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Arts and Entertainment

Arsenio Hall returns to late night TV
Comic returns to the air September 9
 
Published Wednesday, July 24, 2013 9:17 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

clientuploads/v38n13photos/Arsenio CAL_300.jpg
CALVIN FERGUSON
Arsenio Hall is bringing his late-night talk show "The Arsenio Hall Show" back to television Sept. 9. The comedian said he has gone to great lengths to protect his 13-year-old son from the scrutiny of the spotlight. 

Arsenio Hall is returning to late-night TV. After a nearly 20-year hiatus, “The Arsenio Hall Show” will begin airing Sept. 9.

The nightly one-hour talk show will feature a mix of comedy, music and celebrity guests.

In 1994, Hall walked away from the spotlight and the show that made him a household name to pursue other personal and professional interests.

Over the years, he has held several gigs, including playing a streetwise police detective on the CBS dramedy “Martial Law,” hosting “Star Search,” and starring in a memorable cameo as Tasty Freeze in the highly-touted movie comedy “Black Dynamite.”

In 2012, Hall was crowned the “Celebrity Apprentice” for Season 5 of Donald Trump’s hit reality show on NBC, where he competed for his charity, The Magic Johnson Foundation.

Hall said he’d been contemplating a comeback to late-night TV for some time but put the decision on hold for several years to focus on raising his son, who is now 13.

“I try a little bit to keep my kid totally out of this (spotlight) because he didn’t make this choice; I did,” said Hall. “And one of the reasons I waited until he was older is that the business has changed a lot with the climate and how mean it is in elements of the digital and cyber part of show business. It’s become a wild, wild West kind of mentality. Hollywood presents different challenges when you have children.”

Hall said he did not want his son subjected to the same scrutiny that befalls other celebrity kids who are picked apart for everything from their choice of clothing to the company they keep.

“I’ve seen people step over the line with things they’ve said about Willow (Smith),” he said. “She is a child.”

Smith, daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, has made headlines for everything from being scrutinized about her weight to being harshly criticized for her fashion sense and short, colorful hair. Many bloggers have also questioned the talent of the fledgling 12-year-old pop star, asserting that she would not have a music career if her parents were not famous.

Hall said that with today’s fast-paced digital age, many in the media feel nothing is off limits as they try to come up with material to feed the 24-hour news cycle. He also admits that Hollywood itself deserves part of the blame for how children are caught up in the frenzy.

“A lot of the problems that artists have, we bring on ourselves by being inconsistent with our lifestyle, using the press when you need them but asking them to step back when you don’t want to be bothered,” he said.

Hall understands that it is a crazy balance and said that’s the reason he hesitated 10 years ago when he first began contemplating making a TV comeback. However, his desire to be an entertainer was something he said he could no longer ignore.

“It just got more intense,” he said. “If a man is not working and doing what he do, we are so unhappy. And there was a moment where I went through a thing, and I didn’t know what was wrong with me.”

Hall said through prayer he realized that in order to be happy, he had to do what fulfilled him, and that was being an entertainer and making people laugh.

“I’m not whole unless I’m on the grind,” he said. “And there is nothing that a child needs more than to see his dad on the grind.”

You can see the Arsenio Hall show starting on September 9, 2013 on WAXN TV 64 Monday through Saturday 11 PM to 12 midnight.

 

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