I thought it would be fun to countdown MY TOP 10:   Music Video Cameos.  That is, music videos with cameos by non-musical personalities who are known for working in other areas of show biz.  My criteria were that:

1) the video be memorable, of course;
2) the featured personality not be another musical artist at the time (now if they became musical artists at a later point that’s another story; they’re
still eligible);
3) the featured personality be known at the time (not be an unknown who became known later); and
4) the cameo be a worthwhile part in the video (not just a 2-second spot).

6. Arsenio Hall in Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up”

I may have broken my own rule.  No, I think he’s in there more than 2 seconds.  Less is more in this case.  I wonder if people (especially the young’uns) still know who Arsenio Hall is or that Paula Abdul was once one of the hottest pop stars in the universe.  He’ s a comedian and had a successful late night talk show in the 1990s.  He may be most known for his role opposite buddy, Eddie Murphy, in Coming to America.

At the time, The Arsenio Hall Show, was the only place you could see urban musical acts on late night.  (What was my mamma doin’ lettin’ me watch late night TV during school nights, you ask.  Don’t ask me.  I do not know.)  Some hip hop and soul acts, such as Mariah Carey and TLC,  performed for the first time on national television on this show.  President Bill Clinton even made a stop and played his saxophone while on his 1992 campaign trail, which is viewed as a crucial moment on his path to the White House because he connected with young and minority voters.

Arsenio lounged on couches with his guests (not behind stuffy desks like the other hosts) and all the while kept it real and kept it funny.  Paula Adbul was one of his friends and he did her the favor of appearing in her video.  Goes to show that it really is all about who you know.  And at the time, Arsenio Hall was one of the ones to know.

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