On Friday night Danny Zelisko Presents and Talking Stick Resort (TSR) brought Arsenio Hall to the TSR Showroom in Scottsdale Arizona. Arsenio Hall is a comedian, actor and late night television host. Arsenio had a talk show in the early 90s and for me the most memorable show was when he had then Governor Bill Clinton on the show and Bill played saxophone with the band.
I have seen a number of comedy shows when visiting Las Vegas, and I also went to a number of George Carlin’s shows here in Phoenix back in the 70s and 80s. This will be my first review of a comedy show, so I am attempting to give you a feel for the show. Music concerts are much easier since I talk about the songs the band plays, but for comedy shows, I don’t want to repeat specific jokes.
The show started with local comedian Jill Kimmel. She performed for the first 30 minutes, telling funny stories about her family and her life. The majority of her act was concerning her experiences with dating after her divorce. One of the best was her relating setting up her profile on Match.com. When she put in all of the parameters for what she was looking for, all she got in return was a photo of a unicorn. Having a number of friends who have used these dating sites, I heard a lot of similar stories. Another of her stories was about how she embarrassed her children. Being a father, I totally understand. If you get a chance to see her at the local Tempe Improv, give her a chance. I am sure you will enjoy her show.
After Jill was done, Arsenio Hall came on stage. Arsenio told a number of stories ranging from people’s first names, political stories and his time on the “Apprentice” TV show. One of Arsenio’s stories concerned the strange names given to kids by their parents. He told about a couple of people in his family and their names. He even made fun of his own name and how if you just change the last letter of his name to a “C”, it spells a poison. He connected with a gentleman named John in the front row and told John that he would be the gauge to let Arsenio know if he went too far with his jokes. He did this before telling some of his political jokes. So from time to time Arsenio would check with John to see if all was still OK. The story Arsenio told about how he connects with his son via music hit home with me. I thought the story about his son telling him about this great music remix, it was with this guy named Otis Redding. Arsenio then took his son to the garage to show him a turntable and put on the “Best of Otis Redding” album. He told his son that this was what he listened to in the olden days, like his son listens to today on his iPhone.
Arsenio was on stage for little over 1 hour and everyone was standing and cheering at the end of the show. This was definitely an adult oriented show. There was some strong language and stories that young child should not hear, though most have hear as bad if not worse and not told us. I really enjoyed both Jill and Arsenio. Arsenio was as good tonight as I remember from his late night show over 20 years ago. He has not lost a step and his wit is as sharp as ever. If you get a chance to see Arsenio, go for it. I believe you will have as good a time as I did.
Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: Talking Stick Resort Showroom
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2017