By Maurice Bobb
"Well, 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 joked before diving nervously into his monologue.
Eddie Murphy’s BFF didn’t leave his much-anticipated night to chance. The actor/comedian booked the talent himself so it would be a “party with friends.”
After longtime friend Chris Tucker blessed his sofa, Hall brought out Snoop Lion for a classic performance of “What’s My Name?,” a song that shot up the Billboard charts like a rocket in 1993, when Hall was riding high as the King of Late Night, and used his show to showcase some of hip-hop's most iconic acts.
“Some call him Dogg, some call him Lion, but he’s always been Dogg to me,” he said, introducing the West Coast legend, who took the stage dressed in a Versace tee, sporting Rastafarian dreadlocks, but still brandishing that Long Beach swagger that took the rap world by storm on his seminal debut LP, Doggystyle.
The audience, which Hall dubbed “The Doggpound 2.0,” sang every word and rocked with Snoop like they were instantly thrust back to the ‘90’s. Snoop then segued into “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and the crowd was still on full tilt, engaged in a call and response, giving Hall the party he desired for his successful return.
Hall will continue to parade stars into his domain for his first week back, including another legendary MC from the City of Angels, Ice Cube.