If you’re old enough to remember it, Arsenio Hall’s late night talk show which originally ran from 1989-1994 was the TV hangout in the 90’s. With guests ranging from Halle Berry to Tupac to then Presidential candidate Bill Clinton, who famously played saxophone, Hall had audiences in his pocket with a sexy brand of wit and fun. He was one of the first TV talk show hosts to have a vast array of talent, including young African-American performers, actors, and personalities on late-night TV.
Now Arsenio’s back on the small screen with the 2.0 version of his amped up show. The new “Arsenio Hall” show will air in the 10 p.m. slot on weekenights, a great choice considering the array of established choices in the later hours. (Although, it should be noted, that time slot didn’t work for Jay Leno, who eventually; headed back to 11:30 p.m.) Arsenio’s first week lineup is impressive – scheduled to show up are Chris Tucker, Nas, actress Lisa Kudrow, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, George Lopez and some surprise guests. Already booked for the first month are hot rapper Kendrick Lamar, Djimon Hounsou, Seth Green, Russell Simmons, Orlando Jones and 2 Chainz.
“I have journalists who constantly asked me the difference in the business now and then, “ Hall told The Tom Joyner Morning Show. “The first thing I thought about was technology. When me and Jay was gigging, we didn’t have a phone in our pocket. If we did, it was attached to a cord all the way out your pocket back to the house or something. Then I go further back to when I started doing standup in Chicago.
Tom, you were flying from city to city. You forced a change in our technology. It’s aggression and hard work like you that forced us to have to figure out ways of doing it different. There are certain things you can do even when writing a joke – if you need ‘What’s Kelsey Grammer’s ex-wife name’ you can find that out, instead of just calling her a ho. I used to tell Jay got to Research and get me three magazines so I can verify! The technology has changed, man. “
Arsenio wasn’t gone completely from the entertainment scene. He was once in a short-lived sitcom with Vivica Fox playing his TV wife (don’t expect to see her on the new talk show) hosted a revival of “Star Search” and appeared on the TV show “Martial Law,” and won Season 5 of “Celebrity Apprentice.”
“I had to get it for Holly Robinson. I told her I was coming up there to get it. Cause c’mon you know Holly Robinson was supposed to win the year before. They brought in Brett Michaels – Brett Michaels had an IV in his arm. He was pushing a wheelchair, he was on a stretcher, how is he going to win when he can’t even speak.”
Hall has fond memories of TJMS co-host Jay Anthony Brown, who was part of the orginal Arsenio Hall show writing staff.
“Jay Anthony Brown – you give that brother one check, he can do everything. One morning he changed my transmission, wrote me a joke and made me a vest that I wore on the air that night.”
“The Arsenio Hall Show” returns on Monday, September 9th and will be aired in the 10 p.m. timeslot around the country. Check local listings. Click here for a classic hip-hop performance and an appearance with Michael Jackson and Eddie Murphy on the original show.
Arsenio’s first week lineup:
Monday, Sept. 9: Chris Tucker.
Tuesday, Sept. 10: Ice Cube, Lisa Kudrow (Scandal) and rapper Mac Miller.
Wednesday, Sept. 11: Magic Johnson, George Lopez and rapper Nas.
Thursday, Sept. 12: Mark Harmon (NCIS) magicians Penn & Teller and Earth, Wind, & Fire.
Friday, Sept. 13: Angela Bassett (American Horror Story: Coven) and Emblem3.