After a brief (19-year) hiatus, Arsenio Hall is back. His nightly show begins taping Monday, Sept. 9, and it will be interesting to see how viewers — many of whom weren't even alive when the original show last aired — will respond to him.
Even now, his style feels unique. There's no host desk — there's just two (or three or four) people talking. His attitude is a little fawning, a bit too worshipful perhaps, but there's no ego: It's not about Hall looking cool; it's about Hall making his guest look cool.
[Photos: Check Out Arsenio's New Set]
We'll find out this week how much he and the show have changed in nearly two decades, but for now, here are some clips from the original show for reference.
Remember when Will Smith had a DJ? And the idea of him as a serious actor was ludicrous?
Remember when Denzel Washington didn't have any Academy Awards? Or when he wasn't one of the sexiest men on the planet? You won't remember the second one because that was never, ever the case.
Did you know that Magic Johnson was a basketball player before he was a movie theater chain?
Or that it was once considered absurd, maybe even campaign-ending, for a presidential candidate to appear on a late-night talk show? Even now it's a little crazy to think of someone, say, Newt Gingrich, addressing issues of infidelity with a guy who makes "Woof! Woof!" sounds for a living. But of course, the chief joy of this clip is the bangs. The bangs!
Can you imagine a time when you could see Mike Tyson on a couch with two other boxers and not wonder if he'd try to bite one of their ears off? Man, the olden days were crazy.
"The Arsenio Hall Show" premieres on Sept. 9 in markets nationwide. Check local listings for time and network.