Last spring, former talk show host Arsenio Hall emerged victorious from the quasi-famous-person crab bucket of Celebrity Apprentice’s fifth season, beating out Clay Aiken for the right to drink Donald Trump's pee and declare it to be the best-tasting pee ever micturated. Within days, the usual sources-close-to were stage-whispering that there might be another late-night gig in Hall's future. This past Monday night, that future finally arrived with the debut of Hall's new syndicated talk show, Arsenio.
That’s right. After a 19-year “hiatus,” during which late-night talk shows have multiplied like sarcoma cells, The Arsenio Hall Show returned. Sure, the Dog Pound whoops were a little bit tamer, and the audience members’ tube tops bulged in all the wrong places, but for all intents and purposes, last night's show transported us back to the early '90s. Snoop dropped it like it was hot; Chris Tucker talked about a Friday sequel; Hall even used his old theme.
While Hall threw the present day a few bones by name-dropping Kate Upton and Chris Christie, his contemporary references were for the most part quickly sucked back into the Clinton-era vortex from which Hall seemed to have sprung, fully re-formed, but with a haircut. Even the prices in his food-truck sketch weren’t adjusted for inflation. Granted, opening the show with a Leno-like cameo probably means “relevance” isn’t something Hall loses sleep over, but watching the show felt a lot like stumbling into certain creaky bars deep in the Sunset Strip, where patrons still debate whether Ross and Rachel were on a “break.”
Scarlett Johansson Is Depressed: "She was totally out of control in Moscow recently" at a champagne brand's promo event. "She was drinking nonstop and barely slept. It was obvious that she was trying to numb her feelings." She's sad about her breakup with ad exec Nate Naylor. "She's not used to going home alone — it's a shock to her system. The fact that Ryan Reynolds is happily married while she's single again has done a number on her. And the drinking is taking its toll — she's been crying because she feels so fat." She got a lucky horseshoe tattooed on her ribcage "because she's feeling a bit unlucky." A rebound with ex-boyfriend Jared Leto quickly went south. "She thought a fling with Jared would make her feel better, but since it was only a hookup, it only made things worse." Time for Lost in Translation 2? I know I'd pay good money to watch Scarlett be sad in Russia.
Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger only had cameos in the first Expendables, and that movie made $275 million worldwide. But they've both signed on for “substantial” roles in the sequel (also returning, most likely: Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews, and Jet Li), so expect The Expendables 2 to make $20 kajillion. Grade: B+ [Deadline]
Just as we requested, Eddie Murphy will indeed be the host of the Oscars this year (it was confirmed shortly after the rumor went out yesterday morning). In a statement, Murphy said “I am enormously honored to join the great list of past Academy Award hosts from Hope and Carson to Crystal, Martin and Goldberg, among others.” “Also, just to put the speculation to bed: Yes, I will be doing the entire telecast as Donkey from Shrek,” he did not add. Grade: A [Deadline]