Arsenio Hall's Biography

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Arsenio Hall was born on 12 February 1955 in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of a Baptist minister.

Arsenio Hall showed a talent for entertainment early. He became involved in The Cleveland Playhouse and did stand-up routines whilst studying at Kent State University. In 1979, Hall moved from Ohio to Chicago and his stand-up routine was spotted by jazz singer, Nancy Wilson. It proved to be a major breakthrough. In the ensuing years he opened for the likes of Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Stevie Wonder.

Hall was the host of the TV series Solid Gold, and in 1987, he was approached to replace Joan Rivers on the Fox Network series 'The Late Show'. He had a 13-week stint on the Late Show and it was a ratings success. According to Time, it "ended only because Fox had previously committed itself to the Wilton North Report."

Based on his performance on the Late Show, he was signed by Paramount Pictures. Arsenio Hall has referred, in an interview on PBS, to the importance of his negotiations at this stage and his insistence on his rights to own the show. This approach secured Arsenio Hall the chance to co-write and co-star with Eddie Murphy in "Coming to America" (1987). Similarly on the advice of Quincy Jones, Hall wrote his own theme song "Hall or Nothing" and still gets paid whenever its played.

On January 3, 1989, 'The Arsenio Hall Show' made its debut. It ran mainly on stations linked with Fox Broadcasting from 1989 until 1994. The late-night talk-show quickly proved a ratings success, attracting young black and Hispanic viewers not well catered to by the other networks. 

In 1990, TV Guide made Arsenio Hall the magazine's first "TV Person of the Year." As well as giving exposure to those not in the media mainstream, he was also able to draw big names, including getting Bill Clinton to play the sax on the show in 1992, when he was a presidential candidate. In 1994 the show finished - soon after it came up against Jay Leno in the schedules. In 1997 Hall starred in the ABC sitcom Arsenio and, a year later, he joined the CBS show, "Martial Law".

From 2004 he hosted another CBS show "Star Search". Arsenio Hall regards one of his worst mistakes as turning down working with Martin Lawrence on Bad Boys.

In June 2012, the BBC reported that Arsenio Hall was returning to TV with a new late-night show.

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