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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Why Arsenio Hall Matters Now.

This morning I was watching the replay of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. And as I was watching Jay's monolouge I was thinking back to the PBS special about Johnny Carson.

And I was thinking that as the years have gone on, how Johnny Carson matters now as he was so superior to any of the four men and one woman hosting late night television at this time. I was really going to type in something like "Jay could hold Carson's shoe lace, bla bla bla..."

Then...this happened.....


 

And when he came out....he almost did it.  The crank-up.

And for two seconds, it was 1992.  It was stage 29 at Paramout Studios.  It was the Night Thing and "Let's....get....bizzzy" all over again.

And the last line that got the biggest response.  That a network could hire a black man to host a late night talk show.  It should.  This man.

My case was made through four years of the most innovative, aware late-night programming. The Aresenio Hall Show was truly the first late night series that spoke to a generation that did not think all entertainment came from Vegas, Broadway, and the Borscht Belt.  While Carson had on Vic Damone, Aresenio hosted Tupac.  Carson would bring out Joe Namath, Arsenio hosted Magic. Carson would trade one-liners with Reagan, Aresenio all but created Bill Clinton.

And Hall had no problem put it all on the line to put on a guest no one else would put on....Louis Farakkan.



Not to mention, that Hall cared about people and the community.  On the night of the Los Angeles riots, Hall did a show like none other before or since (why that show is not available on You Tube or anywhere is is, IMHO, a sin and a shame).  Famous names and average folks from the community were in the house.  It was bare bones. But people wanted to be there to help Hall try to calm a community.

Afterward, Hall went to the First A. M. E. Church.  A KNBC crew was there and talk to Hall and Rev. Cecil Murray.  Here you get a bit of the heart of a man at a time when heart was needed.



And we are at that point now.  With almost every side of every point of society at war with each other, we need that heart before we go to bed.
Hall is 56. He would be younger than Leno or Letterman. He can still reach a younger audience than Leno or even Letterman. And if you are, say, Fox Broadcasting, Aresenio would definatly put you back in the late-night game.  If you're ABC, you'd probably think, you can get rid of two albertross' around your neck, Nightline and JKL.

The bottom line, the time is right, the man is hot, and boy...do we need him now.

Crank it up.  Let's get bizzy.

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