Arsenio Hall returned to late night television on Sept. 9 after a 19-year absence.
According to CNN, Hall made history in the early '90s as the first national African-American late night TV talk show host. His show ran from 1989 to 1994 with guests like Bill Clinton playing his saxophone during his 1992 campaign and Magic Johnson's first interview after being diagnosed with HIV.
Because "The Arsenio Hall Show" was so successful, many people wondered why Hall decided to give it up. Nevertheless, the 57-year-old entertainer returned with his new syndicated late night talk show, "Arsenio" on Tribune owned stations and others via CBS Television Distribution having no regrets about the past.
"I'm back and back is beautiful."
During his monologue on his first night back, Hall talked about what he had been doing during the last 19 years.
Entertainment Times reported that the first installment of the show was fine, but there was too much nostalgia instead of focusing on the present. Additionally, the reviewer said:
"The show seemed stuck in a haze of nostalgia, with Hall’s heyday, the 1990s, dominating much of the proceedings. He made jokes about AOL, CD-Roms, Wesley Snipes, and hosted a roster of slightly historical guests including Paula Abdul and Chris Tucker. Snoop Dogg gave a fabulous rendition of “Snoop Doggy Dog” — and everybody traveled back in time, which was fun, but also a problem."
Perhaps Hall was making the transition between the "then" and the "now." After the first show, he will probably have more up-to-date news.
"Arsenio" airs on most stations at the same time as Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno, and David Letterman. In a television interview before the show's debut, Hall said there are some people who don't watch those other guys and he is counting on pulling from that pool of people.
Welcome back, Arsenio Hall!
UPDATE: The ratings are in and "Arsenio" was a huge hit beating out the other late night talk shows.