Arsenio Hall: Smart & Classy – Review, Summary (with Spoilers)

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Smart & Classy, due to references like the Menendez Brothers, can either be seen as for Gen X and above, or having a bit of dated material.

Director(s) Brian Volk-Weiss
Screenplay By Arsenio Hall
Date Released 10/29/2019
Genre(s) Stand Up Comedy
Good If You Like
  • Older Comics Who Aren’t Trying To Necessarily Be Hip
  • Pop Culture Comedy
  • Jokes About Getting Older
  • Some Political Humor, But It Not Dominating The Taping
Noted Cast
Himself Arsenio Hall

Plot Summary/ Review

With Arsenio being over 50, he has nothing to prove. He had a popular show, hit movies, so he doesn’t need to compete with the likes of Chappelle or up and coming talent like Ali Wong. Instead, he is going to make jokes about who white people think he looks like, ugly feet, knowing Trump before he was president, and being ashy. After all, it isn’t like Eddie Murphy where Arsenio has been laying low, and people put stories about hanging out with him in their act or in interviews, Arsenio is still out there. Hence why Smart & Classy is the way it is.


He Was Funny

Is Arsenio Hall pee on yourself funny? No. However, there is a need to recognize he is rooted in old school comedy where he isn’t necessarily going for broke. Plus, he is over 50, 63 to be specific, so he isn’t going to be running around and making a fool of himself. He is telling jokes because he enjoys doing so and is good at it.

Now, is he the best? No. However, between topics like how he handles getting mistaken for people like Wesley Snipes, Bill Cosby, and the infamous OJ Simpson, he gets a few jabs to your funny bone in. Making him well worth the hour asked of you.

On The Fence

With Acknowledging His Age, And Using References From The 80s and 90s, It Became Clear He Was For The Older Crowd

From the Menendez Brothers to Oscar Pistorius, while not every person mentioned by Arsenio requires you to be older or just well abreast in pop culture, he does choose his niche references well. However, you got to remember, he is an established comedian with a secure fan base. Again, he has no reason to hustle for some kids and to know what they talk about and to put their spin on it. So, fully expect some old Trump stories and things of that nature for that’s where he is in life. His comedy is either about reminiscing about the old days or trying to understand why people on Twitter or mean or joking how oldies for younger folk are going to be trash compared to his generation’s.

Overall: Positive (Watch This)

Smart & Classy is by no means a must-see. If you want a laugh, a giggle, an hour’s worth of distraction, it is worth checking out. But it does tap on that border between just being a taping and being a special. For even Hall’s dismount makes it seem he may have had his act down pat, but we weren’t necessarily seeing the absolute best he could do.

Yet, despite not getting into it as much as we hoped, we’ll still rate this positive. After all, it was funny, and I think like you can’t expect every movie to be geared towards awards recognition, you can’t see all comedy tapings as specials, or something people will talk about years down the line. We’re in an age where there is more than HBO, Showtime, and maybe Comedy Special, and with a hunger for content, having your taping air on a network no longer makes it special, it just means you’re getting a check. And there is nothing wrong with that.

[ninja_tables id=”36677″]

With Acknowledging His Age, And Using References From The 80s and 90s, It Became Clear He Was For The Older Crowd - 75%
He Was Funny - 85%


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