(NEW YORK) — Arsenio Hall returned to late night TV on Monday night, 19 years after The Arsenio Hall Show went off the air. The first episode of his new syndicated late night show opened with the comic seemingly on a psychiatrist’s couch, talking about the time that has passed.
“I’m coming back to late night! I should be excited. I should be happy, instead I’m full of anxiety all the time. But I keep telling myself: ‘Do a good show, every night…Work really hard, then I’ll get to number one, and when I get to number one, I should be able to stay in late night forever if I want to,'” Hall said.
The camera then pulled back to reveal Hall was laying down on a chair at The Tonight Show. Referencing his own status as the outgoing host of the top-rated show, Jay Leno quipped, “Good luck with that, let me know how that works out.”
Hall’s monologue — and much of his material — contained jokes about how much time has passed since he’s been on the air.
Hall quipped, “Back then the only doctor that prescribed marijuana was Dr. Dre… And I tell the kids, back then, Instagram was a cocaine delivery service!”
Hall also joked, “Leave it to the first black late night host to take 19 years off work. And come back here and expect my job to still be waiting for me.”
Hall then dragged out a “time capsule,” and working the theme, he displayed props depicting the 19-year gap in between his shows, including a vintage cellphone, and a kiddie trike with a huge seat on it, which he said was “Kim Kardashian’s tricycle.”
Hall also found Paula Abdul’s prosthetic butt from her “Opposites Attract” video in the capsule. Abdul made a cameo and briefly “scolded” Hall for his joke before wishing him well on his new show. Abdul actually got teary-eyed.
Tara Reid also made an appearance in a sketch.
Hall welcomed comic actor Chris Tucker and Snoop Dogg, who performed “What’s My Name?” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Chandrika Narayan, CNN
David Goldman, CNN
Nikki Siegel, Idaho Falls Magazine