Arsenio Hall took a victory lap on his show last night and insisted Suge Knight had gone off script the night before when he said Brian Williams had “so many hours” to apologize for omitting Hall’s photo from a recent newscast or “he leaves”. Hall’s program last night aired hours after Williams apologized on NBC Nightly News for leaving Hall’s photo out of a montage of late-night hosts the newscast had run on Monday while plugging Jimmy Fallon’s debut as host of NBC’s Tonight Show.
“A lot of people apparently called NBC last night on my behalf. Well, it worked — we crashed the switchboard!” Hall boasted to his studio audience and viewers at home last night. Hall insisted Knight had gone off script the previous night when Hall brought him out on stage to be the “angry black man” with a message to NBC News and Williams about the snub. “I didn’t know who to call — I’m from the neighborhood, so I called Suge Knight and he stopped by and delivered a message to journalists.” But the message was directed at Williams with Knight telling Hall, “You’re the West Coast; we’re gonna give him so many days, so many hours, to get it right,” adding that if Williams does not, “he leaves.”
“That was a a crazy moment because, let me tell you what happened. That was one of those moments when you know the joke he was supposed to tell, and Suge got real,” Williams said last night. “That wasn’t what we told Suge to say. Uh oh, Brian — Suge don’t stick to no script!”
In last night’s apology, Williams chalked up the omission of Hall’s photo to “being on the air at 4 AM in the morning in Russia”. He said Hall is in good company — NBC Nightly News having last summer left the state of New Hampshire off a map, and this week spelled the name of the City of Brotherly Love as PHILADELPIA. “It won’t happen again,” Williams promised.
“Thanks, Brian, I appreciate it,” Hall said on last night’s broadcast. Watch Arsenio’s victory-lap here: