Arsenio Hall Is Ready To Make Late Night Return

by Tambay A. Obenson
August 1, 2011 1:41 AM
10 Comments
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At the semiannual Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles over the weekend, Arsenio Hall was asked during a PBS panel whether he'd consider making a comeback.

His reply: "I'd have to change my name to Nick Cannon and live with Mariah (Carey)... But I think it's a perfect time for that personally. Give me a microphone. My son's 11 and he can drive himself to school. I'm ready to host!"

And when pressed to see if he was serious, Arsenio added: "It's pretty crowded out there. I'm not sure if it's too crowded for a 55-year-old guy to re-emerge, but if they give me a little daylight I'm gonna slide into it."

Ok, so nothing's certain, but he's clearly interested in returning, after 17 years out of the late night talk show spotlight - an exit that I know many felt came a little too soon.

But if he did return, what network would take him, cable or otherwise? Did he already have his moment, and he should forget about a return? I'd imagine, with age, and family, he might have something different to offer to late night, compared to what he brought before.

But he's right - it's a crowded market. However, there aren't exactly many black men or women hosting daily late night shows on major TV networks are there? It's very much a white man's space.

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More: Television

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10 Comments

  • Janice | August 2, 2011 5:41 AMReply

    @Kai he was pushed out because affiliates were "concerned" about the "urban" slant the show had and threatened to drop his show. He responded by booking louis farrakhan, then it was wrap.

  • Kevin Sorrell | August 2, 2011 4:14 AMReply

    I personally would LOVE to see Arsenio come back, and I'm down with the idea of him being on TV One. I think he can be just as cool and hip as he ever was - it's already been pointed out that Arsenio's show featured talent that the other shows wouldn't touch. That's where he can differentiate himself from the pack.

    I loved how his show had a great mix of entertainment and substance. Some of the conversations that took place on that couch, even back then, trump the tripe that we're served today.

  • keepingitreal | August 2, 2011 2:06 AMReply

    I wonder if BET can afford him.

  • chiguy | August 1, 2011 5:47 AMReply

    His show was a great place to see the pulse of urban culture. I remember when he had Wu tang clan on and before they performed they discussed how they were harassed by LA cops for no reason. When A tribe called quest performed on his show, BustaRhymes performance got him a solo deal. Arsenio held it down for a while but once he interviewed Farrakhan his show was cancelled. I'm sure he has learned a great deal since his hiatus and would probably bring a great style back to late night television

  • JMac | August 1, 2011 4:56 AMReply

    He did introduce the world to talent that wouldn't have been seen anywhere else. I still remember Nirvana's performance and that WTF look people had afterwards, lol. But it was great and cutting edge. I don't know if AH can do a Tavis Smiley type show and if he did who would watch it. I think he could go up against George Lopez. That guy is not funny at all.

    He can't be as cool as he was but he definitely could rope in the over 30/40 people who'd rather see Jill Scott and Raphael Saadiq than Lady GaGa and Waka Flocka.

    What network? ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox is out. TBS would be great if they dropped Lopez. BET - but then I'd have to break my boycott. TV One- yes please. If they can have Sinbad hosting shows there, Arsenio should be just as welcomed. When do those new black networks come on line?

  • BluTopaz | August 1, 2011 3:31 AMReply

    I loved his show but the fact that he was the anti-Johnny Carson (young & hip) was a big part of his appeal, not sure how that would work now

  • Dankwa Brooks | August 1, 2011 2:34 AMReply

    OH it was time for his last show to go. It had grown tired. (-.-)ZZzzzz

  • Dankwa Brooks | August 1, 2011 2:33 AMReply

    With what seems like Mo’Nique’s cancellation I’m sure BET might welcome him.

    I think the “late night party” from the last show is a little too young for him and he would look gotdamn ridiculous trying to be cool with that crowd. Perhaps a mellower format and or maybe a Tavis Smiley type format.

  • kai | August 1, 2011 2:09 AMReply

    i wonder why he dropped out in the first place ... dont know about now but back then, he was still popular

  • Vanessa Martinez | August 1, 2011 2:06 AMReply

    He should come back! I think many people will welcome him. I think.

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