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Arsenio Hall Show
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TV Series
    (January 3, 1989-May 27, 1994)
    Born in United States
    Originally aired in syndication
    Starring Arsenio Hall
    Music by The Posse (led by Michael Wolff)
    Announcer: Burton Richardson
    First guest: Brooke Shields
    First musical guest: Luther Vandross
    Revived version premiered September 9, 2013, also in syndication
    In the first few seasons, the announcer would open each show with, 'From Stage 29, at Paramount Studios, on Melrose Avenue, in the heart of Hollywood, California, in these United States, on the planet we call Earth...'
    Viewers had to check local listings to find out when it was on.
    Due to syndication, viewers in some markets saw the show change stations often.
    The studio audience would greet the host by pumping their fists in the air and barking like dogs.
    The audience members sitting behind the band were collectively referred to as The Dog Pound.
    Those two elements of the show most likely were references to fans of Arsenio's favorite NFL team.
    Occasionally, Arsenio would claim that he commuted to the studio all the way from Cleveland.
    Paramount, the show's distributor, forced the show's stations to also carry 'The Party Machine with Nia Peeples' in 1991.
    Members of Queer Nation (a pro-gay rights group) heckled Arsenio during one of his monologues, to protest the perceived lack of LGBT guests on the show.
    One episode was dedicated entirely to Louis Farrakhan.
    The show's ratings suffered when Jay Leno and David Letterman each got their own talk shows.
    The Dog Pound would always be given a collective nickname, such as 'People Who Are Naked under Their Clothes.'
    Arsenio would go into the first commercial break by shouting, 'Let's get busy!’
    The Monday-Thursday shows would end with the host saying, 'We'll see you in 23 hours.'
    When Arsenio briefly took over for Joan Rivers on FOX's original late night show, it later inspired Paramount to give him his own show.
    It gave younger viewers something fresh and hip to watch as an alternative to Johnny Carson.
    It also drew in African-American viewers ignored by other late-night talk shows.
    Many R&B and hip-hop acts were able to get exposure thanks to Arsenio Hall.
    Arsenio's popularity with younger and urban audiences may have been the catalyst that drove Johnny Carson to finally retire.
    Although Carson's show won the ratings battle, most of Johnny's viewers were older and generally watched out of habit, whereas Arsenio's viewers were younger and watched out of choice.
    Arsenio made Andrew 'Dice' Clay cry during one episode.
    The host would always acknowledge the Dog Pound, given that their seats were the worst in the house.
    In some TV markets, the show would get a 30-minute head start on other late night talkers, thanks to syndication.
    Some of Arsenio's monologues involved thoughtful, yet comic, observations called 'Things that Make You Go 'Hmmm'.'
    This inspired a similarly-titled song by C+C Music Factory.
    The show was socially conscious during its run.
    The night after Magic Johnson announced he was HIV positive, Arsenio had him on as the first guest, even forgoing the monologue in the process.
    When the 1992 L.A. riots hit, the show dedicated an entire episode to the then-current events, rather than the night's scheduled guests.
    Arkansas governor Bill Clinton came on as a guest when he first ran for President in 1992.
    Clinton even played sax with the Posse that night.
    Clinton's election opponent-to-be, George H.W. Bush, reacted by saying that, unlike Clinton, he would never do 'weird talk shows.'
    When Arsenio got wind of this, he did a monologue on the show where he said, "Excuse me, George...Bush. I don't remember inviting your ass to the show!'
    It was the only late night talk show with the GUTS to book the likes of Louis Farrakhan.
    Arsenio's win on 'Celebrity Apprentice 5' (2012) may have inspired the revival of the show in 2013.

Credit: Gregg


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