I know there is football on tonight but for the love of all that is holy, Chris Berman was doing the game so I just can’t watch it. Instead, I just got done watching the Arsenio Hall premiere and I have to say, not too bad. Not great but not too bad.
Arsenio hasn’t been on the air since his original Arsenio Hall show went off the air in 1994 so he’s been gone for 19 years. He pulled out all the stops tonight for the return. The cold open for the show was very funny and involved another late night talk show star that was taking a huge shot at his network. If nothing else is ever funny again, that opening would be enough for me.
Arsenio’s opening monologue wasn’t too bad. Some jokes fell a bit flat but some were funny. I am a bit concerned that the monologue was only ok. With as much time as the writers had to prepare I think it should have probably been funnier. The same for his time capsule skit that fell flat for me. I know you have been gone a long time but we didn’t need 20 minutes of jokes about things from the 90s. Paula Abdul showed up during this skit and did a bad joke about Simon Cowell that wasn’t funny and is really dated at this point. We get it. You two don’t get along.
Snoop Dogg opened the show for Arsenio and was also one of his two guests. The other guest was Chris Tucker. One of the main complaints about Arsenio from back in the 90s was that he was a terrible interviewer. It appears as though 19 years off hasn’t helped him build that skill. He’s a very likable guy but his interview was more like he was talking with a buddy than asking questions to get information that his audience and fans would like to know. And again, for a first show, the best you can do is Chris Tucker and Paula Abdul? Snoop is ok but the other two?
Overall I’d give the premiere episode a B-. There were some funny jokes and as a guy who was in HS during Arsenio’s heyday, it was genuinely nice to see him back on TV. I am concerned that with so much time to prepare that the show wasn’t better but that could just be because they are working to find their groove.
Two things that need to happen for this show to have a chance, the writing needs to get tighter and the bookers need to do a better job booking talent for the show. Colbert and Stewart only do 1 guest each a night so there has to be plenty of other talent out there for Arsenio to book. Don’t keep going to the 90s for your guests (Ice Cube and Lisa Kudrow are guests on tomorrow’s show for example).
I’ll watch the show again to see which direction they go. I am hopeful that Arsenio is successful because I like him and I think he would be good for TV.
Arsenio Hall returns to late night on Monday September 9 with a syndicated talk show brought to you by The Tribune Company. Arsenio hasn’t been on the air since the original Arsenio Hall Show went off the air in 1994. I’m looking forward to seeing him come back. I enjoyed Arsenio during his time on The Apprentice and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with his show.
The late night landscape is quite a bit different than it was when he left the air in 1994. The level of competition for viewers has increased greatly since Arsenio last tried to get viewers to watch him. Arsenio will be competing against the ratings powerhouses at Comedy Central of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, something he didn’t have to do back in the 90s. With his 10:00 start time, he will be starting before Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel get on the air so he has a chance to get viewers from those shows early. If he can do something to keep them from flipping the channel, he might have a chance.
The challenge for Arsenio is going to be reaching the younger audience. Sure guys my age know him, and I’m happy to see him coming back because I was a fan of his show during my high school years. But my age demographic is no longer the one that pays the money. The Daily Show and The Colbert report do huge numbers in the young demographic. Can Arsenio capture them?
My thoughts? I think he will do ok. The show doesn’t have a huge budget and it doesn’t have huge expectations. The Tribune Company are probably going to give this one a chance to grow a bit. As long as he doesn’t come out and completely implode with MSNBC type ratings, he will probably be given time to try to build an audience. Let’s just hope that the dog pound is retired. If Mel Brooks is making fun of something in one of his spoof movies, it’s probably time to retire it.
The Arsenio Hall Show will air here in Chicago on WGN TV Monday’s at 10:00. The premiere is Monday September 9 at 10:00. Here is a promo for those who might not have seen it yet:
Arsenio Hall is returning to late night TV. 19 years after the dog pound barked their last woof, Arsenio will be back on late night TV with a brand new talk show.
Arsenio will be partnering with CBS Syndication and the Tribune Company who will air the show on their networks which includes KTLA in Los Angeles, and WGN TV here in Chicago. Being on these two stations will give him access to a huge audience. Will he capitalize? We will have to wait and see.
He recently won on Celebrity Apprentice which gave him some limited exposure to the American public again but it has been a very long time since he was on TV as a host. Those kids who loved him in the 90s are adults now. Will today’s kids even understand what the dog pound is or will they call the ASPCA and Sara McLachlan who will make you watch one of her hideous commercials?
One thing Arsenio has proven, and it’s a time tested and proven axiom, black don’t crack. Seriously. Look at the dude. He is almost 57 years old yet he looks like he is 27. I don’t know what it is, but it’s just not fair. I’ve been turning old since I was 17. Arsenio just keeps looking younger.
My bitching aside, here is the promo that just ran for his show. Keep in mind that it won’t be airing until Fall of 2013, but it’s never too early to get the hype going.
Arsenio Hall is returning to late night TV on September 9. Be on the lookout.