By Britt Bickel

After late night legend David Letterman announced his impending retirement as host of the Late Show last week, one thing has been on everyone’s mind; who’s going to take over his coveted late night spot?

As a talk show legend in his own right, Arsenio Hall knows a thing or two about the late night game. He called in this morning to give his take on the Letterman situation and who he thinks would be the ideal choice to take over the Late Show when Letterman steps down in 2015.

“Obviously, I’m freshly locked into this new syndicated deal and CBS is a partner…they partly own my show…so I can usually look at it all in an unbiased way,” said Arsenio. “I think a great play would be to try to go for Howard Stern. I think the play I hear about a lot in the pipelines of Hollywood is that they’d like to throw a lot of money at Jon Stewart and get him to leave Comedy Central and come take over the CBS spot, and that would be the perfect three-headed monster.”

With Stewart’s schtick primarily focused on political satire, how could he transition into a late night TV host? Arsenio thinks that his contrasting appeal is exactly what the network is looking for to compete with the other big late night shows.

“When they’re trying to find alternatives in late night, they’re always looking to go in a different direction than the traditional Steve Allen, Johnny Carson, Jack Par format,” he explained. “A great way to combat that situation would be to bring in a Jon Stewart, who would blow up the Carson model and put a whole different thing into late night.”

And that’s why Arsenio says his show works so well, because he does “a slightly different show from the format that everybody has stolen from over the years.”

Speaking of the Arsenio Hall Show, tonight, the late night host welcomes top comedians Tracy Morgan and Nick Cannon on his show, and thing’s for sure, it’s gonna be a party. With Cannon recently creating controversy over his ‘white face’ spoof to promote his new album White People Party Music, Arsenio commented on what he thought of the comedian’s gimmick.

“That created kind of a reverse issue of people saying ‘well why can black people do white face?’ That go crazy for a minute,” said Arsenio. “I’m a comedian, so I don’t mess with anybody’s art, because I don’t want anybody to mess with me. By the way, what Nick is doing, you look at ‘White Chicks’ before that, you look at what me and Eddie were doing in ‘Coming To America’ – it’s for comedy’s sake, I don’t why this bothered people so much.”

Tune in to The Arsenio Hall Show tonight at 11 on KTLA 5 for more laughs! Listen to our complete interview with Aresnio in the clip below.


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