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Arsenio Hall

Source: Courtesy of Arsenio Hall / Courtesy of Arsenio Hall

CBS cancelled Arsenio Hall’s show last year, but the longtime comedian is busier than ever. He hosted BET Honors Award show earlier this year. He appears on “Real Husbands of Hollywood” and he’s back doing stand up. He’s performing at the Comedy Zone on Friday and Saturday. Below is a Q&A about his latest ventures.

Why are you doing stand up comedy shows?

Stand up keeps me Arsenio, the Arsenio that got me here.

Is your live performance rated PG?

Don’t bring your kids to see me work live!

How did performing stand up prepare you to host the BET Honors Award show?

I felt like I was in game shape. I felt like somebody who was ready to work because I’d been in clubs every single night. As an artist, I’d gotten lazy over the years. You go where they tell you to go and you take the check. Stand up is the Green Beret of show business.”

Are you gathering material for an HBO or TV special?

I‘ve been enjoying being out on the road. Once you do a special then it goes out to the public, and you gotta do a new hour. I’m really enjoying this current hour that I just wrote. I’m going to ride it a little bit longer.

Jokes about Donald Trump?

A lot of comics are doing jokes about Donald based on what they see on CNN. I talk about s— I’ve gone through with Donald. I was the first black person to win “Celebrity Apprentice” which makes me the Jackie Robinson of “Celebrity Apprentice.” I’m on that year when this guy who’s being called a racist had to choose between Arsenio and Clay Aiken – the black guy and the gay guy. I have a unique point of view about Donald Trump and my experiences with him.

What’s it like being on “Real Husbands of Hollywood?”

It’s one of those jobs where you’d do it for free.

How has being on the show with these other comedians influenced your stand up?

Richard Pryor used to call it holding court. It’s kind of cool to be that guy. You pass the love and the knowledge down. It’s nice to hear how they think.

Would you rather be a comedian coming up now or when you did?

It’s a strange time to get famous. We don’t have the time and ability to break new people. In my day it was easier to get seen. I feel bad for really funny guys that don’t have the vehicle to get there. Now, you’ve gotta do everything. You’ve got to hustle. I love being the vet and I love getting in it when I got in it.

And Hall loves being back onstage.


Don’t miss Hall’s interview with Olympia D!