A stand-up comedy routine by veteran comedian Paul Mooney on the Arsenio Hall Show left few in the audience laughing. Mooney, best known for his work on Chappelle's Show and writing for Richard Pryor, stunned the crowd of the late-night talk show when he capped off a bizarre set by hurling the N-word at an audience member.
According to TMZ, Mooney rambled on for more than 14 minutes in a routine that touched on everything from the mini-series Roots to Barack Obama, and even his admiration of an audience member's breasts.
Things took a turn for the worse when Mooney turned his attention to a Black audience member, who he called a "bald-headed n****."
An eyewitness claims the crowd was stunned, with Mooney's behavior leading to awkward silence, not applause. Producers unsuccessfully attempted to cut him off and end the segment, and a staff member had to physically walk on stage and usher him off. Eventually, says TMZ, host Arsenio Hall jumped in and helped end the segment in a respectful manner.
One audience member tweeted about the scene, saying, "OMG! I just witnessed THE MOST EMBARASSING, Disrespectful 'standup' BOMBING ever by Paul Mooney. @arseniohall I wanted to walk out!"
Thankfully for Arsenio's producers and network, the bit wasn't live. The version that appeared on air last night was drastically edited down, but still exhibits some of Mooney's odd behavior.
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(Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)