No, It Is Not 20 Years Ago, Arsenio Hall Just Has A New Show. Yes, You Are Old.
For people of a certain age, Arsenio Hall was as important a figure on television as Jim Carrey and Will Smith. "The Arsenio Hall Show" was appointment TV the moment presidential hopeful Bill Clinton played saxophone with the house band, though other moments are equally as memorable. It's with that in mind that CBS and Hall have come to an agreement to make a new late night talk show that would likely air before "The Late Show with David Letterman," to get that all important disposable income demographic -- a convergence of viewers that some thought might follow Conan O'Brien to
TNT TMC TBS, alas. And if you didn't feel old before, here's John Nogawski, president of CBS Television Development with the official word:
"Arsenio had a substantial following with his previous late-night show, and that same 18-34 audience is now right in the middle of the late-night core audience of 35-54. Years ago, he transcended time periods and attracted a crossover audience while bringing a fresh perspective to late night. That same need in the market exists today as when we originally launched. We are looking forward to the same success with Arsenio's seasoned expertise and appeal in this genre."
Ouch. Obviously it's been nearly 20 years since "The Arsenio Hall Show" was on the air, but to put it in such stark terms... Ouch, just ouch. Still, for those of who fondly remember Hall's earlier outing, we may just give his as yet-untitled-project a shot. We watched all three Transformers out of a sense of dutiful nostalgia, after all. Especially if Arsenio carries over any portion of his original opening theme song and intro schtick:
Oh, and if anybody out there is pondering whether this is just part of President Obama's reelection campaign, to guest on Hall's new show by playing, I don't know, harmonica with the band? It won't actually air until the Fall of 2013, nearly a full year after the 2012 polls close and the Mayan calendar begins a new 5000 year cycle. Plus, Hall recently beat Donald Trump at his own game on "Celebrity Apprentice" -- that's how that show works, right?-- so he clearly wouldn't have anything to do with a secret gay communist socialist Muslim government dedicated solely to the advancement of the Obama Birther Conspiracy. Unless...
Rob Payne also writes the comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his wares can be purchased here and here (if you're into that sort of thing). He's fairly proud that he only paid for the first Transformers out of dutiful nostalgia.