|Born||February 12, 1956|
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
|Alma mater||Kent State University|
|Partner||Cheryl Bonacci (1987–2002)|
Arsenio Hall (born February 12, 1956) is an American comedian, actor and talk show host. He hosted the late-night talk show, The Arsenio Hall Show, from 1989 until 1994, and again from 2013 to 2014.
He has appeared in Martial Law, Coming to America (1988), Coming 2 America (2021), and Harlem Nights (1989). He was also the host of Star Search and appeared as Alan Thicke's sidekick on the talk show Thicke of the Night.
Hall was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Fred and Annie Hall. His father is a Baptist minister. Hall performed as a magician when he was a child. He graduated from Warrensville Heights High School in Warrensville Heights, Ohio, in 1973, after briefly attending John F. Kennedy High School. He later attended Ohio University and Kent State University.
Hall later moved to Chicago, and then Los Angeles, to pursue a career in comedy, making a couple of appearances on Soul Train. In 1984, he was the announcer/sidekick for Alan Thicke during the short-lived talk show Thicke of the Night (a role for which he has on occasion noted his confusion with Monty Hall).
He appeared on five weeks of episodes of the short-lived NBC game show Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour from 1983 to 1984. He was also the original voice of Winston Zeddemore in the animated series The Real Ghostbusters from 1986 to 1987. In 1988, he co-starred in the comedy film Coming to America with Eddie Murphy. During his career, he set up Arsenio Hall Communications in 1987, and then he had signed a two-year, multi-picture agreement with Paramount Pictures to develop films for an exclusive agreement.
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. Relations between Rivers and network executives at Fox quickly eroded, and she left in 1987. The series was subsequently renamed The Late Show, and featured several interim hosts, including Ross Shafer, Suzanne Somers, Shawn Thompson, Richard Belzer and Robert Townsend, before it was canceled in 1988. Hall was also chosen to host the show in the fall of 1987, and his stint proved immensely popular, leading to his being offered his own show in syndication.
From January 2, 1989, to May 27, 1994, he had a Paramount contract to host a nationwide syndicated late-night talk show, The Arsenio Hall Show. It was a breakout success, rating especially high among the coveted younger demographic, and it was known for its audience's distinctive alternative to applause in chanting, "Woof, woof, woof!" (which originated in the Cleveland Browns' Dawg Pound in the east end zone) while pumping their fists. The practice soon became such a ritual that by 1991 it 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 was so well known that it appeared in films such as Pretty Woman, Passenger 57, Aladdin, and The Hard Way.
Supporter of gay rights and the fight against AIDS
Hall was a supporter of gay rights long before the movement had become overwhelmingly popular and supported in the mainstream, especially in black culture. In the early 1990s, this culminated in an episode of The Arsenio Hall Show where Hall was protested by gay rights activists, who criticized that he didn't have any gay guests on the show and that he would occasionally play gay characters; Hall was clearly upset by the accusation, saying he had famously out LGBT celebrities on his show, including Elton John, and had others on who preferred not to publicly advocate their sexual orientation. (For reference, only 27% of Americans supported same-sex marriage in 1996, two to three years after Hall's public show of support, a figure which had exceeded two-thirds majority by 2018.) After passionately stating his points, Hall received overwhelming woof chants of support from his audience. Additionally, Hall used his fame during this period to help fight worldwide prejudice against HIV/AIDS after Magic Johnson contracted the virus. Hall and Johnson filmed a public service announcement about the disease that aired in the early 1990s.
Other television and radio work
Between 1988 and 1991, Hall hosted the MTV Video Music Awards. Over the years, he has appeared as a guest on numerous talk shows, in special features, as a voice actor, on game shows and other award shows. Since The Arsenio Hall Show ended, Hall had leading roles on television shows such as the short-lived sitcom Arsenio (1997) and Martial Law with Sammo Hung (1998–2000), and hosted the revival of Star Search (2003–2004). While hosting Star Search, he popularized the catchphrase "Hit me with the digits!"
Hall appeared as himself in Chappelle's Show in March 2004 (convinced by Swedish comedy director Saman Khadiri) when Chappelle was imagining "what Arsenio is doing right now" in a dinner scene. Hall has guest co-hosted Wednesday evenings on The Tim Conway Jr. Show on KLSX 97.1 FM radio. He hosted MyNetworkTV's comedic web video show The World's Funniest Moments and TV One's 100 Greatest Black Power Moves. He also appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher in May 2012, in a discussion commemorating the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
Hall was considered the host of the syndicated version of Deal or No Deal and filmed a pilot (there were six taped). However, by the time the syndicated series began on September 8, 2008, Howie Mandel was chosen as host.
Hall also appeared regularly on The Jay Leno Show, and was a guest on Lopez Tonight. George Lopez credits Arsenio as the reason he had a late night show; Lopez appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show more times than any other comedian. Lopez requested Hall be a co-host on Lopez Tonight (November 25, 2009) since he regarded Hall as his inspiration and the first "late night party show host". Hall has filled in as guest host for NBC's Access Hollywood Live (2011) and CNN's evening talk/interview program Piers Morgan Tonight in 2012.
