BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — "I'm going to do this until he resigns."
That's Tom Arnold, the comedian and actor whose quest to find the tape, or tapes, he believes will topple Donald Trump's presidency will soon be a cable TV show, explaining to reporters what he hopes to accomplish with The Hunt for the Trump Tapes with Tom Arnold, which will have two-episode premiere Sept. 18 on Viceland.
So many performers are just hoping for a second season.
Arnold unleashed more than one epic rant during an often confusing half-hour session at the Television Critics Association's summer meetings, in which he repeatedly attacked Mark Burnett, producer of The Apprentice, for not releasing outtakes of the show, which starred Trump. He referred Burnett as Trump's "buddy, who sits at the prayer breakfast with him."
"I'd like him to stand up and say, 'You know, actually, we had to cut out a lot of sexual harassment, and the insanity and the incompetence,' " from The Apprentice, Arnold said.
To recap: It's 2018, and a comedian who's still best known for having once been married to the star of Roseanne is hoping to use a "reality" show to bring down a former "reality" TV star who's now president of the United States.
A clip reel shown to reporters showed Arnold at one point sitting next to someone in a bunny costume (and no, not of the Playboy variety).
"Anyway, it's a comedy," Arnold said at one point, after calling Trump "a crazy person," who's "putting our country on the precipice of a war."
Asked about whether it's possible to find anything at this point that would sway the opinions of Americans who continue to support Trump, Arnold responded, with profanity, that he didn't care "about the 40 percent."
He claimed that Viceland's corporate owner, "Vice Media, wants nothing to do with this show, because they're a legitimate news source."
But though Nomi Ernst Leidner, an executive producer and senior vice president, development, for Viceland, acknowledged having spent a lot of time with the network's lawyers, she added, "Everything we're doing is backed up. We're not letting anything out that's not backed up, and sourced, and backed up with a couple of sources."
Arnold "has so much to say, and he is such a visionary, and he is really out there," but editorial restraint needed to be exercised, she indicated, "so the show can air."
And should Arnold manage to obtain one of the tapes he's seeking, would Viceland hold up the release until it could be done on the show?
"We're citizens first," Leidner said. "If we have tape that could completely change this regime and that was completely authentic, of course we would make sure" they got out.
Here's what Viceland, which described The Hunt for the Trump Tapes as "All the President's Men-meets-Curb Your Enthusiasm," is saying about the show: