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Arsenio Hall Says He Turned Down 'Bad Boys' & That His Show Wasn't Canceled; He Resigned

by Tambay A. Obenson
January 28, 2013 10:58 AM
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A revealing interview with Arsenio Hall, by The Hollywood Reporter, posted on their website this morning that I think you'll find interesting to read.

As we already know, Arsenio is returning to primetime, with a new talkshow on CBS, scheduled to debut this fall. Answers to questions like why his first talkshow really went off the air, to what he's been doing since then, to why he's returning to late night now, to what audiences can expect from the show, and more (including a Bad Boys that could've been), can all be found in the interview.

So, without further ado, here are the highlights:

- First, THR asks him why the first Arsenio Hall show was canceled. His reply:

It wasn’t canceled. I resigned. Sure there was an erosion of the numbers (audience ratings) as shows tend to do in year five or six. You are a little lower this year than last year. But the show never stopped making money, never stopped being profitable for Paramount.

- THR follows that up with why he resigned:

I actually thought I needed changes in my life and I need to try other things. I wanted to do things professionally like stand-up, and try some acting. I felt my whole life needed broadening. I didn't have a family. Everything I had done was a gamble because I felt if I missed it as some point, I could get back in. I could still walk into a comedy club and make people laugh every night. That’s what I do. And I could be home in the morning to make breakfast and take my kid to school. What I was confused about was that when you go from being on every night to just being a stand-up, your visibility is on a whole different level.

- On what his plans were for after he walked away from his talkshow, Arsenio said that he actually wanted to act:

It was one of those things I tried to purse after I left late night. I wanted to study and take it seriously and not just be the talk show host who is popular so he gets a role. But I wasn’t able to crack that nut the way I wanted. It’s a tough racket. Sometimes I made bad choices. I remember there was a time I decided not to do more stand up or go on the road. I turned down a movie called Bad Boys where it would have been me and Martin (Lawrence) instead of Will (Smith) and Martin. You look back and say it wasn’t a bad decision because I’m happy with my life. I’m a daddy or whatever. But then you realize, that’s not where I’m supposed to be. One day you really miss it.

Maybe it's not news to everyone, but it's definitely news to me. I had no idea that he was offered Bad Boys, to star in opposite Martin Lawrence. I'm trying hard to visualize it, but I just can't. I guess I've never really thought ot Arsenio Hall as that guy. Although I'm sure his take on the role would've been different from what Will Smith did with it. He would've brought something else to it.

- On what to expect from his new show, and who its target audience is:

There’s probably some marketing person saying it’s a party. It’s a spirited show. It is targeted for a younger demographic. The bottom line is yes it’s a party, just as the powers that be will say it is. But I’m not really sure it’s a party. If I go to a party and there is an applause sign and they shut down for commercials every now and then, then it’s a party I’m never coming back to. But for TV, that’s good marketing. The audience we had the first time around is about 40 now. From the (research) we have crunched, I think the audience that will embrace the show is an interesting cross demographic . That guy has kids now. I think they will both watch.

There's more to chew on in the interview, so feel free to read the entire thing HERE.

The all-new Arsenio Hall Show returns  for September 92013, at 10pm

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  • Bohemian princess | January 28, 2013 6:01 PMReply

    Is it me or does Arsenio's answer keep changing about why he left late night. I remember he was on The View several months back and he said it was because he wanted to raise his son. There's no mention of that anywhere here. Sounds like a little revisionist history to me.

  • ALM | January 28, 2013 8:13 PM

    Yes, he mentions his son. Here is a portion of his reply from the interview above, "And I could be home in the morning to make breakfast and take my kid to school".

  • getthesenets | January 28, 2013 3:46 PMReply

    Only thing on tv that a guy might watch with his son, regularly..not an "event", is sporting event.
    I don't think there exist a show ,format, etc that can appeal to both demographics
    I'm hard pressed to EVEN think of an entertainer that appeals to both demos.

  • Troy | January 28, 2013 7:03 PM

    Walking Dead

  • ALM | January 28, 2013 3:33 PMReply

    I can't see Arsenio paired with Martin in "Bad Boys", but I do agree with him on this statement, "From the (research) we have crunched, I think the audience that will embrace the show is an interesting cross demographic . That guy has kids now. I think they will both watch".

  • To explain | January 28, 2013 1:08 PMReply

    I call BS on the BadBoys of it all. Initially Bad Boys was Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey. Hard to believe but yes. The next time that script went out was Lawrence and Smith. He may have wanted it, but I read that with a lil side eye.

  • Truths | January 28, 2013 3:21 PM

    Arsenio is telling the truth about Bad Boyz, he was originally cast with Martin Lawrence but turn it down. I love Arsenio but he made a good move for the film, it's a better film with Will & Martin. Acting career wise not a good move because the movie could have open doors for him.

  • getthesenets | January 28, 2013 12:36 PMReply


    I posed the very same questions in the last Arsenio entry on S&A

    He's giving political answers and I'm not mad at him..maybe full story will come out if he ever writes a book

    The rumor was that either he was blackballed for inviting Louis Farakhan on his show or that his show was going off the air anyway so he finally decided to do things HIS way.

    thanks again....will read full interview when I get a chance

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