MTV's Total Request Live (TRL) seems so obvious now, but, at the time, it was revolutionary; MTV TRL episodes were the stuff of all-out teenage fantasy. A top 10 countdown that listeners could control? Unheard of! But TRL was more than just music; it was culture too. Total Request Live hosts were called "VJs" and were always clad in that week's latest fashion. Their job was talking to fans, interviewing celebrity guests, and introducing live, in-studio performances. But Total Request Live episodes were also known to get out of hand...
TRL started in 1998 and ran for almost a decade on MTV. It was basically responsible for launching the careers of some of the biggest pop stars of a generation, like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, The Backstreet Boys, and *NSYNC. Even Eminem had his turn hosting.
TRL wasn't all smiles and rainbows though, it was also there for the bad times, like the Marilyn Manson backlash after the Columbine shooting, the awkward Prince interview, and that crazy Mariah Carey ice cream thing...
Mariah Carey's Meltdown
Remember that time Mimi crashed TRL pushing an ice cream truck and wearing an air-brushed Loverboy t-shirt? Well, she didn't wear it for long...
She kept saying "You like this!" as if she was reassuring the crowd that they were, in fact, enjoying this. Mariah even went so far to say "You are my therapy session, Carson. Every now and them somebody needs a little therapy, and today is that day for me."
After ambling around the studio for three minutes, rambling about nothing in particular, Carson signed off for a commercial break, assuring the crowd "I had no idea about this!"Was this the best?
When Eminem Took Over
Not only did Eminem take over TRL and MTV for a day, he kind of took over the world for a little while there. At the peak of Shady-Mania, Em hosted an episode of Total Request Live and opened the show (dressed as Carson Daly) by saying: "Yesterday on TRL we saw Britney Spears, *NSYNC, the Backstreet Boys, and a bunch of other trash, but today is actually going to be a good show, as MTV becomes Em TV." He immediately cut off the "Whackstreet Boys" and aired his own personal playlist for the next two hours, and it was awesome.Was this the best?
When Robin Williams Stopped ByPhoto: MTVWas this the best?
When Outkast Performed “Hey Ya!”
Andre 3000 can do no wrong, and, when he performed "Hey Ya" live on TRL in a cardigan and a beret, with a slew of backup dancers dressed like jockeys, and a DJ in a mechanic one-sie, the world just sat back and took it all in. What a time to be alive.Was this the best?