Arsenio Hall gets a talk show: alert the Claymates!

Celebrity Apprentice winner Arsenio Hall has signed on to star in a late-night talk show that will begin in 2013, confirming a handful of crazy Clay Aiken fan’s worst fears: Donald Trump conspired to give Arsenio the win.

Except: Arsenio’s talk show will be syndicated by CBS Television Distribution and Tribune Broadcasting. So, there’s no connection to Donald Trump, NBC Universal, or Magic Johnson at all.

BUT WAIT: There’s a Trump Tower really close to the Tribune Tower in Chicago. And I’ll bet Magic Johnson has watched CBS at some point. Clearly, this has been in the works for a while. Alert the authorities!

Seriously, dumb conspiracy theories aside, celebrities go on Apprentice to earn money for their charity and to get publicity: for their charity and themselves. And this was Arsenio’s goal all along.

The Los Angeles Times reports that he’d “mostly faded from public view since his show was canceled” and “decided months ago he wanted another shot at late-night TV. But he realized that to sell studio and station executives on the idea, he would have to reintroduce himself to the public and especially to viewers under 30 who had little idea who he was.”

Referencing the fact that he could have chosen to go on Dancing with the Stars instead, Arsenio told the paper, “This could have backfired. I could have been on the plane with Cheryl Tiegs saying, ‘Why did I do this? I should have danced.’”

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.