MTV turns 30 on Monday, a day that marks the birth of the network that once glorified music videos and now glorifies excessively tanned New Jersey residents who use terms like creepin’ and smoosh.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, VH1 Classic — the MTV sister network that most closely resembles the original MTV — will devote all of Saturday and Sunday to airing classic MTV programming, from old promos to classic episodes of “Remote Control” and “Yo! MTV Raps.” In other words, anyone who has strong, nostalgic feelings about old Video Music Award ceremonies and episodes of “Beavis and Butthead” should probably cancel his or her plans for the weekend.
To help you mentally prepare for this onslaught of Downtown Julie Brown-ness, here’s a look at some of the forgotten clips you may see when VH1 Classic kicks off its MTV flashback on Saturday at 6 a.m., along with one piece of special programming that I sincerely hope makes it back onto the airwaves.
“I Want My MTV” promos: Expect to see plenty of these sprinkled throughout the VH1 Classic schedule. In the meantime, enjoy watching Boy George, Cyndi Lauper, David Bowie and Joe Elliott of Def Leppard demanding their MTV.
Live-Aid clips: Where were you on July 13, 1985? Probably watching Live-Aid on MTV all day and, possibly, catching Martha Quinn interview Rob Halford of Judas Priest:
“Remote Control”: VH1 Classic will reair segments from the pop culture game show, which was hosted by Ken Ober, and featured contestants with big hair, Colin Quinn and, on very special episodes, Adam Sandler as Stud Boy:
Segments from MTV News will be reshown this weekend as well. Let’s hope this 1995 clip — in which Kurt Loder explains all that futuristic technobabble about the Internet and Coolio stresses the importance of being on the Information Superhighway — makes the cut.
MTV was a little slow to catch on to hip-hop. But the network eventually gave us “Yo! MTV Raps.” Hey, remember when Jennifer Lopez and Jay-Z made their first appearances on that show? The clip below will remind you.
Once upon a time, Kevin Seal briefly hosted “Headbanger’s Ball”? And also once upon a time, Faster Pussycat had a hit song. At the risk of getting too personal, there’s still no one home in my “House of Pain.”
Two words — or rather, one word, repeated: Wubba wubba.
The only alternative music show I miss more than “IRS’s The Cutting Edge”? “120 Minutes” (see below, featuring the Pixies) .
Of course, this entire journey through MTV history will culminate at midnight Sunday with a re-airing of the first hour of MTV. “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll...”
And now, the MTV special that I sincerely hope gets rebroadcast on VH1 Classic this weekend but, let’s face it, probably won’t: Fee Waybill of The Tubes covering the 1986 movie premiere of “Pretty in Pink.” Just watch this clip of him interviewing Andrew McCarthy and James Spader at the after-party as both actors smoke cigarettes and clearly demonstrate that they’ve had at least a couple of drinks. Yeah, I know this is a common Gen X refrain. But darn it, MTV, the ‘80s really were your best days.