Remember When: Jason Takes Arsenio
Released in 1989, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan came at a time when film marketing was taking new chances. It was not rare to see Freddy Krueger hosting segments on MTV or other iconic characters making tongue-in-cheek appearances in commercials or other media. Sometimes they worked and generated more interest in the newest chapter in their respective franchises, and sometimes they came off as hokey gimmicks.
Such a chance was taken to promote the then latest Friday adventure, with Mr. Voorhees himself being made a celebrity guest on one of late night’s then hottest talk shows – The Arsenio Hall Show. Jason actor Kane Hodder came onto the show as a guest, and not in the traditional sense as Kane Hodder speaking about becoming the notorious character and killing a long list of overly hormonal teens. Instead, Kane appeared in full Jason costume and make-up, staying in character for the entire segment. This of course meant, being a talk show, that Arsenio’s questions were repeatedly greeted by Jason’s silence and always intimidating stare.
While a bit like this would be expected to get old fast, the segment turned out to be full of hilarity. Best detailed in Kane’s autobiography Unmasked, the actor recounts that Arsenio was quite unnerved by the actor in full costume, and the audience ate it up throughout. The highlight of the segment comes at the end, when Arsenio reaches out to shake Jason’s hand only to be pulled into him. In Kane’s recounting, he states that Arsenio was not prepared for this nor had any knowledge the actor would do so and, like his nervous laughter throughout the interview, his leap to his feet and sudden scare were completely authentic. Check it out in all it's fun glory below:
Overall, the odd-ball appearance was a big success, even seeing Kane return in full Jason mode again to promote the next flick Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday and remain on the stage for the entire program. The success of the appearance can also be seen through over five and a half million views on YouTube to date!
Share your reflections on this segment below or comment on the Jason Takes Manhattan page about this rare and unique promotional appearance.