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Arsenio Hall
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Comedian Arsenio Hall on the real reason Trump ran for president

Comedian Arsenio Hall at a Dodgers game in Los Angeles in March. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Comedian Arsenio Hall, who appears at the Silver Reef Casino in Ferndale on July 11, refuses to let any bumps along life’s journey get him down.

Never was this more apparent than when the reboot of his wildly successful early ’90s talk show, “The Arsenio Hall Show,” was cancelled after one season in 2014.

“Everything happens for a reason, I believe, and I was thinking, like, ‘What was this moment about?'” he said.

He started looking at the positives in the show’s short run, such as the fact that he got to have the last interview with Prince before the singer’s death.

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“Even though I only did that show for like a season-and-a-half, so many incredible things went on that I would never want to change,” he said.

The important things in life

Hall mostly gave up stand-up when his son was born in the late 1990s so that he could be in Los Angeles with his child full-time.

“I wanted to know his favorite color, I wanted to be at every Little League game, I wanted to know his best friends,” Hall said. “I didn’t want to be at Yuk Yuk’s [Comedy Club] in Toronto every time something monumental happened in my son’s life.”

But after his son went to college, Hall wanted to return to the world of comedy clubs.

“The thing I love most in the world is being in a room with a bunch of people live … I wanted to go back to that,” he said.

His friend and fellow comedian George Lopez tricked him into getting back on stage by having Hall announce him at a show one night. It was the push Hall said he needed to get his feet wet again.

“Stand-up saved my life, because it just put me back in a place where I needed to be, of having something that I loved, of having a goal that I could chase,” he said.

It’s a true love of the craft that motivates Hall. He and his comedian friends often perform for free in L.A. stand-up clubs simply because they love it.

“I love making people laugh, and there’s no higher form of it than stand-up … if you’re a stand-up, that’s what you do,” he said. “And you do it forever, whenever you can.”

Arsenio Hall on Donald Trump

As the winner of the fifth season of Celebrity Apprentice in 2012, Arsenio Hall got to spend time getting to know the man who would become the 45th president of the United States.

However, Hall had no inkling at the time that Donald Trump would ever end up in the White House. Whenever he heard Trump talking about a presidential run with the heads of NBC, he assumed it was all a publicity stunt to get more viewers for the show.

“I thought it was something they did around the fall, whenever The Apprentice was about to start up again,” he said. “And I thought it was something that brought publicity, and brought attention and eyeballs to Donald Trump.”

But when Trump did not renew his Apprentice contract in 2015 before running for president, Hall said it was about more than just eyeing the White House. According to Hall, Trump was angry that another TV host on NBC was being paid more than he was. If it hadn’t been for that salary difference, he said, Trump may have stayed on the show and decided not to make a presidential bid.

“That made him leave NBC and head for Pennsylvania Avenue,” Hall said.

But Hall stays away from taking a firm political stance, preferring to laugh at politics from every end of the spectrum.

“I hate politics and I hate politicians,” he said. “When I do my act, I call myself a ‘Republicrat’ — I’m the guy in the middle who just doesn’t trust any of them.”

For tickets, visit the Silver Reef Casino’s website.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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