As the first African American to host a late-night talk show, Arsenio Hall changed the face of television when "The Arsenio Hall Show" debuted in 1989. After several years of success, ratings began to dip when Hall's show was suddenly up against two late-night giants: Jay Leno and David Letterman.
Hall chose to walk away, but nearly 20 years later he's back on the air. In a full circle moment, Hall appeared as a guest on "The Late Show with David Letterman" to announce his new show before it premiered last month.
"So everybody talks about the late-night wars," Oprah says in the above clip from an upcoming episode of "Oprah's Next Chapter" on OWN. "But you're friends with Jay Leno. You were just on Letterman -- Letterman had you on the show knowing you were going to be a competitor."
"And he joked about it," Hall says. "And you know what? Jay is my friend. But Dave is a huge influence on me. He was one of my heroes, and to know that he didn't hate me and invited me to announce my show, that would overlap his by a half hour, was a great honor."
"Because, by the way, Dave comes off as really gruff," Hall adds. "Dave comes off as a guy who don't like a lot of people. And for him to honor me and let me come to the Ed Sullivan Theater and all that kind of stuff, it was very special."
"I think in the early years as young men, we were a little desperate," Hall says. "Now, you do your job and you do the best you can do. For us, just do your thing."
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