Arsenio Hall brought out some old friends to accompany his late night return Monday, nearly 20 years after his eponymous talk show aired its last episode.
“Leave it to the first black late-night host to take 19 years off work and come back here and expect my job to still be here waiting for me,” Hall joked in the monologue of the first episode of his syndicated series, “Arsenio.”
Chris Tucker and Snoop Dogg were his first official guests, while fellow early-90s icon Paula Abdul was a surprise guest on what Hall said was the “biggest night of [his] life.” The former pop star walked out as Hall was going through a time capsule he said he buried after his last show and offered her support as he began his new late-night gig.
“There are so many things to be grateful for and I’m grateful for you, for your loyal friendship, your amazing unique talent and your dedication to everything that truly matters,” she said. “Really, I’m so proud of you. You’ve done something that no one’s ever done before or let alone even tried to come back 20 years and step back into this spotlight. It’s really inspiring.”