Press Tour: Arsenio Hall returns to late night, ditches shoulder pads
At a panel for "The Arsenio Hall Show" during press tour, Hall (joined by executive producers Neal Kendall and John Ferriter) seemed eager to let everyone know that, though it's been almost 20 years since he left late night, he's raring to return in the late night format. While a clip of greatest moments from his old series seemed to confirm he may have been out of circulation a little too long (he promised not to bring back the massive shoulder pads from the era, unless audiences want them), he swears he's still a young whippersnapper who loves social media -- then tweets like an ADD-riddled teen to prove it.
Still, Hall must realize he's returning to a very different world of late night programming, right? "I'm trying to change my name to Jimmy," he joked in reference to Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel. "There's a lot of competition. [Back in the '90s] I was trying to take anything that was left over on Carson's plate. But I know everybody doesn't have a late night host... There's a huge audience out there that doesn't have a late night show... You don't have to go after Chelsea's fans or Leno's fans to be in the game."
He may be older, but Hall promises that other than having less hair and different clothes, he's "kind of the same guy, put into a whole [new] generation of talent and new opportunities."
Lest anyone not believe him, Hall said, "I'm really into social media. I love it. I watch Fallon use it brilliantly with the yodel bit on the roof... Mr. Leno and Letterman, from my generation, [they're] not into it at all, but Leno's number one. They're getting to the top in their own unique ways. I'm more in the Fallon mode. I love the digital world. Do you realize, Debbie Gibson sent me a fax? She'd drawn a picture of herself holding a mic saying 'Mr. Hall I'd like to appear on your show.' I remember Barbra Streisand called me with a Bill Clinton question. Now. you tweet. I'm excited to jump back into it. When you write a joke, you can Google [research]... It used to be we'd go through a file cabinet. I can't wait to write jokes in this digital world!"
After mentioning highlights from his previous show guaranteed to make anyone who remembers them feel old (Bill Clinton playing the sax and Magic Johnson announcing his AIDS diagnosis), he talked about winning "The Celebrity Apprentice" on NBC. "I've never been a champion in the world of sports, so [it was the] closest moment to have a victory... I've been number two in everything I've done, and to win felt really good."
Explaining that he'd previously passed on doing the show, he said the death of his cousin from AIDS changed his mind. "Magic is so healthy and having a great time. Sometimes you forget the mission when your friend is cool. I've gotten a little lazy in my mission. When my cousin died, it was a wake-up call. It was time to do 'Apprentice,' and I knew exactly who I was playing for."
He also mentioned he knew exactly who to ask for advice -- previous winner Piers Morgan. His tip? "Read everything Donald [Trump] wrote. "Jay helped me find an apartment; he taught me how to ride a motorcycle... [then] we'd be calling each other and battling, and that lasted a couple weeks," Hall said, mentioning that Leno tried to steal employees from him. "I was battling with the competitor who doesn't want to lose. I get it. I think as far as people's personal feelings about him, he and Dave [Letterman] go way, way back to before me. But I think when you're trying to win, it's easy to do things so competitive your competitors see you as the enemy."
Hall talked about his slow, methodical attempts to get back into the public eye before launching the talk show, appearing on everything from "Tosh.0" to writing articles for Newsweek. Still, he said, "It's important to me not to do a Similac joke just because I'm going for a young audience."
So far, Hall says he's been met with a surprisingly warm welcome. Leno has recommended writers, and Kimmel was one of the stars who donated funds to him during "Celebrity Apprentice. "When you talk about the competition thing, everyone's being real nice to me."
But why come back now? After all, Hall left late night because he wanted to, not because he was canceled. "Leaving and not being canceled, yeah, I did good... I chose to work on my relationship and make a child. My son's thirteen now, and he's having me drop him off a block from the movie theater, and that's usually a sign you can go back to work."
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
Let Streaming Genie help you.