Arsenio Hall is back after a 19-year absence from late night TV. Can you believe it – 19 years! I feel old. But I, for one, am happy he’s back.
Arsenio was always fun and energetic. He was happy to be there and showed it. His audience, a.k.a. the “Dog Pound,” thrived, with hoots and hollers generated from his fist pumping. His guests were political, ethnic, young, and the hottest Hollywood stars. He made them feel comfortable by sitting next to them instead of behind a desk. He was definitely the most exciting late night host of the 80s and early 90s.
Then, in 1994 when his ratings started to slip, he decided he wanted to spend more time raising his son, Arsenio, Jr. He says he wanted to balance his personal life. Some say there were other reasons, but I say, good for him.
Working His Way Back to Late Night
Now 57, he is diving back into an arena that is already crowded. There is Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman, to name a few. Arsenio has been slowly working on getting back into the spotlight, taking any smalls parts that were offered him on TV, and also competing in and winning “Celebrity Apprentice” – “You’re Hired!” I think that show brought a new young audience to get a glimpse of who he was. I think it may have worked.
Arsenio knows he has to earn his way back and hopes to appeal to the 30 and over audience. I actually think the 20-something crowd will be intrigued too. He has a youthful personality, a genuine appeal, and is just a nice guy. He does know how to make people laugh!
Arsenio Hall: “If I’m Canceled Tuesday, I’ll Call it a Special”
He says, “Back in the day, without me you didn’t see Luther Vandross on late night or Mariah Carey’s debut. But it’s not enough anymore to do what Johnny (Carson) isn’t doing … If I’m cancelled Tuesday, I’ll call it a special.”
I don’t think you will be cancelled, Arsenio. I think you are that guy that late night needs (again), and I hope you succeed.
“The Arsenio Hall Show” premieres tonight, Sept. 9, 2013 at 11 p.m. ET on Fox. Chris Tucker is among the guests for the series premiere. A few links:
Excited for “The Arsenio Hall Show?” Did you watch it the first time?