IMDb > "The Arsenio Hall Show" (1989)

"The Arsenio Hall Show" (1989) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1989-1994


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Nick Siracuse (writer)
Scott Schaefer (writer)
View company contact information for The Arsenio Hall Show on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
3 January 1989 (USA) See more »
We Be Havin' a Ball!
Arsenio Hall hosts this hip, late-night talk show.
Plot Keywords:
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Good Premise, Bad Results See more (14 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 2 of 256)

Arsenio Hall ... Himself - Host (372 episodes, 1989-1994)
Burton Richardson ... Himself - Announcer (367 episodes, 1989-1994)

Series Directed by
Todd Fischer (4 episodes, 1992-1994)

Sandra Fullerton (unknown episodes)
Scott Schaefer (unknown episodes)
Series Writing credits
Arsenio Hall (116 episodes, 1989-1994)
Rob Young (103 episodes, 1989-1994)
Steven Alan Green (103 episodes, 1989-1991)
Tim Kelleher (82 episodes, 1989-1993)
Danny Zuker (82 episodes, 1989-1993)
Dawna Kaufmann (27 episodes, 1993-1994)
Paul Clay (25 episodes, 1989-1990)
Barry Friedman (25 episodes, 1989-1990)
Alec Sokolow (25 episodes, 1989-1990)
Steve Spiegel (25 episodes, 1989-1990)
J. Anthony Brown (22 episodes, 1993-1994)
Davey DiGiorgio (21 episodes, 1993-1994)
Hal Spear (21 episodes, 1993-1994)
Philip Vaughn (21 episodes, 1993-1994)
Larry Charles (19 episodes, 1989-1990)
Marty Rudoy (19 episodes, 1993-1994)

Scott Schaefer (unknown episodes)
Nick Siracuse (unknown episodes)

Series Produced by
Arsenio Hall .... executive producer (114 episodes, 1989-1994)
Mark Lipsky .... executive producer (15 episodes, 1989)

Carole Chouinard .... supervising producer (unknown episodes)
David A. Hurwitz .... segment producer (unknown episodes)
Kent Weishaus .... associate producer (unknown episodes)
Series Cinematography by
Christian Santiago (unknown episodes)
Series Film Editing by
Clayton Lonie Jr. (107 episodes, 1989)
Series Costume Design by
Sandy Ampon (unknown episodes)
Series Makeup Department
K-Bobby .... hair stylist (3 episodes, 1989-1992)

R. Christopher Biggs .... special makeup effects artist (unknown episodes)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Paul Cockerill .... field director (unknown episodes)
Series Special Effects by
Robert Cole .... special effects (unknown episodes)
Series Stunts
BJ Davis .... stunt coordinator / stunts (2 episodes, 1989)

Chuck Borden .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Michael J. Sarna .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Roy Heath .... key grip (178 episodes, 1989-1994)
Pascal M. Guillemard .... lighting technician / best boy electric (28 episodes, 1993-1994)
Jenna Abrahamson-Minardi .... lighting technician (24 episodes, 1989-1990)
Frank Detone Jr. .... best boy: grip (6 episodes, 1989-1990)
Jeff Rifkin .... camera operator (4 episodes, 1989-1990)
Dana Ross Martin .... camera operator (3 episodes, 1992)

Christian Santiago .... camera operator: studio and field camera (unknown episodes)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Monique Marie Long .... costumer (6 episodes, 1991-1992)
Series Music Department
Marcus Miller .... musician (1 episode, 1994)

Arsenio Hall .... composer: theme "Hall or Nothing" (unknown episodes)
Series Transportation Department
Gina August .... driver (13 episodes, 1989)
Series Other crew
Dailey Pike .... audience warm-up (139 episodes, 1989-1994)
Marshall Boone .... production assistant (88 episodes, 1989-1994)
Mel North .... choreographer (86 episodes, 1989)
Pamela Hyatt .... communications liasion (84 episodes, 1989-1994)
Kim Swann .... talent coordinator (44 episodes, 1989-1991)
Kevin Gershan .... stage manager (4 episodes, 1989-1990)

