It’s 2014 and we supposedly live in post racial America. Our President is Black, young Black men are being accepted into all of the Ivy League institutions but there is still one place where the land of the free cannot bear to see the face of a Black man: late night TV. For years late night television has been viewed by millions of Americans who enjoy easy jab jokes, a house band, and seeing celebrities viciously plug their latest work. Over the decades the torch of late night hosting gigs has been passed from Johnny Carson to Jay Leno on to Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel and now Stephen Colbert. But I’d be remiss to not mention the work of Arsenio Hall, who was a staple in my home growing up as we watched for the first time Black artists and actors get a place to shine. However he has never received the kind of love these other men have and now with the retirement of David Letterman, CBS late night mainstay, I ask, why wasn’t Mr. Hall considered as a replacement?
I can say here that I rarely am up late enough anymore to even catch an episode of any late night show because my years of seeing midnight regularly have long since passed away with my ability to drink heavily sans hangover. Yet on the occasion that I am awake I’m partial to Fallon; the singing, the dancing, and who doesn’t love the Roots? We all remember the drama that unfolded a few years ago when Jay Leno retired and Conan O’Brien was set to take his place, Leno then returned and stole that thing right back. So it is apparent that this spot is a coveted one. Arsenio returned to late night recently to bring that old flavor, but with his break back into the light he still isn’t getting all the love you would think. As Letterman steps down and while I enjoy Colbert, his show was one I’d catch when I could because I like a little politics with my laughs, so I am not among the naysayers or peanut gallery members outraged by the choice in Colbert, in fact I am a fan. My only qualm is, do we really another white man on TV in America?
We’ve had a variety of high-profile Black talk show hosts; Montel Williams, Oprah, now Wendy Williams and Queen Latifah are among the mix. I think any one of them would tell you that having a show of this nature can be difficult. Having to interview guests, maintain a steady ebb and flow with ease, be entertaining enough to lure an audience and have a platform where guests actually vy to come sit with you it isn’t something many can do easily. As we know many have failed Wayne Brady, Kris Jenner, Bethenny Frankel, hell, even Tyra finally got cancelled after years of nothingness finally became too much to keep pouring money into. Yet in his heyday, Arsenio Hall was garnering high views from a young audience with his topics and guests always being relevant and unafraid of controversy. He’s had the likes of Former President Bill Clinton, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Eddie Murphy all grace the studio and the list goes on. His stage was and is one to be on.
The proof is in the pudding that Hall has what it takes as his new show, Arsenio, recently experienced a boost in ratings with the appearance of Prince. But even with the surge Arsenio is still the black sheep of the bunch, never getting the praise he’s deserving of. When Jimmy Fallon made the move to late night NBC pubbed the new show all over their network. The slap in the face came when reporter, Brian Williams, showed photos of all the current late night hosts in a Brady Bunchesque photo and Hall was nowhere to be found. Not so much a mention of his name especially after he touted that there would be two Jimmie’s and a Dave fighting over the original late night man, Johnny Carson’s, long coveted seat. Truth be told, Arsenio was the first to battle head to head with Carson since his first run The Arsenio Hall Show ran during the same era. Hall addressed the slight on his show and even called Brian Williams on the air and urged his audience to do the same. “Call Brian and ask him why they don’t mention me?” he said. Former record label owner, Suge Knight was a guest days later and acknowledged the slip up as well and went so far say that he would be the angry Black man for Arsenio. Over and over Arsenio’s presence is ignored, is it that America doesn’t see Hall’s talent or do they just not want to acknowledge it?
For all intents and purposes, sure, Black people have come far, a word I use loosely, in this world. We can now attend college and even partake in diner food at the counter up front but the reality is that there are still barriers that keep us from succeeding like our white counterparts. The old adage that we must work twice as hard to get half of the reward still hold true. Here we have a man who has proven his ability to have a successful run in Hollywood and when there is an opportunity for comeuppance he is passed over once more. This diatribe is not to take away from the talents or awesomeness of Stephen Colbert, his cheeky quips and nerdy allAmerican look will be a great fit but in a time where everyone supposedly is getting fair shot, it’d be nice to see something new rather than more of what every other channel already offers before I call it a night.
Arsenio did comment on the Colbert/Letterman situation via Twitter with the following message, “Even though David Letterman wants me to replace him, CBS wants Steven Colbert. Oh well! You go Steven Colbert congratz…” He also used his nightly monologue to poke a little fun, “Stephen Colbert is a wonderful, talented guy who will do a great job and don’t you feel weird Stephen, being Dave’s second choice,” Hall said. “Y’all are blinking that sarcasm sign, right?” It is clear that Arsenio feels the snubs and continues to push through and perhaps he didn’t really want the job but the real issue here is that he wasn’t even asked but do we the public get a vote? Where are those polling agencies to do one of those surveys the networks always claim they’ve done but none of us know anyone who has ever actually been asked. Where is the suggestion box for potential fillers located? One thing has proven itself to be true in the wake of Letterman’s departure, as the tide changes once more in late night it seems some things will always stay the same.
