At the semiannual Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles over the weekend, Arsenio Hall was asked during a PBS panel whether he’d consider making a comeback.
His reply: “I’d have to change my name to Nick Cannon and live with Mariah (Carey)… But I think it’s a perfect time for that personally. Give me a microphone. My son’s 11 and he can drive himself to school. I’m ready to host!”
And when pressed to see if he was serious, Arsenio added: “It’s pretty crowded out there. I’m not sure if it’s too crowded for a 55-year-old guy to re-emerge, but if they give me a little daylight I’m gonna slide into it.“
Ok, so nothing’s certain, but he’s clearly interested in returning, after 17 years out of the late night talk show spotlight – an exit that I know many felt came a little too soon.
But if he did return, what network would take him, cable or otherwise? Did he already have his moment, and he should forget about a return? I’d imagine, with age, and family, he might have something different to offer to late night, compared to what he brought before.
But he’s right – it’s a crowded market. However, there aren’t exactly many black men or women hosting daily late night shows on major TV networks are there? It’s very much a white man’s space.