I was just a teenager the last time The Arsenio Hall show was on television. The show was synonymous with must see entertainment and I, like many others, did my best not to miss it.
There was a life, a passion, an almost cult like euphoria from the studio audience that was shared by the host and in turn, was transmitted to the rest of the country. The Arsenio Hall Show was what was happening and every one knew it. So when Arsenio got a second shot at bringing show back to television 19 years later, I was happy, filled with anticipation!
I don’t know what I expected. I knew everyone was older, but I thought the producers of the show will try their best to regain some of the magic of the first go around. The setup seemed the same, but on a much smaller scale and that’s where my disappointment began.
I sorta had a vision before last night’s debut. Yes, it was 19 years later, but I envisioned Arsenio walking out to the same screaming euphoric audience, on a stage that looked bigger than life, with a band like no other and a dog pound section yelling the trademark ruff, ruff ruff! And in my mind’s eye. I saw Mr Hall greeting the audience, telling his usual hilarious montage and moving right into the show… like nothing ever happened… like he was doing the show last week… last month, last year… for the last 19 years.
Instead, Arsenio walked out on a scaled down stage, to the music of a subpar band, to the cheers of an old audience. And he spent too much time reminding us all that he was gone, kinda like he was making excuses for an already average first show.
Then he brought out Paula Abdul, Chris Tucker and Snoop Dogg. Great performers, but not the audience booster the audience clearly needed.
Maybe Geritol would have helped.
Again, I know people get old, but a younger more enthusiastic audience could have made the world of a difference in last night’s debut.
Let’s hope his future shows return to the same platform we have all come to expect from The Arsenio Hall Show.