On the day of February, 12th, 1955, a boy was born and a childhood dream began to form. During the adolescence stage of his life, he became an artist when he discovered he was blessed with the gift of comedy. And through the years while developing his art form of stand-up comedy, this young man never awoke from his childhood dream. A mystical day in 1987 arrived when opportunity spoon-fed this comedic artist a taste of his own special dream. I can only imagine how his taste-buds were immediately surrounded by goosebumps when, on January, 2nd, 1989, this man’s childhood dream finally came true!
You see on that day, which must’ve been the best day of this man’s entire life, an all new syndicated, late-night television talk show began. It was a day which came from a dream inspired by TV legend, the late “Johnny Carson“, to have what no Black American has ever had before. The world was introduced to “The Arsenio Hall Show” who, right then and there, became the first Black American to host his own late-night television talk show!
20 years ago from the very start, The Arsenio Hall Show had its target audience of Urban America. It was a show that blasted through the doors of many young people of all races. On a side note, don’t you think it’s sad that here we are in the 21st century and the United States of America is still caught up in segregation? Yet, only this time it’s by class and not race: Suburban America, Urban America, Corporate America, etc, etc. Anyhow, it became so popular, a word went through the grapevine there was a waiting list for superstar celebrities and entertainers alike, who wanted to make an appearance on the show.
To those who are fairly new to the Hip Hop culture, you’re probably wondering who’s Arsenio Hall and why should I give a damn? Well, he gave the Hip Hop culture more love and respect than any other late-night television talk show host… EVER! The Arsenio Hall Show lived to be five years old, between the time of 1989-1994.
This was the only late-night television talk show that gave Snoop Doggy Dog his Hip Hop super-stardom! This was the only late-night television talk show to have featured the first female rap artist ever awarded a gold record; MC Lyte! This was the only late-night television talk show that KRS One had appeared on, more than once I might add! This was the only late-night television talk show to have the West Coast’s most “so-called” controversial Hip Hop group to make an appearance; N.W.A.!
I feel that we who are living the Hip Hop culture should never forget the amount of respect Arsenio Hall gave to the streets of America. I’m not sure if he felt he had to do it or if he wanted to make sure that America, as well as the rest of the world, could not ignore the Hip Hop culture. The show was truly a ton of fun to watch, and if Paramount Domestic Television ever decide to release its DVD sets of the show, I would encourage you to buy all five seasons!
In the 1950’s when Rock n’ Roll had major control of the radio waves, CBS Television had its own popular type of late-night variety show called The Ed Sullivan Show. To no fault of his own, Ed Sullivan had put on quite a few popular acts that catered to young viewers within that time and had launched them to superstar status. Either way, Ed Sullivan respected Rock n’ Roll as well as the Motown sound. This is why from the very beginning I have called Arsenio Hall “the black Ed Sullivan.” He too took risks, and to me it paid off with interests! He dared to be different, but yet remained a professional. I sincerely have admired him for that!
Mr. Arsenio Hall, we at Old School Scholar.com wish to simply say “thank you” for giving the streets of Hip Hop the time, love and respect with your professionalism. You have kept Hip Hop relevant as well as significant while your show was aired. You are a part of Hip Hop history, and it was truly our honor to have watched and experienced “The Arsenio Hall Show!”
N.W.A. on The Arsenio Hall Show
KRS One on The Arsenio Hall Show
The Pharcyde on The Arsenio Hall Show
3rd Bass on The Arsenio Hall Show