Arsenio Hall: After Nearly 20 Years, It's Like He Never Left
It's been 19 years, but at the "Arsenio Hall Show," it still feels like 1994.
The set was similar, the announcer was similar, and the band, his entrance (the backlit hands clasped, feet-apart "A" stance that's a part of the logo), and even the low couches that make it look like a living room instead of an interrogation, all echoed the original show.
His interview style is the same. Without the desk between host and guest, the vibe is chummy. Chris Tucker and Snoop Dogg were relaxed and ended up dancing like they had mistakenly wandered onto the set of "Ellen." And even when guest Paula Abdul labored through a joke about Simon Cowell being a butthead, it still came across as friendly and not businesslike. She did, however, get the line of the night: "Now that you're working again, does that mean you can move out of my pool house?"
See Abdul's appearance on "Arsenio":
The jokes are the same. He spent much of the first show going through near-20-year-old monologue jokes interspersed with some fun sketch pieces ("Downton Abbey," a food truck competition in which he re-created Quentin Tarantino's profanity-laden tirade from "Pulp Fiction"). And they're still connecting: A meme is already making its way across the Internet with his joke, "Leave it to the first black late night host to take 19 years off."
And the audience was the same. Though the camera took pains to pick out the youngsters in the crowd, by and large the people waiting in line looked like they remembered watching the show live 20 years ago.