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DAR TV: 9 Of The Greatest Arsenio Hall Show Moments


By @TrueGodImmortal




The Arsenio Hall Show was a moment in time. For many of us, the show was a cultural staple and the talk show that we wanted to see. While Johnny Carson, David Letterman, and Jay Leno appealed to many demographics and had mainstream backing, we had never seen a television host that really could deliver something for us that felt genuine. Enter Arsenio. His show would provide us with so many legendary moments and musical performances, as Arsenio's show was one of the most important to come along in black culture. From his interviews with the Ultimate Warrior to his odd attempt to interview Jason (yes, the horror film character), and even his interviews with Madonna, Stevie Wonder, and more, Arsenio was a regular fixture in every household for some years. Today, I wanted to take a look at some of those moments and list them. What are some of the best moments and performances? Let's take a look.

*Michael Jackson And Eddie Murphy Appear Together 



- The two biggest stars in the world appeared on the show at the same time to give each other awards. Eddie was the original guest, but Michael Jackson popped up to surprise him with an award while Eddie also had an award to give to Michael. In all honesty, it was such a rare and welcome sight to see two of the all time legends together that this might actually be my favorite moment from the Arsenio Hall Show.

*Arsenio Interviews Farrakhan 



-One of the more iconic yet also infamous moments came when Arsenio decided to sit down with the highly controversial Louis Farrakhan, a move that many people felt sealed the fate of the immensely popular Arsenio. Regardless, the interview with Farrakhan would cause a lot of controversy and that was exactly what Arsenio wanted. Despite your feelings on Farrakhan, the fact that Arsenio managed to get the man to sit down and talk about a number of things was a testament to the power that he had in the TV world and in the culture.

*Prince Takes Over The Show... Twice 



-Whenever Prince decides he wants to do television, you clear out everything for him. Arsenio had the pleasure of doing this twice, and Prince made sure to give the live audience a show. In the first instance of Prince taking over during the first run of the show, he performed a medley of hits that delighted the audience. However, the second time around was just as noteworthy even though it was 20 plus years later, as Prince came to promote his newest album and sit and talk with Arsenio. In retrospect, this was bittersweet as it is one of the last real memories we have of Prince for the final year or two of his life. Regardless, this was an amazing set of interviews and performances from one of the all time legends.

*2Pac Talks Janet And More



-In one of his most infamous interviews, Pac discusses his upcoming film Poetic Justice and everything in between. This was also the moment where Pac let it be known that Janet Jackson apparently asked him to get a HIV test before she kissed him in the movie. Whether that was true or not, the fact remains Pac made news by mentioning it along with more bits and pieces of this entertaining interview, including the infamous "Coke is out, right" portion where Pac denounced cocaine. 

*The Infamous Magic Johnson Interview 


-After his heartbreaking announcement that he was diagnosed with HIV, Magic would sit down and talk about his disease along with some of the struggles he has experienced since finding out. This was one of those moments where the entire world was watching and Magic made sure to give the people what they wanted and held nothing back. This remains one of the most infamous interviews in Arsenio's iconic run without question.

*Bill Clinton Plays The Sax


-Looking back on it now, it was essentially just political pandering for the black audience and the liberal voting community, but it was a genius plan to lure voters in. Bill Clinton appeared shortly after the Democratic primary was being finished and sure enough, as he prepared for the general election, he needed to appeal to the black voters and Arsenio watchers alike. I have always believed the appearance on Arsenio was a huge factor in the public accepting Bill Clinton as a down to earth, relaxed presidential candidate, which was a sadly smart strategy.

*Arsenio Takes On A..... Nation



-Today, this would never fly on television, but Arsenio stood up for himself and what his show represents. Long before people felt the need to reduce themselves and their identity to being just one thing, Arsenio was met with resistance from a group called Queer Nation. As guest Paul Hogan prepares to come out, you can hear loud and clear an obnoxious audience member asking why doesn't Arsenio have gay guests on his show. Arsenio proceeds to step up and put the audience member in their place, dropping a bit of truth that resonates even today. This is a classic moment.

*Martin Lawrence Tells The Truth



-In what is one of the most honest and raw interviews of all time on television, Martin delivers an interview that covers all the bases and showcases what Hollywood really can do to you. At the height of his popularity and with his show extremely successful (and his cast in the audience), Martin expresses his views on a need for black movies and black entertainment in the mainstream, as well as keeping his faith in God and staying strong, and so much more. This is one of my favorite moments and a wonderful interview.

*Arsenio Goes At Vanilla Ice 


-One of the most hilarious moments in TV history, Arsenio essentially G-Checks Vanilla Ice in so many words. Vanilla Ice was really a vulture of the rap game and Arsenio could sense it. One of the best moments in his interview is when he aggressively asks Ice about him bringing Flava Flav out for support just to show he has some black support. He goes on to grill Ice a few more times before the interview eventually ends amicably, but most feel this was the turning point for the career of Vanilla Ice. Arsenio was at his best when he asked the real questions and this was no different.

-True

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