Missing Arsenio

Jozen Cummings takes it back:

Of all the shows the network aired back in their experimental years, nothing moved the pop-culture needle more than Arsenio Hall's version of late-night TV. Those who tuned into The Arsenio Hall Show back in the early '90s can easily recall their fondest memory. Political junkies and historians will remember that it was there, a young presidential candidate jammed on his tenor sax with The Arsenio Hall Show band, arguably locking in the "black" vote. Sports buffs will remember Magic Johnson giving his first interview to Hall after he announced that he was HIV-positive. And hip-hop heads surely can't forget the way Arsenio Hall thoroughly embarrassed Vanilla Ice.

No we can't. What I remember most about Arsenio is that there was so little bandwidth back then, so few channels. And for Arsenio to have one of those was shocking and incredible. Of course, in my house, there was no real culture of TV. I heard about almost all of his interviews the next day at school.

Sad to see Pac in this. When your young and people die, you really don't have any sense of the tragedy, because you don't really know how long life really is, and how much there is to missed.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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