Well Arsenio is back and he will be back tonight. Are you ready to see him again? Do we really care? Have he been gone too long?
Arsenio Hall made history in the early ’90s as the first national African-American late night TV talk show host.
Aimed at a hip, young demographic, “The Arsenio Hall Show” was famous for its trademark “woof woof” audience chant and never-know-who-might-stop-by guest list. The show ran from 1989 to 1994 and boasted memorable moments, some of which have become a part of pop culture lore: Bill Clinton playing the saxophone during the ’92 campaign; Magic Johnson’s first interview after being diagnosed with HIV; and Hall’s tense show the night the Los Angeles riots broke out.
On Monday, nearly 20 years after his original run, the 57-year-old entertainer heads back to TV with a new show, “Arsenio.” Where has he been? How will he carve out his own niche in a very crowed late night field that includes Leno, Fallon, Letterman, Kimmel and Stewart? To paraphrase a certain someone, “These are the things that make us go ‘hmm.'”2012: Arsenio Hall returning to late night
Arsenio Hall: I have been working hard in just a different element of life, trying to balance my own and do some things that are beyond show business and beyond rooms and (studio) lots like this.
I left this business for something I didn’t even know I was seeking. I just knew it wasn’t in my schedule from sun up to sun down in Hollywood. I left the show for probably balancing my life — I wanted my relationships to be different. I wanted to be with my family and my woman. It was a point where I felt I don’t want to leave this earth without a kid. There were a lot of things going on…
I want to do all those things that I wish my dad could have done with me. My mom and my dad worked very hard when I was young; I was a latch-key kid. I not only wanted to have a kid; I wanted to do it a certain way.
THE SHADE IS REAL