Comedian Arsenio Hall is preparing to re-enter our homes once again on the talk show circuit. Last on talk television in 1994 when AP notes there were less channels and Johnny Carson was the dominant host of “The Tonight Show,” Hall says the challenges are much bigger than they were in the old days.
“It’s a huge challenge this time to bring people to the television. Your biggest fan doesn’t watch you every night. You hope to get a guy three nights to check you out, the other nights they’ll be catching someone else,” Hall said at the Television Critics Association meeting on Monday.
As to his ambitions, Hall says he isn’t trying to edge out any of the bigger players in the game: “I just gotta be better than one cat that’s there.”
Keeping mute as to most of the details, the AP reports that although the theme song will be rebooted, no guests have yet been booked despite the more than 200 outlets who have signed up to carry the show.
Reuters reports the show’s executive producer, Neal Kendall, as saying that the new Arsenio Hall show may be one of the best places to both hear music and hear performers talk, citing the success Hall had in attracting acts in the 1990’s like Bill Clinton’s famous saxophone performance of ‘Heartbreak Hotel.’
Reuters also reported that Hall found an unlikely ally in the form of Jay Leno, who recommended some of his former writers to the Arsenio Hall Show. “I hired them, too.” Hall said later.
CBS Television describes the newest iteration of the show:
“The Arsenio Hall Show, premiering on September 9, 2013, and hosted by comedian and actor Arsenio Hall, will feature a mix of comedy, music and celebrity guests, bringing a fresh new perspective to the late-night scene. The daily, one-hour nationally syndicated late-night talk show is anchored by the Tribune Broadcasting station group, which has stations in seven of the top 10 markets, including WPIX in New York, KTLA in Los Angeles and WGN in Chicago.”