While one could argue that 1990 wasn’t the most stellar year for the World Wrestling Federation, it seemed as if they had no real issue getting their talent on the talk show circuit of the era. And more often than not, their go to seemed to be The Arsenio Hall Show.
For the uninitiated, the man above would in fact be Arsenio Hall. He was one of Eddie Murphy’s friends, as well as a famous comedian in his own right. While Murphy was always considered by far the bigger star, Hall was, to me, a more interesting and relatable guy. He was funny without beating you over the head that he was funny if that makes sense. So it was somewhat logical that he would be offered his own talk show.
And for a couple years, his was one of the most popular shows on all of television. Any and every star of the era showed up at least once on Aresnio, and some way way way more than that. Barry Manilow for instance was on the show, no joke, EIGHT TIMES. Who knows? Maybe Arsenio loved the song Mandy or something. Then there was Sylvester Stallone – six times. Good for Sly, Tango and Cash needed all the help it could get. And just to make sure it appealed to the likes of your old buddy and old pal RD Reynolds, Alyssa Milano showed up about every six months.
Remember kids – you can never go wrong with Eva Savelot!
With such an array of late 80’s, early 90’s talent on display, it should come as zero shock that various wrestling stars were on the show as well, and we’ve covered a few of them on the site in the past. While everyone no doubt remembers when the Hulkster went on the show proclaiming he’d only tried steroids one time (here), fewer may recall that his No Holds Barred arch-nemesis Zeus also sat on the couch to be interviewed (and…here).
Major stars such as Hogan and Randy Savage were gimmes. Heck, I even understand why Zeus appeared – after all, Vince had to do something to get the word out about the movie he and Hogan penned while locked in a hotel room over a weekend getting all hepped up on goofball.
But what to me is more fascinating is when guys further down the card with nothing to truly shill for appeared. Which leads us to this man:
Yes, kids, believe it or not no less than BAD NEWS BROWN once appeared on Arsenio.
And yeah, only once.
For you younger crappers, Bad News was a bad guy (shocker) who hailed from Harlem, New York. He was a thug who backed down from no one and hated every single person walking planet earth. Survivor Series matches would end with him walking out on his team – he was the very definition of a loner. He would eventually feud with both Savage and Hogan, as well as other top stars such as Roddy Piper. But tonight we are going to talk about his battles with Jake “The Snake” Roberts.
And by “we”, I mean Arsenio is going to do it.
Prior to his guest’s arrival, we get a clip of Brown being introduced to Jake’s snake, Damien. Bug eyed and buffoonish is generally how I like my wrestling heels, but Brown was always kinda the opposite of that so seeing him tucking tail and running away like a yellow dog is a weird visual to say the least.
Now this here is more the Bad News Brown I remember – being a total a-hole and arguing with everyone. I mean, he barely gets onto the main floor before he starts yelling at some unseen (and likely non-existent) geek backstage.
I don’t know what that guy did wrong, but I’m sure he deserves the what for Bad News is giving him!
Before he even makes it to the couch, Brown immediately starts berating Hall. Unquestionably in a sour mood, and for good reason – you see, Mr. Brown drove straight from Harlem to be on the show.
A show, mind you, that takes place in LOS ANGELES.
Arsenio has the temerity to question that Bad News actually did this. And yeah, I suppose rightly so, as that would have been a FORTY-TWO HOUR commute with no stops. Honestly, I am guessing it was an hour more than that even – I don’t picture Brown as the kinda guy willing to drop extra coin for toll roads!
Furious Arsenio would suggest he was lying, Brown veers off to something else that upsets him – namely the stinking town of Los Angeles, which according to Brown is exactly like granola – full of “fruits, nuts, and flakes.”
I don’t know such a description would fly in 2020.
Bad News then goes off on the food served in the green room, nothing but crappy vegetables. I’m right there with you Mr. Brown – I’d want something better than that for sure. News explains he was hoping for something like collard greens and black-eyed peas, along with perhaps some chitlins. He then chastises Hall for having forgotten his “soul food roots”.
It’s really too bad Bad News didn’t stick around the WWF just a bit longer – I could totally see Brown and Akeem exchanging recipes on some random Colisseum video.
Barely taking a breath, News then goes off on Arsenio showing the clip of Jake attacking him with a snake. “Who sent that to you? Jack Tunney?” We then get a killer rant about the WWF President which leads me to wonder just one thing: how did we never get JACK TUNNEY on the Arsenio Hall Show?
You bet you would, Mr. President!
Before things go too off the rails, Arsenio suggests that Bad News take a seat and relax…but not before he tweaks him by asking, “They got chairs in Harlem, my brother?”
You can imagine Brown’s reaction to that.
Hall then begs off as Brown threatens “after I get done with Snake, you’re next. I mean look at you, I’d like to put a cloth on that picnic table head of yours!”
Picking on Hall’s hair was always a constant throughout his run. Let’s face it…
…this isn’t a killer do or anything. But in the early 90’s a look like that was considered hip and cool. That was largely due to the popularity of Arsenio.
And like I said – Hall was a funny guy.
In fact, throughout the his appearance, even Brown is doing everything in his power to keep from bursting out laughing. Just when it looks like he’s going to break, Bad News would resume threatening Arsenio…which didn’t really work either. Check out this exchange:
Brown: “How’d you like me to knock those toad eyes out of your head?”
Hall (almost flirting): “You have beautiful eyes.”
Brown: “That’s the problem with you being out here so long, you gettin’ funny.”
Hall: “All the people I know who are ‘funny’ wear shirts like yours.”
Just in case we didn’t catch the hint, Arsenio gives us the flightiest dance this side of a bumble bee.
Pretty sure he’s indicating that perhaps Bad News is…well…you know.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Finally, Arsenio brings out a bag. And yes, it looks very similar to the one that Jake was toting around during this era. Brown questions what’s in it, which Hall answers…
…and of course we get a snake, which causes Bad News to run for the hills.
Actually, I hope he ran for the local PETA office – the way Arsenio threw that thing out of the bag as if he were dumping out his laundry also wouldn’t fly in 2020!