This week MTV announced an online campaign looking for the network's first-ever TJ, or Twitter Jockey. Unlike the video jockeys of the cable station's past, these folks would instead live-tweet from MTV events for a year, earning a salary, and live in New York City. In addition to Twitter, the winner would also be the online personality of their Facebook enterprise.
It's not like Rocks Off would want to sign up or anything (@craighlavaty) or even that he would enjoy living in New York for a year while earning a six-figure salary (@craighlavaty), he's just saying that for anyone who runs two Twitter accounts and loves music more than life it itself it would probably be a good opportunity (@craighlavaty) to probably meet and scare any number of starlets with his rakish ways and wayward eyebrow. Also, the bars close at 4 a.m. in New York, so there's that.
MTV has a long lineage of memorable and infamous VJ's, from the side-burned pretty boy Carson Daly on Total Request Live in the late '90s to indie-before-it-was-cool Martha Quinn back in the station's infancy of the early '80s. It was the bald and beautiful Matt Pinfield who schooled us on T. Rex so we didn't have to learn about Marc Bolan on the mean streets of the suburbs while we were in junior high.
Here are ten favorites from the station's nearly 30 year history. From a land far, far away filled with music videos, Kurt Loder, and our beloved Jenny McCarthy.
Pinfield was the one who helped us navigate through the '90s modern rock scene on shows like 120 Minutes and other short-lived hours. He also made sure to dole out knowledge on older bands like the Clash and Fishbone. But then he guested on Limp Bizkit's Significant Other, which was confusing and hurtful.
The kinky-haired spitfire was like the cooler older sister we never had for her tenure on Alternative Nation. We liked anything liked, and daydreamed about going record shopping with her, even though she was ten years older.
Daly piloted Total Request Live for most of its life, premiering videos by Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera when they still wore panties and didn't have people crawling out their wombs. He dated not only Tara Reid but also Jennifer Love Hewitt, making him our mortal enemy.
Fuck, remember this asshole? We say that affectionately because we did vote for him in 1998 to become an MTV VJ out of sheer curiosity over whether or not this New York Dolls-looking tramp would OD on television during a Hanson video.
Norris and Kurt Loder probably fueled our fire to be music newsmen more than anyone else. He started announcing videos and slowly moved onto MTV News. He had the sad job of telling us about a number of rock deaths too.
If Kennedy and Pinfield made us want to explore music, it was Rachtman and Headbanger's Ball that turned us to the dark side early on. He had tattoo sleeves and liked Motley Crue, which was enough for us. You can hear him now doing work for a NASCAR radio show. He also dated Janine, the porn star from the cover of the blink-182 album Enema of the State.
Quinn was the baby of the group early on at MTV, when the other VJ's were seasoned radio people. You could hear all sorts of bad news from her and she might as well have been talking about a basket of puppies.
Brown had the best worst catchphrase ever, "Wubba Wubba Wubba". We remember seeing our aunt's friends signing each other's yearbooks with that line. We are old.
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Early on she just went by "Duff", but you may know her better as Shay from the 1994 film Blank Check.
Bellamy always got to talk to all the hot R&B chicks for like ten minutes at a time, the lucky bastard. He got party with Janet Jackson and hang out on the beach with Mariah Carey too. According to Wikipedia he coined the phrase "booty call" on Def Comedy Jam, so he has that going for him.