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“Arsenio Hall Show” Is Back, To Very Mixed Reviews

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Arsenio Hall is back after nearly two decades of being off the air, and viewers are very divided in how they feel about his premiere episode.

While Hall looks and acts like he’s barely aged since his popular show went off the air, some felt that the jokes he made during last night’s broadcast were stale and forced.

“He joked that, in his day, “Instagram” was a “cocaine delivery service.” His pop-culture references were mostly old (he joked about Wesley Snipes’s tax problems), and even the newer ones were tired: he made fun of Kim Kardashian by pulling out her supposed pink tricycle from childhood, fitted with an oversize seat,” wrote Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times.

Even the night’s guests–which included Chris Tucker and Paula Abdul– seem to have been pulled directly from Hall’s cache of personal friends rather than from the pool of popular stars who do the talk show rounds for promotion. Still, Hall hasn’t lost the charm or charisma that kept his show running for five years, and despite a less-than-stellar first night, many fans have high hopes for him.

“The host brings not only a still-necessary demographic corrective to late night but memories of a time, which was also the time of the Wayans brothers’ “In Living Color,” when black culture seemed poised to join the broadcast mainstream,” writes L.A. Times television critic Robert Lloyd. “It is a curious thing to launch a new late-night series under the stewardship of a 57-year-old, even one as lively and youthful and fit as Hall; that is the age, rather, when they are painting the target on your back. But with late-night still dominated, almost to the point of exclusion, by white men — very white men, mostly — Hall does make sense: He is the outsider and insider, with a track record and good will, and the power of nostalgia working for him.”

Image: YouTube

“Arsenio Hall Show” Is Back, To Very Mixed Reviews
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  • http://BRO asadQF

    hI BROS U SUCK

  • John

    Not usually one to do this sort of thing… But feeling a bit compelled. Seems like Arsenio is coming Back to America!
    In truth, I have no idea where he has been or what he’s been doing. However, what I am watching this evening is a gentleman who is attempting to instill positive influence on all people. The bit about Magic Johnson was absolutely amazing. I am all for critiquing on comedy… But a person’s character is about who they are; who they represent and the people and causes they support. I encourage everyone to find a way to critique his comedy but still support him as a person and as a contributor to society. Anyone can be a critic…but it takes a great person to get back in the arena…Arsenio is not among the cold and timid souls…

  • KrystalSpivey

    Love your show. Keep up the good works

  • traci404

    I have watched every night, I see it get better and better. The only “dip” in the ratings is the night the President had his press conference.

    I like his “old school” jokes and his guest list of all his old, long time friends like Paula Abdul.

    love his show. If i have one callout — the band needs a better bass guitar player.

  • http://facebook.com yvonne compean

    watch your show all week its gets better day by day wish you good ratings your fan always….

  • Anon

    He’s not funny and in his interviews he looks awkward,He makes Jimmy Fallon look like a comedy genius.

  • http://Googleme,bitches Kyle Diamond Jones

    This article is idiotic. No one is saying the ratings were mixed except this idiot

    • Robin

      I know. The writer is unfairly biased against Arsenio. Clueless

  • marcus of the chi

    May God bless all the supporters of The Arsenio Hall Show. Great job dude! Keep pushing forward and continue to innovate. As you did every nite fron ’89 to ’94, you continue to entertain and make me laugh. Long live Arsenio!!!

  • Robin

    Arsenio has more talent, charisma, originality and presence then most talk show hosts on TV today. In fact, several of these so called hosts copied Arsenio. Arsenio has a loyal fan base. We will be watching him every night! Lastly, it is a fact that Arsenio was #1 with ratings among adults 18-49 in it’s first full week. He’s back!

  • Scott

    I saw the show on the first week and second week, and his jokes were flat and outdated, his comic persona is like watching some old time comedy act that’s long been dead. It’s ok that his show sucks they should of just let it die as a good memory instead of seeing him as a bad comic host trying to make a come back- he almost sounds clueless by how the world has changed when he presents a joke, I’d say cancel this misery he’s put before us.

    • Robin

      Wow! Give him NO chance to develop his show? That’s absurd… Even Seinfeld had MANY years before it came together and was actually worth watching. Arsenio is good. He needs to maybe get better writers. However, Arsenio and his interaction with guests is worth watching.

  • kay

    He is totally stuck in the 90′s. His skits are outdated and not funny. I gave it a try but its not worth the space on my DVR.

    • Robin

      When a new show is building an audience, it takes time to get it up and running and feeling good.
      I’ve been watching since it aired. It’s definitely better now (especially the 2nd half). Very funny guests. Check out Ken Jeong and JB Smoove on line. They were a riot!

  • Diane Steigner .

