If the early 1990’s will be remembered for one thing, it’s the sound of a dog barking, but not by a dog itself, by a man named Arsenio Hall. Though Hall at the time was most famous for his starring role as Eddie Murphy’s sidekick in Coming To America, Hall would eventually step into his own limelight as the host of his very own syndicated late night television show, The Arsenio Hall Show.
The show itself was unapologetically African-American. Sure it had the big name guests one would see on Johnny Carson or David Letterman — names like Robert Deniro and Warren Beatty — but it also had guests you were not going to see on any other channel. MC Hammer, 2Pac, Minister Louis Farrakhan all appeared on Arsenio’s show. They are just three of the 25 reasons we loved to tune in every night back when the dogpound was in full effect.
Here are the 25 Reasons We Love The Arsenio Hall Show. Make sure to check out the rest in our photo gallery below:
1. The Dogpound
2. WWE (then the WWF) wrestlers as guests, including Hulk Hogan, Ravishing Rick Rude, and the Ultimate Warrior.
3. A Tribe Called Quest brings out a then-unknown Busta Rhymes to perform “Scenario (Remix).”
4. “Things That Make You Go Hmmm….” was an ongoing bit in Hall’s opening monologues, and would eventually inspire a hit record by hip-hop/house group C+C Music Factory.
5. Burton Richardson’s introduction of the show’s host. ARSENIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HALL!
6. Suits with shoulder pads.
7. The Prince episode — a whole night was dedicated to performances by Prince himself.
8. The taping of the 1,000th episode at the Hollywood Bowl, featuring Madonna.
9. He was the only black late night television host at the time.
10. The show’s set, which unlike other late night show’s, did not include a desk.
11. The Reverend Jesse Jackson was a guest.
12. The Martin Luther King Jr. episode.
13. Hall squashes the beef with comedian/actress Roseanne Bar and then-husband Tom Arnold.
14. At its height, The Arsenio Hall Show was more popular than Late Night With David Letterman.