It looks like Arsenio Hall just might have the career comeback story of the year, what with news of his deal to jump back into the late-night talk show fray this fall in syndication – on the heels of his smart win on “Celebrity Apprentice.” Considering the time out he took from professional pursuits in order to be a full-time single dad to son Arsenio, Jr., now 12, it’s a comeback story worth an extra smile. In fact, up until 2007, he told us, dead pan, “My kid thought I was a Jewish doctor. He didn’t even know I was in show business.”
He recalled, “I was on the road when my son was born. It’s weird. I love doing standup and I love going on tour but when you’re doing ‘Yuk, yuk’ in Tibet and you hear your kid over the phone…it’s like they can’t pay me enough…I did the rest of the dates I was legally obligated to do and I brought my a— home.”
After that, his choices in work were based on what he thought was best for him and Arsenio, Jr.. (He shares custody with his ex and former manager, Cheryl Bonacci). He felt, “I’ve had an incredible life and if I have a legacy, it’s that ‘There was a brother who did some things that succeeded and some things that didn’t always succeed.’ But what better mission to be on than being a great black father?”
Still, he had it in the back of his mind that at some point when the time was right, he might find some way, some day, to get back into the middle of the action in show business. That day has arrived.