WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Arsenio Hall's show at Wilmington's Thalian Hall on Thursday night was his first stand-up comedy performance in North Carolina, but the veteran comedian and actor does have a connection to the state.
When Hall was on Celebrity Apprentice in 2012, he became friends with NC native Clay Aiken, who was an American Idol runner-up in 2003.
Aiken, a Raleigh native, finished as the runner-up again to Hall, who won his season of Celebrity Apprentice and raised more than $500,000 for the Magic Johnson Foundation.
During a Thursday afternoon phone interview a few hours before his Thalian Hall show, Hall spoke highly of Aiken and said he was excited about doing shows in our state.
"My mental and visual image of North Carolina is Clay Aiken," Hall said as he was leaving Raleigh and heading for the Port City. "He's my friend and he's a good, Christian boy with a Southern accent who can sing his face off so I'll go with it. ... If there was a flag and I had to design it, it would have Clay Aiken on it."
Hall hosted a popular late night talk show from 1989-94 and has starred in Coming to America, Harlem Nights and played himself in the 2017 Adam Sandler Netflix movie Sandy Wexler.
While he still lands TV and movie roles, Hall is back to doing stand-up full-time and has dates booked through mid-July.