*All hail the comeback of Arsenio Hall (Arsenio Can’t Wait to do Late Night in the Twitter Age).
The actor and comedian – known, of course, for the late-night television show that bore his name, as well as appearances in Coming to America and a Celebrity Apprentice victory – will attempt to reclaim the late-night crown he once held (albeit briefly) when the revival of his talk show airs this fall.
His return is a good thing. It’s amazing to think it’s been almost two decades since Arsenio set late night on fire with The Arsenio Hall Show – and it’s hard now to even grasp just how popular that show once was. At its peak, Hall’s talk show could legitimately be considered a phenomenon, giving a flashy urban voice and younger bent to the late-night scene populated by an aging Johnny Carson. The trademark Arsenio Hall fist-pump and crowd chants are one of the enduring cultural images of the early half of the 1990s (Arsenio Hall Theme/Intro – 1990) and the show featured several landmark moments. Will Smith made an early-career appearance (The Fresh Prince of Late Night), Eddie Murphy dropped by constantly (Arsenio, Eddie Murphy and Uncle Ray), NWA made an appearance (N.W.A On Arsenio Hall), and, of course, Bill Clinton played the sax (Arsenio Hall recalls Bill Clinton playing sax). So 1990s, and so watchable.
Sure, Arsenio flamed out after a while (Keenen Ivory Wayans spot-on impression on In Living Color didn’t help – In Living Color-Arsenio Hall and Marion Barry ). However, it has been two decades … and it really would be nice to see him back in late night. So, let’s all wish him well, and let’s all tune in to watch.