Why Was Fred Willard Arrested? The Comedic Legend Was Behind Bars Twice and Just Kept Laughing

Comedic actor Fred Willard passed away on Sunday at the age of 86. Willard is survived by his daughter, Hope Mulbarger, her husband, Mitch Mulbarger, and his grandson Freddie. While Willard may be gone, his legendary work in movies like This Is Spinal Tap and Best In Show, to name just a few, will live on.

One thing Willard brought to every role he tackled was his remarkable ability to make anything a joke, including himself. That was never more on display than it was when Willard was arrested inside an adult movie theatre in 2012.

The actor was arrested by vice officers while visiting the Tiki Theatre, an adult movie house on Santa Monic Boulevard in Los Angeles. Willard was apprehended by the undercover policemen and arrested on charges of lewd behavior.

The Tiki Theater's manager, Kazi Jafor, alleged that the Spinal Tap actor had paid $13 dollars to watch three adult movies: Follow Me 2, The Client List Parody, and Step Dad No. 2.

Wait til u hear my version; much more PG. & my review, lousy film, but theater would make a terrific racquetball court. Full story 2 follow.

— Fred Willard (@Fred_Willard) July 23, 2012

While other celebrities might have hidden under a proverbial rock after such an event, Willard held his head high and handled the situation with comedy. Six days after his arrest, the Salem's Lot actor tweeted, "Wait til you hear my version. Much more PG. And my review, lousy film, but theater would make a terrific racquetball court. Full story to follow."

Fred Willard
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 21: Fred Willard attends the CATstravaganza fundraiser and celebrity musical featuring Hamilton's Cats in support of the homeless animals of Los Angeles at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre on April 21, 2018 in Hollywood, California. Michael Tullberg/Getty

Willard's attorney, Paul Takakjian, worked out a deal so that his client did not have to face jail time for the charge. That said, he did have to complete a "pre-filing diversion program."

That arrest wasn't the first time Willard was charged with an alleged lewd act, according to the L.A. Times. The Los Angeles prosecutor revealed Willard was arrested for a similar incident back in 1990.

Six days after his arrest, the Modern Family actor showed up on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to poke fun at himself. Willard shared a few laughs with Fallon about getting arrested on such cringeworthy charges. I He did confess that the entire incident was overall "very embarrassing."

According to Mediaite, the Wall-E comedian defended himself, "But let me say this: nothing happened. I did nothing wrong. Everything's being sorted out as we speak."

Willard admitted, "I have great respect for the authorities. When we need a policeman, God bless 'em, they're there. But, if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, everything seems suspicious."