Brian Williams took a few minutes on the air last night to apologize to Arsenio Hall (and call out some other mistakes NBC News has made) for a huge oversight in a segment he did about late-night TV hosts.
As everyone no doubt knows at this point, Jimmy Fallon made his debut on Monday as the host of The Tonight Show. The news marks a shift for the 60-year-old show in an effort to attract a hipper, younger audience. In addition, the show has moved back East, setting up shop with The Roots in New York City.
Brian Williams ran a segment on Monday that included an interview with Fallon and a graphic (above) that was meant to illustrate the various hosts who are “slugging it out” in the 11/11:30 pm time slot that Fallon now occupies. Missing from the graphic was Arsenio Hall. Seriously though? Carson Daly?
Arsenio was not happy about the omission and took to his monologue to voice his complaint. The most compelling argument he makes is the one about the much-revered Johnny Carson; he notes that he’s the only late-night host to have survived the competition with Carson. Then he called in Suge Knight for a little muscle and gave out the NBC newsroom phone number so fans could call to express their dismay as well.
Brian Williams offered a mea culpa last night, noting that Arsenio “took them to task,” and that they previously left a state off a map and misspelled “Philadelphia” once. The point is, they make mistakes. Most importantly, he promised it would never happen again.
Kudos to Arsenio for calling attention to his achievement. No sense in being shy.