Bruce was raised outside of the rural Minnesota farm town of Pelican Rapids, where, at the age of eight, he studied piano for one year with Jean Cruise, the fire chief’s wife.
He moved to Nashville in 1979, where he led a series of bands, combining his original blend of rock, R&B, and theatrical excess, often performing each song in the guise of a different character.
He was tapped by the producer/director of the “Ernest” franchise (Ernest does this, Ernest goes there, etc.) to write thematic songs for the Emmy-winning kids’ show, “Hey Vern, It’s Ernest”. Thus, his unintentional foray into film and television, where the Ernest productions became his training ground for film scoring (Touchstone), television writing (Sat. morning CBS show) and screenwriting (Ernest Goes to School).
Along the way, he wrote, composed and performed for/with Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Tennessee Dance Theatre, Dark Horse Theater, and others.
In 1999 Arntson co-wrote (with Coke Sams), composed songs and score, and starred in the popular cult musical feature film Existo, based on his stage act, which won numerous “Best Feature” and “Audience Choice” awards on the festival circuit.
Currently he can be seen starring in the critically acclaimed Country Music satire The Doyle and Debbie Show, which he also wrote, composed, and directed.
The Doyle and Debbie Show won two Joseph Jefferson Awards, Chicago's annual Theater awards. One for Production of a musical (midsize), and one for Actor in a principal role — musical.