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Arsenio Hall plots late-night comeback

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   July 30, 2013 at 6:17 PM
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Arsenio Hall has been out of the late-night game for decades, but the gregarious 57-year-old comedian was "positively giddy" about discussing his return to television with reporters at his Television Critics Association conference on Monday.

"It's kind of the same Arsenio you know -- less hair, less shoulder pad -- but inserting myself into this culture of music, comedy, pop and hop," Hall said of the revamped "Arsenio Hall Show," which will run in syndication on multiple networks starting September 9.

"The Arsenio Hall Show," which aired originally from 1989 to 1994, is remembered today for Hall's "roo roo roo" fist pumps, his pull with young, minority voters and for that Bill Clinton saxophone performance.

Hall said he knows the game has changed -- the playing field is much more crowded than it used to be -- but some audiences are still looking for a late-night host that fits them.

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.

Hall said he was excited for social media, which didn't exist during his heyday, to be a driving force behind his new show.

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!

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