It's Arsenioooooooooooo Hallllllllllllllllll!
"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
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Don’t change the channel - “That’s ARSENIO!” – as Whoopi Goldberg said while portraying Oda Mae Brown in the 1990 movie “Ghost.” And he’s back after a 19-year hiatus to spend more time with his family and learn the true meaning of life.

But seriously – one of my favorite late night entertainers returned to the airwaves last Monday on Fox 28. As usual, the show was entertaining and fresh, and Arsenio’s jokes, gags and skits were hilarious. And for the show’s newest incarnation they’ve kept one of my favorite parts: the great theme song and intro – starting with his trademark silhouette in front of a big “A,” and accompanied by the quick camera cuts and pans to the host, the audience, his “Posse” band, and the woofin’/fist pump & grindin’ “Dog Pound.”

I always made it a point to check out Arsenio during his initial 5-year run, and I was glad to see that his show was well-received the second time around. According to the highlights from yesterday’s CBS television press release:

“THE ARSENIO HALL SHOW, the new syndicated late-night talk show with host Arsenio Hall, was the No. 1 late-night talk show on broadcast TV in the key audience demographic of Adults 18-49, in its first week on air, September 9 to 13…..ARSENIO scored the strongest first week of any new syndicated talk show in seven years among both Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54 (matching "Rachael Ray's" debut week of 9/18/2006).

The Week One household rating for ARSENIO in Nielsen's 56 metered markets averaged a 1.5/3, which was up 50% from its year-ago time periods (1.0/2).

THE ARSENIO HALL SHOW airs in syndication. It is anchored by the 17 stations in the Tribune Broadcasting station group, which is also a partner in the show. Check local listings for stations and time slots.”

See: http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/the-arsenio-hall-show-is-1-late-night-talk-show-among-adults-18-49-in-its-1st-full-week

I also found it interesting that Arsenio’s return received quite a warm welcome from two of his primary competitors – Jay Leno and David Letterman. Arsenio appeared on Letterman’s show the week before last to hawk his return, and Letterman was very gracious during the interview (despite a joke to the effect that Arsenio coming back was designed to put Letterman out of business). Leno also did his part by filming a short skit which served as the lead-in to Arsenio’s first show.

Arsenio discusses his show – in new times and old – in a Q&A posted at bostonglobe.com:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/television/2013/09/08/arsenio-ready-get-busy-again-with-late-night-show/m6e6pJU9XzJT8CqncsqLAM/story.html

So – if you’re looking for some good late night entertainment and a change from the 11 o’clock news, check out Arsenio on Fox 28, Monday through Friday. You just might like it.


Latest Activity: Sep 17, 2013 at 11:26 AM


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gacpl commented on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 12:52 PM

hopefully he learned his lesson from last time he had a show and remembers that all races of people watch his show.

sebekm commented on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 13:01 PM

I'm not sure what you mean. I consider my self "all races" and I didn't have a problem with his earlier show.

gacpl commented on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 13:35 PM

i used to watch his show too, until one of his last shows he had Louis Farrakhan ( if i remember the name right) on saying his usual hate mongering of white people on his show. Arsenio was asked by the network to make a apology to the viewers. instead he got on and said he agreed with what he had said. that's why the network pulled his show off.

sebekm commented on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 14:45 PM

I think there may be a difference of opinion on that. According to a Slate.com post dated last Tuesday, the Farrakhan interview and its effect on the Arsenio Hall show went a bit more like this:

"Hall’s interviews didn’t always go over quite so well—see his non-interview with a silent Jason Vorhees, e.g. He was also highly criticized for a long interview he did with controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. The interview, in which Farrakhan denied involvement with the assassination of Malcolm X and defended Michael Jackson (then facing his first sexual abuse allegations), took up so much air time that remaining guests were awkwardly squeezed into a few minutes at the end. (The full interview doesn’t appear to be online, though there are clips here and there.)

Farrakhan’s appearance has occasionally been pegged as the moment The Arsenio Hall Show’s fate was sealed: It went off the air three months later. Hall himself has denied this, saying his desire to start a family and explore other career options were the main reasons he left the show. In a recent interview with Wendy Williams, he insisted that, unbeknownst to the public, he had already resigned prior to the interview. And, in any case, the episode came in the midst of lower ratings and lawsuits against a staff writer."

See: http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2...

At the time, Howard Rosenberg of the LA Times also expressed a strong opinion about all the ruckus:

http://articles.latimes.com/1994-02-2...

