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Arsenio Hall is an American actor, comedian and was the first black late-night talk show host, on his groundbreaking The Arsenio Hall Show.
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Arsenio Hall is an American actor, comedian and former talk show host. In Chicago, he tried out stand-up comedy and was soon "discovered," later opening for Aretha Franklin and others. He appeared in the 1980s film Coming to America and Harlem Nights,
"I don't possess a lot of self-confidence. I'm an actor so I simply act confident every time I hit the stage."
"In the end I'm a comic, and nothing fits the talk-show mode like a stand-up comic."
but he is best known as the first black late-night talk show host. His groundbreaking talk show The Arsenio Hall Show ran from 1989-1994. He has starred in a variety of other TV projects and is slated to host his own late-night show once again in Fall 2013.
Actor, comedian and television talk show host Arsenio Hall was born in Cleveland, Ohio on February 12, 1956. He is the son of Fred, a preacher, and his wife, Anne. Hall's parents separated when he was 6 years old. At age 7, he became interested in magic, and began performing at birthday parties, weddings and bar mitzvahs.
Hall is best known for his groundbreaking talk show The Arsenio Hall Show, which ran from 1989-94. As the first black late-night talk show host, one of Hall's distinctions is that he provided what was the first, and for a time, only, showcase for hardcore rap and hip-hop artists, and for controversial guests like Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader.
He attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, majoring in communications, though he transferred and graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Though he started out in advertising, in 1979 he moved to Chicago, switched to stand-up comedy and was "discovered" at a comedy club by singer Nancy Wilson. He got jobs opening for musicians such as Aretha Franklin, Tom Jones, Patti Labelle, Wayne Newton, and Tina Turner.
Throughout the ‘80s, Hall appeared on various comedy and musical shows, including Solid Gold, Motown Revue and The New Love American Style, and hosted a short-lived show called The Half-Hour Comedy Hour. He made his feature film debut in Amazon Women on the Moon in 1987. Hall also appeared in two films with friend Eddie Murphy: the box-office hit Coming to America (1988) and Harlem Nights (1989).
Back in 1987, however, Hall had tapped into what would be his most successful professional endeavor. He took over hosting duties from Joan Rivers on The Late Show. His easygoing, playful and somewhat risqué banter was a hit with audiences. Based on that success, he was approached to host his own syndicated late-night talk show. Two years later, The Arsenio Hall Show was born. Hall’s deal included hosting and executive producing duties on the show, which was produced by Paramount and his own company, Arsenio Hall Productions. Starting a half-hour earlier than Johnny Carson’s late-night staple The Tonight Show in many regions, and booking younger, newer TV and musical artists than his established rival, Hall drew a young, hip audience. The show became famous for its Dog Pound "Woof! Woof!" (with pumping fist) chant and featured a range of guests that included Paula Abdul, En Vogue, Bill Clinton, Diana Ross and many more.
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