“Woof, woof, woof, woof…”, no I’m not singing that terrible, yet catchy song “Who Let The Dogs Out”, I’m preparing for the return of Arsenio Hall to late-night TV. That’s right; Arsenio will once again be gracing the small screen to add some flavor to the late-night TV offerings in the fall of 2013. Coming of a triumphant turn on Celebrity Apprentice, Arsenio has been back in the spotlight. And there’s no better time for someone like him to be back in the TV game with black programming packed with less than stellar offerings.
From the super ratchet ways of VH1 programming (Basketball Wives, Love & Hip-Hop, Hollywood Exes) to the super corny (Reed Between the Lines) or suspect acting (Single Ladies) there’s not a lot of good black TV programming these days. And even though there are many complaints about the poor representation of black women on reality shows like Basketball wives, it doesn’t stop most of us from watching. If the ratings weren’t good, they wouldn’t keep churning out shows, plain and simple.
It’s almost as though we’ve gone backwards. During the 80s and 90s there were so many great shows featuring black people, shows that represented our everyday lives. Shows that proved we weren’t really different from everyone else, like The Cosby Show, A Different World, Martin, and Living Single. And these shows did not require a cable subscription to watch and enjoy them. In fact, many of us still watch these programs religiously as they are now in syndication and still relevant.
With Arsenio coming back and the recent success of Scandal, starring Kerry Washington as the first black female lead in 30 years, perhaps things are on an upswing. Though Scandal is not a “black” show, it does provide a positive, strong, and independent example of a black woman. If we’re lucky, maybe there will be a resurgence of quality black programming on the airwaves. Because honestly I don’t know how many times I can watch grown women fighting each other over petty issues, I mean can’t we leave that behavior to Drake and Chris Brown?
When you think of Mike Tyson, I’m guessing the word “thespian” doesn’t come to mind. But that is exactly the new title he will be adding to his resume. Inspired by the play, “A Bronx Tale”, Mike will be making his Broadway debut with his one-man show “Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth”.
And with his recent cameos in The Hangover movies, it’s easy to assume this play is based in comedy, yet it is far from that. Iron Mike will be sharing the most personal of stories, baring his emotions to the world, and you have to respect him for it.
It’s always so easy to brush off athletes for being more brawn than brain, for being more physically gifted than academically gifted. And Mike Tyson has been ridiculed for that and more throughout his impressive boxing career. But, in just watching his interview on the “Today Show”, I became both impressed with his honesty and intrigued by the show itself.
With Spike Lee (director of his show) by his side, Mike talked of his volatile past and what finally made him choose to live a healthier lifestyle. He comes off as a man that is both humble and genuine in discussing the life he has led. He’s also brutally honest, a little too honest for morning TV as he was often steered in another direction during the interview.
It’s his honesty in that interview that perfectly sets up the premise for his show. A one-man show, where Mike Tyson will divulge his darkest secrets in front of a live audience, how is that NOT something you want to see? No topic is off limits, as Tyson will discuss being in prison, drugs, prostitutes, and the rest of the debauchery in which he has engaged. The show debuts on July 31, if you can, check it out.