Alan Abrams .... business affairs director (unknown episodes)
Carole Chouinard .... talent coordinator (unknown episodes)
Rick Law .... creative consultant (unknown episodes)
Jack Edward Sawyers .... additional footage (unknown episodes)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
60 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The show was syndicated and aired on some CBS affiliates throughout the country. When "Late Show with David Letterman" (1993) premiered, many CBS affiliates moved Hall's show to a later time slot or dropped the show altogether. Hall's show also aired on some Fox affiliates. One week later, Fox premiered "The Chevy Chase Show" (1993) and Hall's show suffered the same fate. Even though Chase's show was short-lived, Hall was unable to retrieve his previous time slots. Hall's show was still popular in the markets where his show had not been moved or replaced but the nationwide ratings had sharply declined.See more »


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5 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Good Premise, Bad Results, 15 July 2002
Author: John from Southfield, MI

Arsenio Hall's show contained a wide range of ups and downs during its five and a half-year history. There is much to comment, so LET'S GET BUSY!

Firstly, let's focus on the good.

1) This show had a Black person with his own late night talk show. 2) While Carson and Letterman appealed to Whites, Arsenio appealed to the urban sector. 3) Arsenio dressed really well. 4) Arsenio would have guests on his show that appealed to urban culture, but were not considered mainstream enough to appear on Carson or Letterman. 5) Arsenio had an ethnically diverse band. 6) There were several memorable moments in the guest category: · Muhammad Ali was on the show and Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson made a surprise visit. · Miles Davis' appearance. · Sammy Davis JR's appearance. · Louis Farrakhan's appearance (memorable only because of all the controversy it created). · His shows after the Rodney King acquittals, and riots. · The video collages commemorating highlights of the show. · Bill Clinton playing the saxophone. · Andrew Dice Clay weeping openly to the sympathetic public. · MC Hammer (or Hammer depending on your mindset) and his performances. There are other moments to recognize, but I have to stop here due to space constraints.

Now, let's focus on the bad, which led to its premature cancellation:

1) The constant ass kissing while giving interviews. No one liked that. 2) More often than not, he would have guests on the show that appeared so frequently that they became stale and boring to watch. One popular example was George Wallace. 3) The monologues were terrible. Naturally, some jokes don't work at times. When Arsenio delivered jokes that died, he would attempt to keep it going to make it funny. It didn't work. The material was poorly written, and poorly delivered. 4) The perpetuation of ethnic stereotypes associated with hip-hop culture. Many times, he overdid it to the point that it looked clownish. 5) The fact that he had to maintain his "high-top fade" to let people know that he was still "Black" appeared to be very plastic after awhile. 6) His filler guests. For a little while, there was a show which came on right after Arsenio called "The Party Machine", hosted by Nia Peeples. Why do you need to have Nia Peeples as a guest on Arsenio (at the end of the hour program, in fact), when she is hosting the next program? Filler! 7) The "Master Impressionist" routine. It got old after the first time! Some you could not figure out.

The program got so bad that his guest stars were of greater interest than he was. Towards the end of the series run, I would only watch the beginning of the telecast to see who his guests were and what he was wearing. I would then either turn the channel or turn the TV off.

His timing was very lacking. The audience hollering "WOOF WOOF WOOF" was going to get played out eventually. Though Johnny Carson's approach was conservative, it remained lively enough to last 30 years. Arsenio was not going to last a third of that. He did not keep up. He thought that the same antics were going to keep him on the air. It didn't.

Arsenio originally had a 6-year contract to do his show. That means that his 6 year anniversary would have come in December, 1994. However, his show ended in May, 1994. His show ended 6 months early. Why is that? It's because Paramount wanted to pull the plug. They probably bought out the last 6 months of his contract and ended it. Thank goodness. Thank goodness for Arsenio's sake.

Arsenio's style and format led to an attempt at shows that tried to duplicate his formula: "Vibe", "The Keenan Ivory Wayans Show". "The Chris Rock Show" on HBO was the best.

Arsenio was extremely overrated as a comedian, as a celebrity. There has to be more to him than being a former friend of Eddie Murphy to have a career. Too bad his career is gone. See you in 5,000 hours!

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