Arsenio Is Back

After a 19 year absence, Arsenio Hall is finally back on late night TV, ready and willing to reclaim the throne as THE host to watch. In the late ’80s and early to mid 1990s, Arsenio Hall was must-see TV. Even Michelle Tanner on “Full House” wanted to watch him. He became the first real threat to Johnny Carson. I remember when it was Johnny’s last week in May, 1992. Out of respect, and give him the farewell he deserved, Arsenio only showed reruns. From Luther Vandross to Ron Howard, not to mention Bill Clinton, Arsenio had the best guests. While my sister and I watched intently every night, Mom paid closest attention to his monologue. He was hip, attentive, avoided overshadowing his guests, and hilariously funny.

Naturally, some are already blasting the new show in its first week. When someone comes back after a lengthy absence, I think they should be given a break. We tend to expect them to be exactly as they were last time we saw them. When Richard Dawson returned to hosting “Family Feud” in 1994, similar complaints arose. The pressure is on, as nostalgia runs high. The show is in its infancy, still trying to find some balance, footing, and direction. The late night landscape is overrun with hosts to choose from, so Arsenio is no doubt working to set himself a part from the rest. One thing about him that has not changed is he remains very likeable. He can easily take that, and go from there, one step at a time. Other than David Letterman, I personally do not find any of the others particularly entertaining. Unlike Letterman, Arsenio is not as cynical.

As for the claims he remains in the past, if you think about it, that could be his edge. In small doses. In this high-tech, fast-paced society of ours, nostalgia easily creeps in. Sure, he can bring in current entertainers, but also maintain that slight throwback to the ’90s. For one thing, he was so big during that time, it can be hard to separate the two. He has the ability to make it work for him, and keep the big audience garnered from his first show. No matter what, he deserves to be given a chance.

I hope Arsenio remains around for a while. It’s great have him back again. Now I have a reason to watch late night TV again.

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~ by kmnnz on September 13, 2013.

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