After snatching victory from the hands of Clay Aiken earlier this month on the fifth season of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice, Arsenio Hall could be poised for a major comeback. Today the news is out that the 56-year-old actor/comedian is in preliminary talks with CBS Television Distribution to launch a syndicated daytime talk show.
Hall’s potential return to the hosting chair, according to The Hollywood Reporter, would reunite him with CBS Television Distribution — the same company that produced his iconic late night talk show in the early 90s (and currently produces Dr. Phil, The Doctors, and an upcoming daytime talk show from Survivor host Jeff Probst).
For those of us a bit too young to remember those fistpumping days of the original Arsenio Hall Show — the Emmy Award-winning series ran for five years, 1000+ episodes, and experienced widespread success with the young people of the time. Stemming from the surprise popularity of Hall’s thirteen-week run on The Late Show in the late 80s, The Arsenio Hall Show featured a variety of celebrity guests and popular running gags that quickly made the show a breakthrough hit, until increasing tensions with Paramount Domestic Television and declining ratings resulted in the show’s cancellation in 1994.
Since the demise of Arsenio’s eponymous late night show, the Coming to America star hasn’t been idle, having made many television appearances in the years since — including a short-lived 1997 sitcom dubbed Arsenio and regular appearances on The Jay Leno Show. But in a recent interview with the ladies on The View, Arsenio was candid about his desire to return to a more permanent TV spot.
“I hosted for Pierce Morgan on CNN, and I was interviewing Cookie Johnson and Magic Johnson,” Hall said. “We were talking about the foundation and Apprentice, and him buying the Dodgers, and there was a moment where it was like seeing an old girlfriend that I loved. I want a talk show again.”
As a fan of Arsenio Hall, I welcome the news of his return to television. That being said, there remains some question about his ability to maintain a daytime talk show. While there’s no word yet on which network will air the show if it’s greenlighted, I wonder if Hall will exhibit the same sort of urban-humor antics that made his 90s show so popular. Also, it’s unlikely that Arsenio will be able to ride the fame coattails of his close friend Eddie Murphy, who frequently appeared on the previous show.
Only time will tell, of course, but if his recent stint on the Celebrity Apprentice is any indication, Arsenio Hall — nearly sixty-years-old — is still a very charismatic character. “Wuff! Wuff! Wuff!” (Sorry, but did you really think we could cover an Arsenio Hall story without doing that?)
We’ll update you on Arsenio Hall’s comeback as it develops.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter