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Arsenio Hall Talks 5-Year Journey Back To Late-Night TV, Being Called An 'Uncle Tom', Feud w/ Oprah

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act October 21, 2013 at 5:03PM

With his new late-night TV talkshow on somewhat unstable ground, Arsenio Hall made what seems to have become a celebrity right of passage last night, in a sit-down with Oprah Winfrey, on her popular OWN series Oprah's Next Chapter.
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Arsenio, Oprah

With his new late-night TV talkshow on somewhat unstable ground, Arsenio Hall made what seems to have become a celebrity right of passage last night, in a sit-down with Oprah Winfrey, on her popular OWN series Oprah's Next Chapter.

I'm not a cable TV customer, so I wasn't able to watch the episode; although I was very curious to hear what Arsenio had to say about his comeback - specifically, the challenges he's faced, and the recent news that his showrunner and executive producer stepped down, as the late-night talkshow's ratings have declined since its debut. 

Sure, I've read and watched other interviews with him since his new show debuted last month, but there's nothing like the Oprah Winfrey experience. She just seems to have a certain effect on her celebrity guests, that encourages them to want to share more than they typically would feel comfortable doing, in a standard interview.

So this was one episode I would've tuned in for. And based on the few clips OWN has uploaded to its YouTube channel, it looks like Arsenio and Oprah didn't disappoint. 

Of most interest to me is their discussion in the clip below, of Arsenio's journey back to late-night TV - a journey that he said took 5 long years! Apparently, he actually wanted to return much sooner, but, he was turned down more than a few times by the networks that he approached with the idea. Hence the 5 years it took to finally convince one network to consider an all-new Arsenio Hall Show.

He also shares how he felt about Spike Lee calling him an "Uncle Tom" - something that I actually didn't know at the time. Or maybe I did, and just don't recall. But this was news to me today. It was all part of a conversation during which he and Oprah chatted about not being able to please everyone.

And in the clip underneath that one, both Arsenio and Oprah recall their feud, and how it was squashed. In short, Arsenio made some fat jokes about Oprah, and jokes about her man Stedman Graham, which she didn't like, and she let him know about it.

But both clips are embedded below: 


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