Arsenio Hall booking

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Arsenio Hall is an American actor, comedian and former talk show host. In Chicago, he tried out standup comedy and was soon “discovered,” later opening for Aretha Franklin and others. He appeared in
the 1980s film Coming to America and Harlem Nights, 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
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 latenight 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.
When Carson retired in 1992 and Jay Leno was chosen as his successor over David Letterman
(whose show followed Carson’s), Letterman left NBC for CBS and started his own Late Show against
Leno’s. Leno started drawing young viewers away from Hall, and Letterman, who had a longstanding
young audience, also cut into Hall’s audience. Though the ratings dropped, Hall said in a later
interview that the show was still profitable and that he chose to walk away to explore other creative
arenas and take time for himself. The Arsenio Hall Show aired its final episode May 27, 1994. Hall
received two NAACP Image awards in 1991, a Key of Life Award for his work as “a crusader in the
fight of human rights,” and another for his show. In 1993 he executive-produced the feature film
Bopha!, a story about a family during apartheid, starring Danny Glover, Alfre Woodward and Malcolm
McDowell and directed by Morgan Freeman. After three years away from the public eye, Hall returned
to television in 1997 with his short-lived sitcom Arsenio, co-starring Vivica A. Fox. In 1998-99, he made
regular appearances on the CBS series Martial Law. Hall hosted a revival of the televised talent show
Star Search from 2003 to 2004. He also appeared as guest co-host on such shows as Access
Hollywood Live and Piers Morgan Tonight. In 2012, Hall showed the world just how business-savvy he
is on the celebrity edition of Donald Trump’s hit reality competition The Apprentice. He beat out the
likes of Victoria Gotti, rocker Dee Snider and American Idol singer Clay Aiken to win the top prize for
his charity: the Magic Johnson Foundation.

Hall is slated to make a comeback in the fall of 2013 with a new syndicated talk show backed by CBS
Television and the Tribune Co. Upon realizing he missed his previous work and receiving
encouragement from his teen son, he decided to return to the format, with the idea of there being a
cross-generational audience. “Maybe there is some nostalgia: ‘I used to watch Arsenio when I was in
college,’” Hall said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “But we’re doing a show for people
who have moved on, and now they can sit around with their kid who can stay up late, and there will be
a lot of stuff they can both dig.”

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