Also On HelloBeautiful:
1. Blue. #May10 #NYC
2. Daddy & Me
Blue Ivy walks across mommy's at-home photoshoot, but it's the most adorable photobomb ever!
4. One Big Happy Family
The royal family, Bey, Jay & Blue are all out shopping and we're sure they spent our entire life's savings in 30 minutes or less.
5. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
Beyonce in these heels though?!
6. Beyoncé & Blue in NYC — Nov. 4
Look at Blue in her adorable little bow!
7. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Blue holding on to mommy for dear life.
8. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Momma Bey looking fierce with her mini me in tow.
9. Blue dressed as Michael Jackson.
10. Blue & Ivy
Just look at that face. Seriously, Jay could never deny this child! She knows how to make all his mean mugs!
11. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
Look at that cutie!
12. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
OMG Blue in a top knot? Yasss!
Blue has grown up to be an adorable toddler! We're swooning over this photo of her playing on the beach.
Looks like Blue is taking a walk in mom's shoes...literally.
15. Beyoncé & Blue
There's nothing like being cuddled up in mom's arms.
Blue is looking all kinds of adorable! Look at that left hand go! LOL.
17. Blue On The Big Screen
Bey & Jay look at Blue during a video played at an "On The Run" tour stop. How precious!
18. Pardon Blue's Back
She's growing up so fast! We're loving the top knot. Take that Blue Ivy hair critics!
19. Jump Around
Bey & Blue share an adorable moment on the trampoline. Hello summer!
20. Rocking Some Cute Ponytails
Blue Ivy was spotted with a new 'do! Bey & Jay's mini-me was holding on to her father during a little day stroll.
21. Strolling With Mom & Dad
Blue, Jay and Bey all spotted in East Hampton.
22. Blue Has A Manicure Day With Mama Bey
"Me and my Blue, and my Blue Blue, riding🐝"
23. Hanging Out With Mom
Baby Blue is walking to the door, and it looks like Bey is trying to keep up!
24. Trying On Some Heels
Will Blue be slaying a performance in the near future?
25. Holding On To Mom
Blue looks like she has something to say to Bey.
26. Playing A Game Of Tennis
Blue walks on the tennis court.
27. Cuddling With Mom
Blue & Beyonce have some much-needed cuddle time.
28. Blue Ivy
"The blueprint 🐝"
29. Bey & Blue Take A Stroll
Doesn't Blue look adorable with her colorful dress and cute hair ribbon?
30. The Carter Lounge Together
The family was seen out and about.
31. Jay Z Carries Blue While Bey Looks On
Jay carries Blue in his arms.
32. Leading The Way
Blue Ivy looks too cute with her bowler hat and Mama Bey watching from behind. She's really growing up!
33. Out On The Town
Blue Ivy & Momma Bey enjoy some much deserved time off in Spain.
34. Traveling With Mom and Dad
Blue is used to traveling with Mama Bey and Poppa Jay, but she also looked a little flustered at some moments. It's ok, baby Blue!
35. A Day At The Park
Poppa Jay Z lets Blue Ivy have her way with the bouncy horse.
36. It's A Family Affair
Beyonce, Jay and Blue jetsetting in Dublin.
Blue dressed up like a hipster and plays a quick game of peekaboo! How adorable!
38. OMG It's Blue's Beautiful Face!
FINALLY! We get to see how beautiful Blue is! Look at the adorable headband! "Blue 💙"
39. Blue Ivy
Life's a beach!
40. Brooklyn Stand Up!
"Beyonce & Blue"
41. Blue Ivy's Got Her Own iPhone
"Momma, what's your password?"
42. Beyonce's Lazy Day With Blue
"Momma, I asked you for your password!"
43. When Blue Ivy Takes Your Phone, Beyonce Be Like...
"Fine, I'll go ask Daddy!"
44. Blue Ivy On Tour
"Bey & Blue"
45. It's Playtime
Beyonce & Blue take some time out to play.
46. A Chilly Day In NYC
"Beyoncé, Jay Z and Blue Ivy in NYC - Jan. 19"
47. All Bundled Up
The royal family makes their way to their fancy car.
48. Kisses From Dad
Blue's all bundled up, getting love from Daddy.
49. Blue At The White House
Blue Ivy's taking after mommy and writing a letter.
50. Blue Loves Bo
The White House pup, Bo is showing Blue Ivy some love.
51. The Carters At The White House
Check out the royal family checking out the scene at the White House.
52. It's Christmas Time Again
Blue and Bey checking out the White House Christmas tree.
53. Blue Lovin' Bo
Blue Ivy, dressed like a Princess, showing Bo some love.
54. Like Father, Like Daughter
Blue playing dress up with Daddy's hat.