In 2012, Hall was a contestant on the fifth edition of The Celebrity Apprentice, which began airing February 19, 2012. Hall represented his charity, the Magic Johnson Foundation, which is dedicated to advancing economic and social equality by engaging minorities in every aspect of their communities; increasing academic and innovative achievement; and raising HIV/AIDS awareness, treatment and prevention. While Hall clashed with Aubrey O'Day, he befriended a majority of the cast. On May 20, 2012, in the live season finale, he was chosen as the Celebrity Apprentice winner, being "hired" by Donald Trump over the other celebrity finalist, singer Clay Aiken. For winning The Celebrity Apprentice, Hall won the $250,000 grand prize for his charity, in addition to money for the tasks he and his team performed when he was a team leader.
A revival of Hall's syndicated late-night talk show, The Arsenio Hall Show, premiered September 9, 2013, on Tribune owned stations and other networks via CBS Television Distribution. It was canceled after one season due to low ratings. The last taping aired May 30, 2014.
In 1997, after being out of the public eye for three years, Hall gave an interview to dispel rumors regarding what had driven him off stage. "I went on the Internet," he said, "and read I was in detox at Betty Ford. I got online under a fake name and typed in, 'I know Arsenio better than anyone else and he's not in detox, you idiots!'"
Hall has one son, born in 1998. Hall says he took time off to raise his son before resuming The Arsenio Hall Show in 2013. Hall had an interest in returning to the business eventually, but his decision was not confirmed until he appeared on Lopez Tonight in 2009 (although he initially considered a weekend show because he did not want to compete in ratings against his friend George Lopez).
On May 5, 2016, Hall filed a $5 million defamation lawsuit against Sinéad O'Connor after she claimed he had fueled Prince's drug habit and had also spiked his drink at a party at Eddie Murphy's house. Hall dropped the lawsuit after O'Connor apologized and retracted her allegations.
- 1988 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Coming to America)
- 1989 American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Coming to America)
- Hall received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio, Spring 1992.
|1987||Amazon Women on the Moon||Apartment Victim|
|1988||Coming to America||Semmi, Extremely Ugly Girl, Morris, Reverend Brown|
|1989||Harlem Nights||Reggie (The Crying Man)|
|1989||Paula Abdul: Straight Up||Himself||Music video|
|2005||The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie||Himself|
|2005||The Proud Family Movie||Dr. Carver, Bobby Proud|
|2006||Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy!||Captain Crothers|
|2009||Black Dynamite||Tasty Freeze|
|2021||Coming 2 America||Semmi, Morris, Reverend Brown, Baba (witch doctor), Extremely Ugly Girl (archival footage)|
|1981, 1989||Soul Train||Himself||2 episodes|||
|1982||Elvira's Movie Macabre||Dr. Mustapha Abdul Raheem Jamaal X Muhammad, Tyrone|
|1983||The 1/2 Hour Comedy Hour||Host|||
|1983–1984||Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour||Celebrity panelist|
|1983–1984||Thicke of the Night||Actor / Himself (1984)|
|1985||The Motown Revue Starring Smokey Robinson||Regular|||
|1985||New Love, American Style||Actor|||
|1986||The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Cleavon||Episode titled Happy Birthday
air date March 23, 1986
|1986–1987||The Real Ghostbusters||Winston Zeddemore, Mooglie||seasons 1-3|
|1987||Uptown Comedy Express||Himself|
|1987–1988||The Late Show||Host|
|1989||Comic Relief III||Himself|
|1989–1994||The Arsenio Hall Show||Host||Also writer and producer|
|1990||Doogie Howser, M.D.||Himself|
|1992||The Jackie Thomas Show||Himself||Ep. "The Joke"|||
|1997||Behind the Music||Himself||Ep. "MC Hammer: Behind the Music #2"|||
|1998–2000||Martial Law||Terrell Parker||36 episodes|
|2000||The Norm Show||Joe||Episode titled Norm vs. the Kid
air date December 8, 2000
|2002–2003||Hollywood Squares||Celebrity panel|
|2008–2009||The World's Funniest Moments||Host|
|2009–2010||The Jay Leno Show||Correspondent|
|2012||The Celebrity Apprentice 5||Contestant||Winner of competition|
|2013–2014||The Arsenio Hall Show||Host||Also producer|
|2015–2016||Real Husbands of Hollywood||Himself - Guest star|
|2017–2018||The Mayor||Ocho Okoye||Guest; 2 episodes|
|2018||All About the Washingtons||Himself||Guest; 2 episodes|
|2001||E! True Hollywood Story|
|2008||Pioneers of Television (PBS)|
As "Chunky A"
- Large and in Charge (1989)
- "Biography". Arsenio Hall. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
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- Svetkey, Benjamin (December 28, 1990). "Arsenio Hall: One of 1990s great entertainers". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
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- "Arsenio Hall Biography (1955-)". Film Reference. 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2008.
- McIntyre, Michael K. (August 2, 2018). "Arsenio Hall comes home for Rocksino comedy show". The Plain-Dealer. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
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- "Arsenio Hall inks picture pact at Par". Variety. December 9, 1987. p. 6.
