If you ask different people where they first saw
Arsenio Hall, you’d probably get a number of different answers. But, it
was the success of his Emmy Award-winning late night talk show “The
Arsenio Hall Show” that made Arsenio a household name. The versatile
actor, comedian and producer first became involved in the arts at “The
Cleveland Playhouse” and continued to hone his craft through his Kent
State University years.
In 1979, Hall moved from Ohio to
Chicago, Illinois where he tried his hand at stand-up comedy and was
discovered by Jazz singer Nancy Wilson. In the following few years
Arsenio toured, opening for twenty major headliners including Patti
LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Stevie Wonder. A short time
later, Arsenio attempted to diversify his career by making numerous
appearances on television shows such as “Solid Gold” and “The Tonight
Show Starring Johnny Carson”...and doing his first film cameo in “Amazon
Women on the Moon,” directed by John Landis.
Arsenio was asked to replace Joan Rivers on the Fox Network series “The
Late Show.” On the strength of his work as interim host, he was signed
to a film and television deal with Paramount Pictures, which
subsequently led to the opportunity to co-write and co-star in the hit
(Paramount) comedy “Comingto Ameri ca.”
On January 3, 1989,
“The Arsenio Hall Show” made its debut. Virtually overnight, Arsenio
changed the face of late night television by captivating young viewers
across the country. During his successful five-year run as Executive
Producer, Arsenio provided a forum for cutting edge comedy, politics and
the television debut of such pop superstars as Mariah Carey, Snoop
Doggy Dogg, Boyz II Men, and countless others. In 1994, Arsenio was
again ready to grow and diversify. He resigned from the late night
gabfest to pursue other personal and professional interests.
In 1998, Arsenio joined the cast of the CBS dramedy “Martial Law,”
playing “Terrell Parker,” a streetwise L.A.P.D. detective, for two
years. He followed this up with a two season stint as Host of the new
“Star Search” (CBS). And then, taking on his most challenging task to
date, he returned to stand-up comedy and toured for the first time in
over a decade.
Arsenio was featured as
the comical “Carl Cristall” in Exodus Films’ animated feature “Igor,”
starring John Cusack, which was released in theaters nationwide in
September, 2008, and on DVD in January, 2009.
appeared in a memorable cameo starring as “Tasty Freeze” in the highly
touted feature comedy “Black Dynamite,” an homage to classic
blaxploitation films, which opened in theaters nationwide October 16,
2009 (Sony/Apparition), was released on DVD in February, 2010, and
debuted as a new animated series on Adult Swim in July, 2012.
In addition, Arsenio was featured in the HBO Sports Documentary “Magic
& Bird: A Courtship of Rivals” which premiered in March, 2010, as
well as the A&E two-hour documentary special “The Battle For Late
Night,” which premiered in April, 2010.
He was also featured
in the NBA Entertainment documentary “The Announcement,” which
premiered in March, 2012 on ESPN, where he shares his insight and
experience surrounding the day of Thursday, November 7, 1991, when
Earvin “Magic” Johnson made people stop and watch at the Forum in
Inglewood, California, announcing he was HIV-positive and would be
retiring from basketball immediately. The documentary gets to the core
of Magic’s incredible personal journey and explores how he continues to
prosper and thrive two decades later.
Arsenio was featured
as a “Guest Mentor” on the OWN Network’s “Your OWN Show,” as well as
appearing as guest host on the daily talk show “Access Hollywood LIVE!,”
CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” and “The View.”
On May 20,
2012, Arsenio was crowned the “Celebrity Apprentice” for Season 5 of
Donald Trump’s hit reality show on NBC, where he competed for his
charity, The Magic Johnson Foundation.
Most recently, he
returned to late-night television as executive producer and host of the
CBS Television Distribution/Tribune Broadcasting nationally syndicated
"The Arsenio Hall Show," which aired on stations around the country
during the 2013 - 2014 season.