that Arnold’s shot at stardom only lasted one season, with critics like the Orlando Sentinel’s Greg Dawson complaining, “Tom Arnold may be a wonderfully supportive husband, but his charms as an actor continue to elude me.”
As one does in these situations, Arnold dealt with the parking transgression by leaving JLD a hand-written note: “How stupid are you? Move your fucking car, you asshole!”
Louis-Dreyfus didn’t take kindly to the profanity-laden message. Besides, by her account, a CBS Studio Center parking attendant told her to park in Arnold’s spot. So she, Larry David, and Jason Alexander confronted Arnold about the note. That peace conference apparently didn’t go well because of what happened next.
A two-part message was delivered to JLD’s car, presumably now parked in a more suitable spot. Part one: A Polaroid of someone’s massive ass cheeks left under her windshield wiper. And the more upsetting part two: The word C*NT written in soap on the windshield.
Word got around. David Letterman brought up the incident in a 1993 Roseanne appearance. “Everything all right with you and the Seinfeld folks?” he asked her.
“Oh, don’t get me started on that bitch,” Roseanne laughed, even then someone who knew how to hold a grudge. “You know what, you guys? When you park in somebody else's space and they come out and write a nasty note on your car and then you come up to him after, you should go, ‘You know, it wasn't nice of you to write this nasty note. But you know what, I am sorry that I parked in your space.’”
Years later, Tom Arnold revisited the story on Andy Cohen Live. He supplied a crucial new detail — that was John Goodman’s bare ass on Louis-Dreyfus’ windshield, courtesy of Roseanne’s Polaroid skillz. (Did he pose for it? Was it taken surreptitiously? Goodman, as far as we know, hasn’t commented.)
And Arnold disputes that Roseanne wrote the notorious C-word on the windshield. In his telling, Roseanne’s only slightly less offensive soapy message was: “JULIA LOUIS-DRY-PUSS.” In either case, Arnold was hardly apologetic. “It’s a very famous Seinfeld story,” he said. “You know what? The Seinfeld people were being crappy. God bless Roseanne.”