When Jimmy Fallon took over The Tonight Show on Monday night, friend and NBC colleague Brian Williams paid tribute to the historic moment by noting the company that Fallon was joining when it came to other shows on other networks.
One show he failed to mention was Arsenio Hall, who unlike Carson Daly and others who aren’t staples in late night, has been on the talk show scene since the 1990s and has been so with authority. Arsenio has turned in some classic late night moments, not the least to which saw soon-to-be President Bill Clinton infamously play his saxophone on air in a move that many say significantly boosted his appeal with younger voters and heaped him win the 1992 election.
Arsenio riffed on the omission on his show earlier this week, bringing out record producer and noted tough guy Suge Knight to jokingly muscle Williams into an apology on air. Suge went off script and threatened Williams — something that Arsenio admitted out took him off guard — but the show got it’s apology from Williams and the NBC Night News the next day.
Williams took the ribbing in stride, as he points out other bad mistakes that NBC has made in the last few weeks. Arsenio accepted the apology and what started as a sin of omission by NBC turned into another reason to love both Arsenio Hall and Brian Williams.