But the bottom line is that while the Farrakhan interview might not have been the "reason" the original show was cancelled, it certainly didn't help the situation any. Over the years, I've seen talk show interviews of people I didn't care for and I simply chose to change the channel. In this area, I also try to consider the artist/show in context of their total entertainment value. If I see that Arsenio has booked Farrakhan on his new show, I'll probably get a sample and turn it off if I don't like it. But on balance I enjoyed Arsenio's original show a lot, and found the new offering to be just as entertaining.

To each his or her own, but I continue to recommend the show - regardless of whether anybody "learned his lesson."

gacpl commented on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 16:24 PM

it was the reason. his ratings were almost even with the other shows. he was on the way to becoming the most watched late night show. he told the network he would apoligise for having farrakhan on and what he said. the network gave him time to do so. but he got and said he was asked to say he was sorry for what was said on the show and turned around backed up farrakhan's statements. the next day they announced he was being removed from the air. the discussion was not about malcom x that did it. he keep on about white people owing black people for everything. he made it very clear that he was a straight up racist and left nothing to doubt about it.

JimmyMack commented on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 17:39 PM

Watched his show once. I was looking for comedy but didn't find any.

sebekm commented on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 18:15 PM

Jimmy: I suggest you look harder, and don't look for much "political" humor. He had Bill Clinton on his show ("The FIRST black President"), but the shows I saw don't include much ripping of the Republicans like Letterman or the others. If you are looking for that, stick with Maher or better yet watch MSNBC.

gacpl: He was NOT - at the time - on the way to becoming the most watched late night show. His ratings were way down and we had the Leno-Letterman wars going on. My sense at the time was that his "novelty" may have come and gone. As our friends at Wikipedia.org point out:

"Although the show's sharp ratings decline in 1993 was due largely to circumstances beyond Hall's control, Paramount was running out of patience with him by the start of 1994. The final straw came in February 1994, when Hall booked controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to appear on the show. Despite a press release saying that Hall would have other guests appearing the night of Farrakhan's appearance, Hall instead allowed Farrakhan almost the entire sixty minutes to be interviewed. The scheduled performance of gospel group Kirk Franklin & The Family was relegated to the very end. The backlash from the appearance caused a further ratings drop from which the show never recovered."

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Arse...

So his ratings had been declining for at least a year prior to the Farrakhan fiasco. As to any apologies required, I couldn't find any in my research. If you have a cite, please post it below.

But at any rate, WHY MAKE THIS ABOUT RACE? Is that all we as a collective society can think about - even when it comes to entertainment? That's pretty pathetic - IMHO.

gacpl commented on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 18:31 PM

i remember the incident from watching it my self. the wife and i watched it every night it was on. we both liked the show till then. farrakhan's statements were all about race. that's what makes it about race. i also watched when he got on and said the network wanted him to say a apology for what farrakhan said, he said he was sorry that he couldn't because he agreed with what he said.

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 12:26 PM

I understand that Farrakhan is considered by many as an enemy of the United States. But - he is a U.S. citizen, with all the constitutional protections and freedoms this country offers. He also continues to have a following in the black community.

Freedom of speech can be a double-edged sword at times. I would much rather have an "enemy" speaking his mind on national television than holed up with followers plotting some dastardly deeds. Television talk shows have had a history of introducing the unusual, the controversial, and even the shocking into the cultural dialogue. If the network didn't want Farrakhan on the show, they could have told Arsenio or whoever suggested his appearance NO. They didn't, and the result was an event which alienated a segment of Arsenio's remaining audience while he was already on a deep downslide in ratings.

However - IMHO - that's ancient history. He hasn't had Farrakhan on his new show yet. I've watched his show for a week. As I mentioned above, I found it funny and refreshing, while retaining the nostalgic elements that I liked about the earlier show.

I understand that these shows are not for everybody. I NEVER watch Kimmel; seldom watch Letterman anymore; and find Leno occasionally interesting - especially on the nights when they publish the newspaper faux pas (so Courier - WATCH OUT!). I find the return of Arsenio - as have a lot of viewers as indicated by the ratings - to be a welcome addition to the late night talk show inventory. I'm far more interested in his 2013 shows than I am in his 1994 shows. So I guess the bottom line is: To each his or her own.

Nevertheless, I still recommend the show. After all - it's the Arsenio Hall show; not the Louis Farrakhan show.

JimmyMack commented on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 19:04 PM

As an avid devotee of true comedy, and as his name implies, Hall is; I think from a comedic standpoint, the Black comedy incarnation of Hee-haw. Always close....but never brought the boat in; always standing in the loading area or Italian waiting hall to dock his comedic boat.

All hat and no cattle.


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