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Arsenio Hall (1955)

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  Summary  

Arsenio Hall is an American actor, comedian, and former talk show host. He is best known for his talk show The Arsenio Hall Show, which ran between 1989 and 1994, and his roles in the films Coming to America and Harlem Nights.

Hall is also known for his appearance as Alan Thicke's sidekick on the talk show Thicke of the Night.

  Biography  

 early years
Hall was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Anne and Fred Hall, a Baptist minister. Hall performed as a magician when he was a child. He attended Warrensville Heights High School in Warrensville Heights, Ohio. After he graduated, he attended Ohio University, where he was on the speech team with Nancy Cartwright and Leon Harris. He then transferred to Kent State University.

 career
He later moved to Los Angeles, to pursue a career in comedy, making a couple of appearances on Soul Train. Hall was the original voice of Winston Zeddemore in the cartoon The Real Ghostbusters from 1986–1987. In 1988, he co-starred in the comedy film Coming to America with Eddie Murphy. In 1984, he was also the announcer/sidekick for Alan Thicke during the short-lived talk show Thicke of the Night .

 Talk shows
In 1986, the Fox network introduced The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers, created to directly challenge The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. After a moderate start, ratings for the show sagged. Behind-the-scenes relations between Rivers and network executives at Fox quickly eroded, and Rivers left in 1987. Renamed The Late Show, it featured several hosts including Ross Shafer, Suzanne Somers, Richard Belzer, and Robert Townsend before it was cancelled in 1988. Hall was chosen to host the show in the fall of 1987, and proved to be immensely popular.

From January 2, 1989, until May 27, 1994, he hosted a syndicated late-night talk show, The Arsenio Hall Show. The show became known for its audience's distinctive alternative to applause: chanting "Whoo, Whoo, Whoo!" while pumping/cranking their fists. The practice soon became such a ritual that by 1991 had become a "pop-culture stamp of approval"—one that Hall said had become "so popular it's getting on people's nerves." The gesture made it into films of the time: the title character played by Julia Roberts did it in a polo scene in Pretty Woman , and characters played by Penny Marshall and Michael J. Fox did it in The Hard Way. In Disney's Aladdin , the Genie character voiced by Robin Williams performs the gesture while mimicking the physical appearance of Hall. This popular gesture can also be found in the 1993 Mel Brooks' comedy Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

He also had a rivalry with Jay Leno after the latter was named host of The Tonight Show, during which Hall said that he would "kick Jay's ass" in the ratings game.

Perhaps one of the show's most noted guest stars was then-Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Bill Clinton, who performed a rendition of Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel on the saxophone during his appearance in June 1992. However, the ratings for Hall's program began to struggle and he also butted heads with Paramount, his distributor. The tension arose from Hall's invitation to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in February 1994. Hall gave the entire hour to Farrakhan and did not do anything else besides conduct an interview. The program was canceled in May 1994.

Hall used his fame during this period to help fight worldwide prejudice against HIV and AIDS, after Magic Johnson contracted the disease; Hall and Johnson filmed a PSA about the disease that aired in the early 1990s.

 Current work
Since The Arsenio Hall Show ended, Hall has made many appearances on television (including a short-lived 1997 sitcom called Arsenio) starring in Martial Law with Sammo Hung from 1999–2000 and hosting the revival of Star Search in 2003. On the latter program, he tried to popularize the catch phrase "Hit me with the digits!"

Hall appeared as himself in Chappelle's Show in March 2004, when Dave was imagining "what Arsenio is doing right now" in a dinner scene.

As of 2008, Hall is a guest co-host on Wednesday evenings on The Tim Conway Jr. Show on KLSX 97.1 FM radio. Hall also hosted MyNetworkTV's comedic clip show The World's Funniest Moments and TV One's 100 Greatest Black Power Moves.

Hall was considered to be the host of the syndicated version of Deal or No Deal and filmed a pilot . However, by the time the syndicated series began on September 8, 2008, Howie Mandel was the host.

Hall continued to host the myNetworkTV show The World's Funniest Moments , an America's Funniest Home Videos style show reviewing funny clips from the internet and viewers. He appeared regularly on The Jay Leno Show and was a guest on Lopez Tonight . George Lopez credits Arsenio for being the reason he has a late night show; he appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show more times than any other comedian. Lopez requested Hall be a co-host on Lopez Tonight since he was his inspiration and the first "late night party show host". Aside from discussing the 16 appearances by Lopez on Hall's talk show, he also discussed his relationship with Paula Abdul.

 personal life
Hall has never been married. He has one son, Cheron. Madison L. King is his cousin

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  • Production
  • Bopha!
    Producer
    1993

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Arsenio Hall", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.