By: Connor James - MSTv
Arsenio Hall could be called the bastard son of late-night television royalty. Exploding completely unexpectedly onto the scene with the syndicated, "Arsenio Hall Show" in 1989, Hall quickly dominated the arena that was once ruled only by the Tonight Show and Letterman.
And from 1989 to 1994, the ruling houses of Carson, Leno and Letterman couldn't put up much of a fight against Hall's massive appeal.
However in 1994, Hall decided to just walk away from his wildly popular show.
But now, on Monday 9/ 9, "The Arsenio Hall Show" returns to late-night TV - with a similar feel, but a new millennial attitude.
"There’s a lot of competition now,” says Hall. “Back in the day I was trying to take anything that was left over on Carson’s plate. Now, It’s a huge challenge this time to bring people to the television."
"Because you have that ability to Google anything and find anything that’s been on. It’s hard to get people to even watch you and make appointments for television, so the challenges are gigantic now," he added.
But, Hall intends to win over new fans using the formula that worked prior.
"The approach will be familiar to fans of the old show. It’s kind of the same Arsenio you know. Less hair, less shoulder pads, but inserting myself into this culture of music, comedy, pop, and hip-hop," he said.
Despite leaving his original show almost two decades ago, Hall didn’t just fade into obscurity.
The veteran comic has guest hosted a variety of shows, hosted a “Star Search” revival and eyed his late-night return when “The Celebrity Apprentice” re-introduced Hall to a broad audience in 2012.
With a growing anticipation of fun times ahead, it seems the public might be more than ready for Hall's return.
Hall says, “People hope you do a good, funny show and you assert a unique personality that’s not (already) there, so that you can just be in the game. I’m trying to be in the game.”
Yet now, much like 25 years prior, Hall has stiff competition to vanquish towards his regaining the late night crown.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” has promoted harder by ABC. Jay Leno will turn over “The Tonight Show” to Jimmy Fallon next year. Letterman just keeps chugging along and several other names stand by to raise their game to the top spot as well.
However, Hall intends to play to win as his premiere week guest list shows: Chris Tucker (Monday), Ice Cube, Lisa Kudrow, Mac Miller (Tuesday), Magic Johnson, George Lopez, Nas (Wednesday), Mark Harmon, Penn & Teller, Earth, Wind & Fire (Thursday) and Angela Bassett and Emblem3 (Friday)
With a lineup like this, it looks like Hall is off to a good start for new dominance. We'll be watching. Will you?