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A Special Daily Resource Shared by Kerry Ruff

Friday, February 12th, 2021




Arsenio Hall was born on February 12, 1956 in Cleveland, Ohio to Fred and Annie Hall. As a child, Arsenio grew fond of performing magic and would soon begin to perform as a magician at weddings and birthday parties. After graduating from high school, he would attend Ohio University majoring in communications before transferring to Kent State University to study advertising. Mr. Hall moved to Chicago to begin his career in stand-up comedy where he was discovered by singer Nancy Wilson. Shortly after, Mr. Hall would perform stand up by opening for music legends like Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Patti Labelle. Eventually, he moved to Los Angeles where he would make a few appearances on the show Soul Train. In 1987, Arsenio became the host on The Late Show because of his playful and easygoing personality. Arsenio Hall was very popular and based off the immediate success, he was approached to host his own late night show. The Arsenio Hall Show was a true staple in the black community and it would make Arsenio, the first black late night talk show host. He not only hosted the talk show but also was the executive producer. His willingness to book unexpected guests included a variety of people from En Vogue to Bill Clinton to Diana Ross. Other late night talk shows played it safe with their audience but not Arsenio, the show was geared towards a younger, urban audience. His show always had dynamic musical guests and unapologetic interviews. In 1992, Arsenio would retire in 1992 but in 2013, he made a comeback with a reboot of his talk show. It lasted for one season but I remember watching it and enjoying it with my mom who absolutely loves Arsenio. Arsenio’s movie career was also very successful with his roles in Coming to America and Harlem Nights. In 2012, Arsenio demonstrated to the world that he had a business side when he competed and won the top prize of the Apprentice. Today we honor the man who has an infectious laugh and was able to redefine everyone’s idea of late night television. Thank you and HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Happy Black History Month. 

I am consumed with the fear of failing. Reaching deep down and finding confidence has made all my dreams come true – Arsenio Hall.


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