Arsenio Hall is back! After a nearly 20-year hiatus from the spotlight, Eddie Murphy’s best friend has re-emerged with his new syndicated series Arsenio.
Resurfacing on the small screen Monday night for what he called a “party with friends,” Hall, brought ’90s flair to his late-night broadcast. From his opening sequence with Jay Leno as his shrink to guest Chris Tucker, a performance from Snoop Dogg (now Snoop Lion), and Tara Reid spotted in the audience, the 2012 winner of Celebrity Apprentice evoked late-night nostalgia.
Hall stuck to the formula he left behind in 1994: funny jokes, iconic hip-hop performances, and that memorable “woof woof” chant. The highlight came when Hall presented a time capsule filled with memorabilia from his last taping, revealing a prosthetic butt that he claimed belonged to Paula Abdul. To much surprise, the former American Idol judge popped onstage, complimenting the work of the fake butt and congratulating Hall on his triumphant comeback
She also took the opportunity to get in a few jabs against former nemesis Simon Cowell:
“There are so many things to be grateful for and I’m grateful for you, for your loyal friendship, your amazing unique talent and your dedication to everything that truly matters,” Abdul said. “Really, I’m so proud of you. You’ve done something that no one’s ever done before or let alone even tried – to come back 20 years later and step back into this spotlight. It’s really inspiring.”
Although much has changed since the original show’s exit and a lot of competition has emerged – including Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jon Stewart – Hall definitely has staying power. Continuing his trip down memory lane, first-week guests include NBA legend Magic Johnson and comedian George Lopez, who both appeared on the original show, along with Ice Cube, Lisa Kudrow, Angela Bassett, Mark Harmon, and rapper Mac Miller.