Arsenio Hall - Rotten Tomatoes

Arsenio Hall

Highest Rated:   84% Black Dynamite (2009)
Lowest Rated:   13% Blankman (1994)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Cleveland, Ohio, USA
The son of a Cleveland Baptist minister, African American entertainer Arsenio Hall would often escape his bleak inner-city surroundings by imagining that he was a talk show host like his idol, Johnny Carson. He emulated Carson to the point that he briefly became an amateur magician in junior high school. His friends and teachers laughed at Arsenio's comic patter, but advised him to forget his dream -- because everyone knew that no black man would ever host a talk show. An excellent student, Hall was accepted at Ohio University in Athens, where he originally intended to study law, but at the last moment followed his heart and switched to the communications department. He later transferred to Kent State, working his way through school with gigs at local comedy clubs. After a long upward climb, Hall was hired as the opening act for such entertainers as Dionne Warwick and Nancy Wilson, then moved to Hollywood, where he was befriended by superstar Eddie Murphy. The two comedians co-starred in the 1987 comedy Coming to America, where Hall was permitted to display his versatility in a wide variety of quickie characterizations (one of which, a flamboyant minister, was ostensibly based on his own father). Comedienne Joan Rivers was also fond of Arsenio, and secured him several guest spots on her Fox network gabfest, The Late Show. When Rivers was axed by Fox in 1987, Hall took over as Late Show host. This led to his most prestigious assignment to date: The Arsenio Hall Show, a latenight entry syndicated by Paramount television, which premiered in January of 1989. With his unbounded energy, his ingratiating smile, his trademarked "Whoop Whoop Whoop" and his willingness to book guests that were deemed "chancy" by others (e.g. rap and soul artists), Hall quickly rose to the top of the ratings heap. In June of 1990, TV Guide singled out Arsenio Hall as the magazine's first "TV Person of the Year." Unlike the play-safe Johnny Carson, Hall courted controversy as often as possible, usually by attacking racism -- sparing no one, not even other black entertainers. Hall's program peaked in popularity in 1991, then seemed to run out of gas. When NBC made its announcement early in 1992 that Jay Leno would be replacing Johnny Carson as host of the Tonight Show, Hall reacted with inexplicable hostility, railing against Leno (who had always regarded Hall as a friend) and declaring that The Arsenio Hall Show would "whip Jay's ass." While Leno's ratings trailed against his CBS rival David Letterman, his program easily trounced the flagging Arsenio Hall. In 1994, after five years, Arsenio Hall and Paramount Television parted company, and Hall kept a low profile, all but disappearing from public view. In March of 1997, Hall emerged from his self-imposed exile to star, opposite Vivica Fox, in the ABC sitcom Arsenio as Michael Atwood, a cable network sportscaster in Atlanta. After that short-lived series left the air, Hall again disappeared from screens for a period of years. He could be seen in 2003 taking over for Ed McMahon as the host of a relaunched version of Star Search, and he provided a voice for the animated film Igor in 2008. The next year he appeared in the blaxploitation martial-arts comedy Black Dynamite.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Sandy Wexler
  • Actor
2017
No Score Yet Uprising: Hip Hop and the LA Riots
  • Actor
2012
84% Black Dynamite
  • Tasty Freeze
$0.2M 2009
36% Igor
  • Carl Cristall
$19.5M 2008
60% Heckler
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Scooby-Doo: Pirates Ahoy!
  • Capt. Crothers
2006
No Score Yet The Naked Brothers Band Movie
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet The Proud Family Movie
  • Dr. Carver
2005
No Score Yet Straight Tripping
  • Actor
2003
13% Blankman
  • Himself
1994
80% Bopha!
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
1993
No Score Yet Time Out: The Truth About Hiv, Aids, And You
  • Actor
1992
27% Harlem Nights
  • Crying Man
1989
No Score Yet Uptown Comedy Express
  • Actor
1989
69% Coming to America
  • Semmi, Morris, Révérend Brown
1988
63% Amazon Women on the Moon
  • Apartment Victim
$0.6M 1987
No Score Yet More Laughing Room Only
  • Actor
1986

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet The Chew
2011
  • Guest
  • 2016
100% The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore
2015-2016
  • Panelist
  • 2016
No Score Yet Real Husbands of Hollywood
2013
  • Actor
  • 2016
  • 2015
No Score Yet Deal With It
2013-2014
  • Appearing
  • 2014
No Score Yet Hollywood Game Night
2013
  • Appearing
  • 2014
No Score Yet The View
1997
  • Guest
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
No Score Yet The Talk
2010
  • Guest
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
No Score Yet Late Show With David Letterman
1993-2015
  • Guest
  • 2013
No Score Yet Nikki & Sara Live
2013
  • Guest
  • 2013
No Score Yet The Apprentice
2004
  • Appearing
  • Reality cast member
  • Actor
  • 2013
No Score Yet Sunday Morning
2011
  • Appearing
  • 2013
  • 2012
No Score Yet The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
1992-2014
  • Guest
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2004
  • 2002
  • 2001
  • 2000
25% Brothers
2009
  • Actor
  • 2009
No Score Yet Pioneers of Television
2008-2014
  • Appearing
  • 2008
No Score Yet Cheers
1982-1993
  • Guest
  • 1990

Quotes from Arsenio Hall's Characters