    I just cannot believe you are back.
    1992 I got divorced with 16 old
    We would lay on the floor and listen and laugh!,
    Thank you
    Diane and kevin

  • MARY AGUILAR

    I AM WATCHING LIKE AMERICA….I FEEL THAT ARSENIO’S FIRST NIGHT WAS VERY FLAT…..JOKES WERE STALE….AND MUCH NEED FOR IMPROVEMENT…..I WATCHED AND SAW A SHOW THAT HAD THE POTENTIAL TO ON THE TOP OF ITS GAME…..I HAVE SEEN OTHER POPULAR SHOWS AND THEY DONT HAVE HALF THE SPACE OR AUDIENCE THAT ARSENIO HAS….I WAS VERY SAD AND VERY LET DOWN…..I WAS WANTING THE OLD ARSENIO…THE CONFIDENT ARSENIO…..THE ARSENIO WHO ASKED THE HARD QUESTIONS AND HAD A SENSE OF HUMOR ABOUT IT…..THE PARTY ARSENIO….THIS ARSENIO IS SHY….AND ITS ALMOST LIKE WATCHING A 15 YR OLD ON HIS FIRST DATE….I MISS THE CONFIDENCE AND AGGRESSIVENESS OF THE OLD ARSENIO….HE ACTS AND I HATE TO SAY THIS OUTLOUD BUT HES ACTING LIKE A BLACK MAN WHO HAS HIS FIRST SHOT ON THE WHITEMANS AIR…..HES NOT GOING AFTER THIS SHOW AND ATTACKING IT LIKE A HUNGRY MAN WHO IS PROUD AND EARNED HIS RIGHT TO BE THERE…HES ACTING VERY COY AND TIMID….AND GASPING AT EVERY BREATH A CELEBRITY MAKES…..I GET HES STARTING OVER AGAIN BUT HE HAS A HISTORY AND HE CAN BUILD ON THAT VIBRANTLY…..I WANT HIM TO BE BOLD AND FUN….NOT OLD AND TIRED….I AM STILL GOING TO WATCH HIM BECAUSE I KNOW HE HAS IT IN HIM AND I HOPE THAT IN QUICK TIME HE WILL BE THE OLD ARSENIO AND MORE…..I CANT BELIEVE THE PEOPLE THAT TOOK THE TIME TO GET THIS GREAT STUDIO AND THIS GREAT OPPORTUNITY DIDNT TAKE THE TIME TO GET THE BEST WRITERS AND REALLY HELP HIM REALLY BE THE BEST HE COULD BE….BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW WITH SHOWS LIKE THIS THAT IT TAKES A TEAM….I THINK EVERYONE IS DROPPING THE BALL AND ITS A SHAME BECAUSE THIS SHOW HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE THE BETTER THAN IT EVER WAS…HERES PRAYING AND STILL FAITHFULLY WATCH YOU ARSENIO… XOXO

  • MARY AGUILAR

    I POSTED YESTERDAY, AND FROM MY MOUTH TO GODS EARS ….LOL…OR ARSENIOS EARS…..BUT YESTERDAYS SHOW WAS AWESOME…..SOOO MUCH BETTER…..MAYBE SOMEONE SOMEWHERE IS READING THESE BLOGS BECAUSE EVERYTHING I CRITIQUED WAS WAAAAAAAY IMPROVED~! I HOPE YOU KEEP GOING IN THIS DIRECTION ARSENIO CAUSE JOKES WERE MUCH BETTER AND GUESTS WERE WAY COOLER~! THE WHOLE FEEL OF THE SHOW WAS AS IF SOMEONE HAD READ MY BLOG….OBVIOUSLY I DONT THINK IT WORKS LIKE THAT AND/OR THAT FAST….LOL…..BUT MAYBE SOMEONE GOT THEIR SHIT TOGETHER WHILE FILMING THE SHOW AND MADE THE CORRECT CHANGES…..HERES STILL WATCHING AND STILL PRAYING FOR YOUR SHOWS GREAT SUCCESS ARSENIO….XOXO ;)

  • Elle

    Loved you back then…..not so much today. Can’t help but read racism in between the lines. Great guests tho!

  • Sydney Glick

    Painful to watch. Snoozer guests, contrived weak premises, do not like it. Will not waste my time on it again.

    • Robin

      Too bad you didn’t give it a chance… You missed some funny acts!

  • Karen

    LOVED!!! show back in the 90s, was SO looking forward to watching A.H comeback. BUT I have becomed VERY DISAPPOINTED with drug related monologues and interviews (as if to highlight & encourage use), crude sexual innuendos & buffoonish references of black people (I am black & REALLY dislike this). Get new writers, better monologues & skits & I will retune in; but I am very disgusted with current shows. A.H I know you can do much better.

    • Robin

      I agree with some of what you said. I think the second half of the show is very good. Arsenio is good. However, he needs better writers to make the intro’s and various skits fresh and funnier.

  • Robin

    I’ve not missed one show since he aired. Very good show so far. Even though the opening skits are just ok, my favorite parts are his interactions with guests, his musical act and comedians. Ken Jeong and JB Smoove were hilarious! I even got tickets to a taping next week. Looking forward!

  • Rhoda

    The show is soooo boring the jokes are not funny. I am realky trying to watch it in hopes that it will get better. The first episode it looked like Arsenio was bored himself. I hope somebody figures out wht is missing to make this show a sucess

  • MsCheeks

    I’ve been a fan since the 90′s. I agree with a few things that have been said. Arsenio seems like the new kid on the block & not acting like he deserves to be here. He was the King of Late Night & in my book still is. He has to regain his confidence & edge. Maybe some new writers wouldn’t hurt. He’s been gone over 20 yrs & he deserves a chance. These are new times & mainstream media is no joke. I think Arsenio is great & is needed!!

  • http://1jamzradio.com blaze7

    I love the show and happy he’s back!

  • d

    He was neither funny or edgy in the 90′s. He’s as over-the-top as he’s always been. Woof-woof, fist pump, what a train wreck.

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