Things That Make You Go Hmm: Arsenio Calls Out Brian Williams for Ignoring the Black Late-Night Host

Liberal reporters, particularly those at MSNBC, are quick to accuse conservatives of racism when it doesn’t exist. So it’s particularly amusing when they’re accused of it themselves.  Arsenio Hall, on his Tuesday night show, did just that when he noticed NBC’s Brian Williams and the New York Times left him out when they reviewed the new late night talk show scene.

After putting up a still from a New York Times article by Bill Carter that didn’t include his photo Hall asked: “See if you notice someone missing...You know, brown ink is more expensive maybe?” Then, after playing a clip from NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, that also failed to include him in a montage, Hall hilariously pondered:

 

“Hmm. Got to go old school on them. Take a look at these pictures. Someone’s missing again. But look at them, they all look happy. Look like the Russian hockey team or something. There’s nobody even with a tan.” Hall then proceeded to give out Williams’ phone number and even brought out rap mogul Suge Knight to threaten the NBC anchor.

The following excerpts are from the February 18 edition of The Arsenio Hall Show:

ARSENIO HALL: Last night Jimmy Fallon debuted as the new host of The Tonight Show. It’s causing a media frenzy. Now, on Sunday the New York Times ran a piece about late-night television and showed pictures of all the late-night hosts. Let me show you. Check it out. See if you notice someone missing. But I’m thinking, I’m thinking maybe they don’t have enough room. You know, brown ink is more expensive maybe? You know? And so I just let it go, because you can’t get hung up on this stuff. It’s 2014 and I’m thinking, like just, you know, just let it go. Nobody reads the paper anyway. You know? You know? Papers are passe. And then last night NBC ran this little story.

[Clip from NBC Nightly News]

BRIAN WILLIAMS: The time slot will now be fought over by two Jimmy’s and a Dave, along with all the other media out there slugging it out for the turf Johnny Carson used to own outright.

[End clip]

HALL: Hmm. Got to go old school on them. Take a look at these pictures. Someone’s missing again. But look at them, they all look happy. Look like the Russian hockey team or something. There’s nobody even with a tan. And this guy, you know he said, “Arsenio should be in my block.”

If you’re doing a story about late night, all I ask is that you mention me. You don’t even have to use a photo. You know you don’t even have to use a photo. I know how journalism is these days. Use Samuel Jackson. It don’t have to be my photo. I’d go for anything. Use Laurence Fishburne, you know? James DeBarge and write Arsenio there. Don’t even have to be my photo. Just put Dikembe Mutombo and mention me. All I ask is that you mention me. Next time you do the Brady Bunch montage of late night, let me be in the middle where Alice used to be! Let me, you know? Put me in the middle! I know all the blocks was taken up.

The news report mentioned that Johnny Carson  - and they constantly talk about Johnny Carson and, and people taking Johnny’s title. I actually am the only guy who competed and survived against Johnny Carson and I’m not up there, and I’m not in any of these articles. But I’m still smiling.

And I’m a fan of Jimmy’s, and Jimmy and uh, I should change my name to Jimmy. Jimmy and Jimmy and Chelsea. You know I like Chelsea. This is not about them. This is about journalism, this is about Brian Williams. I’m sure he’s a good news man, but there has to be a reason for this journalistic debacle. For leaving my name out. You know what? We should call Brian Williams. I wonder if I can call Brian Williams and we can ask him. Uh, should we? Hey B, dial that number. I changed my mind. Dial that number.

[Phone dial, phone ringing]

HALL: Hello, Black History Month. They didn’t even put me in because it’s Black History Month. They coulda. Grr. Okay, we tried B. Hey, I’ll give y’all the number and maybe y’all could keep calling. Yes. I’ll give it to you all at home. 212-664-4971. Call Brian and ask him why they don’t mention me, why they don’t include me? And then hit me up on Twitter. Let me know what he say. Hashtag Arsenio.

See, I don’t want to come off as angry black man, you know, so I’m taking it in the spirit that I should. But I got a friend in my dressing room, he said, “I’ll be the angry black man. You know, you don’t have to be the angry black man.” So, ladies and gentlemen, I have an angry black man who’s gonna come in and stand in for me. Yeah. Suge Knight! Suge Knight! Thank you for assisting me, my friend. You know I hate, I hate to be the angry black man, but I notice in all these articles they never mention me. Is there something you can say to Brian Williams and, and the world of journalism and maybe ask him to include a brother.

SUGE KNIGHT: Well, as far as I look at it, it’s like this. You’re the west coast. So we’re going to give him so many days, so many hours to get it right. And he gonna have to apply. Either he applies or he leaves.

HALL: Oh, change it or resign?

KNIGHT: Resign.

HALL: Whew! We might just be kidding, Brian. You know, sometime I take a joke too far. Just mention me, man. Even if it’s at home, Brian, it’s cool. It’s just. Just say to your wife, “you know, Arsenio is doing a show on the west coast.”

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.