Don’t Call It A Comeback: Arsenio Hall Talks Hip-Hop & His Return To Late Night
The times have changed, but more than two decades after Arsenio Hall debuted his first late night show, the veteran host is still entertaining for the same reason. “I’m trying to do a show that fills a void for an audience that doesn’t have one. And so far, everything is working great,” he tells Hip Hop Wired.
Round one of The Arsenio Hall Show premiered in 1989 and ran until 1994. The show became known for diversifying the conversation in television by merging popular culture with socio-political topics like the Rodney King beating. He also pioneered a T.V. platform for Hip-Hop artists, long before the rest of late night world took notice.
“It’s much more crowded now than when I left.”
Today, there’s no surprise in seeing Jay Z joke around with David Letterman, yet there was a time –not too long ago — when rapper’s weren’t exactly late night material. Much of that change is credited to Hall. Although he doesn’t always get mentioned among Letterman, Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien, his influence is undeniable. “They leave me out of articles because I’m boring,” he explains. “But I have the youngest, consistent audience in late night. You know how important the young audience is? I have a great demographic and I think part of that is…I guess I always make good choices.”
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