- Adams, Guy (October 23, 2010). "Joan Rivers: 'I'm the funniest person performing stand-up today'". The Independent. London. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
- Njeri, Itabari (April 16, 1989). "Fresh Talk: 'We Be Havin' a Ball,' Says Arsenio Hall. But Can the Talk-Show Host's Hip New Style Succeed on Late-Night TV?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- Diana E. Lundin (April 3, 1991). "Crank It Up!". Los Angeles Daily News. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- "Celebrity Quotes". Entertainment Weekly. February 24, 1995. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- Arsenio Hall stands his ground against protesters; supports gay guests., retrieved June 11, 2023
- Inc, Gallup (June 1, 2020). "U.S. Support for Same-Sex Marriage Matches Record High". Gallup.com. Retrieved June 11, 2023.
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- "Magic Johnson, Arsenio Team Up For Aids Video". Orlando Sentinel. April 19, 1992. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- "1991 MTV Video Music Awards". MTV. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
- "Season 2, Episode 9". Chappelle's Show. TV.com. March 24, 2004. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
- "Tim Conway and Friends". KLSX 97.1. 2008. Archived from the original on July 23, 2008. Retrieved July 17, 2008.
- Arsenio Hall Is Back with Two New Shows. November 9, 2008. Retrieved November 12, 2008.
- "Episode 247 of Real Time with Bill Maher".
- Keller, Richard (December 11, 2006). "Howie says no deal to syndicated deal of Deal or no Deal". HuffPost TV. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "Arsenio Hall". NotedGuys.com. Archived from the original on March 5, 2010. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- "Arsenio Hall: Credits". TV.com. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "George in His Own Words". Lopez Tonight. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
- Joshua Alston (October 28, 2009). "Wanda Sykes and Late Night TV's New Color Barrier". Newsweek. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- Dave Walker (November 9, 2009). "'Lopez Tonight' aims for 'Arsenio' vibe". The Times Picayune. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
- "Turner Newsroom: Press Kits". Turner. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
- "'Celebrity Apprentice' cast includes Arsenio Hall, Clay Aiken". OTRC. Archived from the original on January 9, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
- "'Celebrity Apprentice' Finale: Who Got Hired?". HuffPost. May 21, 2012.
- Ross, Dalton (May 14, 2012). "'Celebrity Apprentice': Aubrey O'Day talks controversial comments". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- Vicki Hyman/The Star-Ledger. "'Celebrity Apprentice' recap: Aubrey O'Day won't be bullied (that's her job!)". NJ. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- "Aubrey O'Day: Arsenio Hall Called Me "a Whore"". Us Weekly. April 4, 2012. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- Lou Ferrigno (April 3, 2012). "She's Baaack! Celebrity Apprentice's "Evil" Aubrey O'Day Returns for "Unbelievably Brutal" Episodes". E! Online. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- Andy Swift. "Aubrey O'Day On 'Celebrity Apprentice' – Will She Win? Feud Details". Hollywoodlife.com. Archived from the original on June 8, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2012.
- Andreeva, Nellie (June 18, 2012). "It's Official: CBS TV Distribution To Do Late-Night Talk Show With Arsenio Hall; Show Cleared In 52% Of US Via Tribune Deal". Deadline. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- 'The Arsenio Hall Show' Canceled After One Season Variety. May 30, 2014
- "He Survived Hall Hell Arsenio Talks About His Down Times". Philly. Archived from the original on July 10, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
- "Arsenio Hall on Choosing Fatherhood Over Fame". Newsweek. June 11, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
- "For Arsenio Hall, back is beautiful". CBS News. September 1, 2013.
- Schneider, Michael (September 9, 2013). "Arsenio Hall on Carson, Leno and Why He's Coming Back to Late Night". TV Guide. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- "Arsenio Hall files a lawsuit after defamation". TMZ. May 5, 2016. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
- "Arsenio Hall Drops Sinead O'Connor Lawsuit Over Prince Drug Comments". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
- "Sally Jessy Raphael retreats from retreatTalk show..." The Baltimore Sun. April 8, 1992. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- "Soul Train History Book: 'Soul Train 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame'". Soul Train. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
- Berry, S.T.; Berry, V.T. (2015). Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 196. ISBN 9781442247024. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
- "Motown Revue' Smokin' Toward Television Series". The Oklahoman. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- "Arsenio Hall". Biography. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
- "Arsenio Hall In a Special Two-Part Interview on 'Showcase'". Jet. June 15, 1992. p. 66 Company. ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
- "Watch The Jackie Thomas Show Season 1 Episode 5: The Joke". TV Guide. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
- "Arsenio Hall Returns to TV In New ABC Series". Jet. March 3, 1997. p. 54. ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
- "Behind The Music: S1, E2 - MC Hammer". VH1. Archived from the original on November 5, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
- "ABC Orders Singing Show 'Greatest Hits' Hosted by Arsenio Hall & Kelsea Ballerini". Billboard. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- King, Norman (1993) . Arsenio Hall. New York: W. Morrow. ISBN 978-0-688-10827-4. OCLC 25282187.