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Prince "took over" last night's episode of The Arsenio Hall Show, appearing in virtually every segment in some form. He played new songs with his band 3rd Eye Girl (including one called "Funknroll," which sounded exactly like you'd expect a 2014 Prince song with that title to sound), and fan favorite b-side "She's Always in My Hair" (which 3rd Eye Girl helped make more roll than funk). He sat on Arsenio's couch and talked about not having a cell phone (he doesn't need one, since everyone else around him has one). He fielded audience questions, revealing in the process that he recently watched the "Take Me With You" part of Purple Rain, he doesn't know what an infomercial is, and he likes to cook but can only make one thing: omelets. He joked that his friends have high cholesterol, which was about as humorous as he got.
He also expressed mild gay panic twice. Discussing his pet peeve of people touching his hair (which is reasonable and, from what I can tell as a result of having a friend with a giant afro, probably comes up way too often given the current state of Prince's 'do), he talked about an Oscars party he attended, in which several people bumped into his bird-boned frame. "It's mostly dudes," he said, wincing and shaking off the willies that just talking about such abominable contact inflicts.
Then, Arsenio had a guy come out to solicit relationship advice (the results were boring and ended up with Prince dumping this guy's girl for him, I think?). After approaching, the guy joked about sitting in Prince's lap. The joke sat about as well as a dude sitting in Prince's lap.
Prince is under no contract to accept any sort of male-on-male contact, and it doesn't make him a homophobe per se, though his supposed anti-gay marriage comment (which "a Prince source" later claimed was a misquote) and his more recent refusal to discuss the issue at all, make his expressed disgust at the idea of so much being grazed by another penis-having individual unsurprising. Let's add recent, seemingly anti-bisexual lyrics to the pot. Mostly, it's just disappointing to watch a guy whose highly profitable image was based in part on playing with people's perceptions of his sexuality and masculinity ("Am I black or white? Am I straight or gay?" he sang on the title track of his fourth album, Controversy), reduce himself to this uptight dude's dude stereotype. Prince was once so comfortable with his sexuality that he sang a song about jacking a person off (probably a woman, but still), that he gender-fucked for the sake of exploring connection with a woman ("If I Was Your Girlfriend"), that he wore heels. (Does he still wear heels? It'd be cool if he still wore heels.) Now he's a guy who cringes at the prospect of contact with another dude.
Prince's heightened investment in his Jehovah's Witness faith in recent years has led him to abandon a lot of the principles that made him a maverick, but that also made him rich and famous. He's spoken out about cursing and sexual explicitness in pop music, seemingly oblivious to the fact that had he not cursed and been sexually explicit in the past, there's a good chance that he wouldn't have the platform and attention to voice his thoughts on these things now. His arms-length treatment of gay stuff just makes him seem more antiquated than his current music does, a guy who's stuck in a past that he rejected when it was the present.