The appearance of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was highly controversial due to remarks by Farrakhan that many felt were anti-Semitic and homophobic. Protests from Jewish and gay groups pressured Hall to cancel Farrakhan's appearance but Hall adamantly refused. Hall agreed to feature pre-taped segments featuring opposing viewpoints but he did not air any of them. Some affiliates put a disclaimer before the episode warning viewers. The furor over this episode was a major reason why Hall and Paramount decided not to renew his contract. See more »
It seems that no one can talk about The Arsenio Hall Show without talking about how quickly the American public lost interest in the program, and even making several jokes about the said talkshow host. I guess it's because a lot of it is true. Arsenio did die a sudden death, that is something everyone can agree on. One night he became the hottest thing the world had seen, then before you knew it he became yesterday's news.
People are right about the good years for this show, it was 1989 and 1990. Although Arsenio and many of his ardent defenders may accuse The Tonight Show's Helen Kushnick of threatening a boycott on Arsenio's potential guests if they turned up on his show before Jay Leno's, that was just part of the reason he faded away like he did. The man was just a downright terrible interviewer, possessing next to zero skills on how to correctly and intelligently interview a guest. And too many times his opening monologue seemed like a rip off of one of Eddie Murphy's early 80's Saturday Night Live sketches. Arsenio tended to pander to White society's expectations of a Black man, i.e. always trash talkingly funny and smart-mouthed. But he's not the only one guilty of picking up the mantle of Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy and looking like a one note joke. Chris Rock, Chris Tucker, and Bernie Mac have all fallen into this trap.
During the 1991-'94 part of the show, it was never the same and the pop culture was changing, leaving Arsenio behind. I think the bulk of the problem is what others have already said here, Arsenio Hall was firmly grounded in a late 80's style, but he was trying to do his show in the 1990's. He could get away with it in 1990, but the further he got into the 90's, the more he seemed like yesterday's news and just a total has been what with him still talking about Paula Abdul and the New Kids on the Block. But Arsenio's reign in 1989 and 1990 was cool while it lasted, too bad he couldn't keep up with the changing times.
6 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?