55. Fun Times With Mommy
Blue Ivy spends some QT with mommy.
56. Mommy & Me
Blue and Bey take a break for some snacks.
57. Silvery Blue
Beyonce carries Blue, while the adorable toddler rocks a metallic jacket that we want and need.
58. The Holy Grail
Blue, Bey & Jay
59. One Big Happy Family
"#miami #newyear #2014"
"Beyoncé & Blue 💙"
61. Blue & Daddy In A Blue Jacket
"Jay and Blue 💙 #NewYear #2014 #Miami"
62. Hold On To Me
"Happy New Year Mommy!"
63. Dora Dora Dora The Explorer
"Beyoncé, Blue and Dora the Explorer"
64. Daddy & Bey
"Look over there Blue, you own that too."
65. Blue's Big B-Day
"Mommy make sure they can only see the back of my head."
66. Painted Faces For Blue's Bday
"Let me get down Mommy, I wanna play!"
67. Kisses From Mommy
Beyonce and Blue prepping for Momma Tina's Masquerade Ball
68. Talk To The Hand!
Beyonce, Jay Z and Blue Ivy were spotted leaving Joey's restaurant in Miami, on January 8th, and Blue had a message for the paps! Talk to the hand!
69. Me & My Daddy
While Beyonce's arm rested, Jay carried Blue from Joey's restaurant, in Miami on January 8th.
70. Blue's First Words
"I'm ready to slay right along with you, Ma!"
71. Imagine The Sound Of This Lullaby
A newborn Blue Ivy gets serenaded by her superstar mother.
72. Don't Mess With Blue!
Every now and again, Blue Ivy reminds you...she is her father's child!
73. All Gold Everything
Blue Ivy takes after her dad's swag. The inseparable duo were spotted in South Beach, Miami illuminating the streets outside their hotel with their yellow luster!
74. All Of The Lights!
"Mommy! All the pretty colors are so blinding! I'm...just..so..overwhelmed! When's my shot coming?! When's my shot coming?!" Blue plays on set with Bey at her 'Blow' video shoot.
75. Hey Blue!
"I can be happy sometimes, see?"
76. Blue Ivy With Daddy
"Why are we clapping, again? I'm not in the shot."
77. Jay Z Tries To Get Blue To Listen To "Magna Carta Holy Grail"
"Daddy, I'm more of a Nas fan."
78. Stepping With Mom
"Wait, Ma. I want the camera to see all angles of this sick dress!"
79. Splashin' & Playin'
"Mom, this water is clean, right? Because I'm not trying to splash in water I can't trust."
80. Beyonce Discusses Important Matters
"Mommy, I completely get it. Yes, I promise to watch the throne."
81. Mommy's Hugs
"Ok, Ma. I love you to pieces, but I like oxygen too." Bey may be the Queen, but this scene from her video "Blue" makes it look as if she can't get enough of being Mom.
82. Blue Ivy Twirls
"Aaaahh, I'm having so much fun not thinking about anything...wiippeee...oh, wait...getting a little sick."
83. Just So You Know...
"I run things. Don't get it twisted."
84. Mommy & Me Loungin'
"Oh, Mommy, I'm so tired of seeing the wigs you snatched last night all on our floor. It's so exhausting. Like, when're they getting picked up? Not now? Oh. Ok."
85. A Kiss For Blue
"Mommy, let me sleep, dang!"
86. Slurpin' On That Milk...Slurpin' Slurpin' On That Milk
"Mommy, gimme that bottle!"
We could watch this adorable GIF of Blue Ivy nonstop forever!
88. Jay Sneaks In Kisses
"Dadddd! Get..Away!..I don't want...No, ugh..No kisses!"
89. Blue Stares Back...
"Hey! Who's that?!"
90. Blue Still Doesn't Get Why Anyone's Here
"No, really, who are you? You're getting to close."
91. Blue and Bey Out For Lunch
"I'm over this now. People just won't let us be. Mom, why can't we just be?!"
92. Blue Is One Tough Cookie
"Ma, please let me just kick them in the face. Like, please, I can't see through all these lights."
93. Blue Jetsets With Jay
"Dad, do we own this boat? I just figured we owned everything, so..."
94. Beyonce Keeps Blue Covered
"Mommy, I think you forgot my feet. I'm cold right now. Are we inside?"
95. Beyonce LOVES Her Blue
Look at that face, how could you not kiss it?!
96. Blue Swings With Mommy
"I like the swing, this is nice, Mom--Oh, I'll let you pose for that shot."
97. Blue Decked Out In Pink
"Are we actually meeting people right now? Oh, I'll get it together, then."
98. A Hot Pink Summer
"Doesn't my mom look absolutely amazing? I know you're hating right now."
99. Working Her Moves
"Was Blue trying out Bey's bootylicious moves already?"
100. Mean In Green
"I'm going to be just as tall as you soon, Mommy! And, by soon, I mean tomorrow."