Although the return of the Arsenio Hall Show has garnered mixed reviews, dedicated fans are happy to see Arsenio return to late-night television. He cornered a historic marker in late-night television as the first black late-night talk show host, but many consider his return just as historic. Most can remember his hilarious segment, “Things That Make You Go Hmmm,” in which he jokingly questioned strange things never questioned before. There was also the rhythmic chant his audience repeated nightly, “whoop, whoop, whoop,” lamented while holding one’s arm bent diagonally and making circles with their fist. This excited the audience and became a part of the Arsenio late-night culture.
In his normal comedic fashion, describing his return to television, Arsenio stated in the New York Times he likens himself to that child standing on the side waiting to get their turn in a game of Double Dutch. He stood for a while, moving his hips back and forth, attempting to get his rhythm before jumping back into the late night talk show game. He was, for many fans, a reason to stay up late and watch a show catered to their preferential taste. Arsenio brought diversity, in addition to his comedy and guest line-up. Every segment of the population should be represented, even in the late night talk show genre. Arsenio’s guests were not all black, his guests were just as varied as his commentary and comedy.
At the age of 57, is there an audience for Arsenio Hall Show, asked the New York Times reporter? There will be old fans who view his new show because of nostalgia. There will be new fans curious to know more about Arsenio Hall, the person whom they recall because of his comedic cameo in the movie Harlem Nights, with his friend Eddie Murphy. The mixed ratings, from the debut of the Arsenio Hall Show, indicate that there is interest and that people are watching. A late night talk show is only as good as its guest; therefore, the guest line-up must also be of interest to his old and new audience. It is possible for Arsenio to fill his time slot bringing all his famous friends back on to discuss their lives now. This makes for interesting fodder because his friends are the famous Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld, and Prince. During his tenure, as a late night talk show host, he also made many other famous friends who may be willing to sit and talk with Arsenio. His musical guests would need to be those popular figures that are now trending. Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana actress, Miley Cyrus, is a perfect fit for late night television since she is now a controversial adult. The show’s guest line-up will play an intricate part in its success.
The memorable Posse, made up of all new members, will still be the Arsenio Hall Show’s house band. Jazz saxophonist, Dave Koz was a member of the Posse when the show aired originally in the 90s.
The mixed ratings, during the show’s debut week, make it interesting to see how well the new Arsenio Hall Show will perform in the late night talk show genre. For many fans, it is a welcome sight to see the contagious Arsenio smile back on late night television.