Birthplace: Cleveland, OH
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Talk Show Host, Musician
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Former talk show host
In high school, Arsenio Hall was a big fan of Johnny Carson. Like Carson, he started out performing magic tricks and later tried stand-up comedy. Hall soon found work as the audience warm-up act for Dionne Warwick and Nancy Wilson. After moving to Hollywood, Hall appeared on an early MTV variety show, The Half-Hour Comedy Hour, that was quickly cancelled in 1983, but his career got a boost when he was befriended by superstars Joan Rivers and Eddie Murphy. Rivers had Hall as a frequent guest on her late night talk show, and when her ratings sank below sea level Hall was briefly named to replace her. Murphy, meanwhile, cast Hall as his sidekick in the enormous hit Coming to America (1988), and suddenly Hall was a bona fide star.
Starting in 1989, his syndicated Ansenio Hall Show aired opposite Carson's Tonight Show in most cities, and drew black and young viewers in large numbers. The audience was boisterous, the jokes were edgy, and NBC executives started whispering that Carson might be too old to draw a young audience. Hall's most famous moment was when Presidential candidate Bill Clinton stopped by in 1992 and played his saxophone, but the show's ratings began dropping after its second season. When Carson retired and Jay Leno was announced as the new Tonight Show host, Hall told reporters he'd "whip Jay's ass," but he didn't. And when David Letterman moved his show from NBC to CBS in 1993, putting both Letterman and Leno against Arsenio, his numbers evaporated further, and his show was canceled.
Hall starred in Arsenio, a sit-com that began and ended in 1997, and he was a regular for one season of Sammo Hung's action show Martial Law in the late 1990s. He replaced the decrepit Ed McMahon as host of Star Search beginning in 2002.
Girlfriend: Paula Abdul (ex)
Girlfriend: Cheryl Bonacci (Hall's former personal manager, ex, one son)
University: Ohio University (transferred)
University: Kent State University
Hollywood Walk of Fame 6776 Hollywood Blvd. (television)
Wedding: Larry Fortensky and Elizabeth Taylor (1991)
Wedding: Eddie Murphy and Nicole Mitchell (1993)
Star Search Host (2002-04)
Martial Law Terrell Parker (1999-2000)
The Arsenio Hall Show Host (1989-94)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Black Dynamite (18-Jan-2009) · Tasty Freeze
Igor (19-Sep-2008) [VOICE]
The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie (23-Oct-2005) · Himself
Blankman (19-Aug-1994) · Himself
Harlem Nights (17-Nov-1989) · Crying Man
Coming to America (29-Jun-1988) · Semmi, etc.
Amazon Women on the Moon (18-Sep-1987)
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