Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Arsenio Hall Emotionally Recalls Quitting Hollywood to Raise His Only Son

arsenio hall*Arsenio Hall previously opened up about choosing family over fame after trying to balance a career and his role as the father.

The comedian quit his popular late-night talk show back in 1994, which reportedly fell victim in ratings against the late-night competition at the time from David Letterman and Jay Leno.

Hall said in a statement that his decision to leave “The Arsenio Hall Show” was “the most complicated” of his life, adding, “Everything must change, and it’s time.”

Hall opened up to CBS about his sudden departure from the show.

“When you have that feeling of ‘There’s something else for me to do, and this is occupying your life 24/7,’ wrong or right, you need to go,” he said of his sudden departure from the show.

As reported by amomama.com, Arsenio walked away with millions, and starting a family became his focus.

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arsenio hallHe welcomed his son, Arsenio Cheron Hall Jr., in September 1999, but his relationship with the kid’s mother didn’t last. 

“I was determined to be there for my son’s first walk, talk, boo-boo, and whatever else. I didn’t want to miss a thing,” Hall wrote in an op-ed for Newsweek in 2012. “I knew going in that being a single parent would be one of the toughest jobs I’d ever have. I’d been a talk-show host, actor, comic, and on and on, but this gig was going to be my defining moment.”

Hall put a halt to his work to focus on his kid. 

“I know I did the right thing by taking time off to raise my son. But it also came at a price,” he would confess years later. “I turned down many opportunities over the years because I didn’t want to leave him for long periods of time. And in Hollywood, as in any business, the calls stop coming when you don’t answer.”

In 2012, when Hall received an offer to appear on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” he was hesitant to accept the offer, as he didn’t want to leave his son for an extended period. However, he revealed in an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s “Next Chapter,” that Arsenio Jr. encouraged him to get back to work. 

Hall recalled his son saying “Dad, we can win this”— Hall got emotional and started crying. He even had to ask for a minute to compose himself as Winfrey looked on and offered her comfort for the star.

Hall went on to win the fifth edition of “The Celebrity Apprentice.” 

A year later, he revived “The Arsenio Hall Show.”

But working every night away from home meant he was spending less time with his son. 

“I feel horrible,” Hall said. “I’m not helping him with his homework every night.” Adding: “His mom and my mom are the only reason I can be here. They’re helping me.”

Now that Arsenio Jr. is 21-year-old, Hall is back working fulltime. You can next catch him in the sequel to “Coming To America” opposite Eddie Murphy.

“I think I can finally juggle the ‘dad thing’ and the ‘work thing’ all at the same time. Something I know mothers do every day,” Arsenio said back in 2012. “I’m happy I made a choice to be there for my son, to watch all the games with my son, and now I just hope people still want me to make them laugh.”

 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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