Arsenio Hall may have fallen off the radar before he won The Celebrity Apprentice in May. But now the 56-year-old comic who once revolutionized late night will continue to blaze his comeback trail with a new nightly syndicated talk show set to debut next year. Here are some things he said that made us go hmmm.
TV Guide Magazine: Is there anything from your reality-TV experience that you'll bring to the new show?
Hall: Magic Johnson once told me, "Sometimes your show was better in the green room than it was on the couch. It was like a club." So I'd like to create a reality aspect this time around. I'll put cameras in the hallway, in the limo and in the green room. I'm a Twitter head, so the social media will be off the hook. I'm not the guy with a yellow legal pad who won't get an iPad. I want the next s--t today.
TV Guide Magazine: You were the first successful African-American host in late night. Who did you think would be next?
Hall: I thought it was a slam dunk when Fox gave Wanda Sykes [a show in 2009]. I was
politicking to get that once-a-week slot. When she got it I thought, "I'm going to be a soccer dad forever. She cannot fail." I thought she was smart and funny. When that one didn't work, that surprised me.
TV Guide Magazine: You changed the rules for politicians when you had Bill Clinton on your show, playing the saxophone, in 1992. Did you see President Obama slow-jam the news with Jimmy Fallon?
Hall: If I had told you 17 years ago that our president would do some LL Cool J slow-jam type rap with a late-night host, you would have sent me to Dr. Drew.
TV Guide Magazine: What did you think of Donald Trump saying he wasn't racist because he named you the winner of The Celebrity Apprentice?
Hall: There goes my NAACP Image Award!