17 TV Shows That Prove '90s MTV Was The Best MTV
Believe it or not, back in the day, MTV used to be awesome. Like, old-school MTV. And not in the snobby, "Oh, you mean when they actually played music?" type of way. Sure, music videos are cool and all, but MTV actually had a ton of really solid programming from the '90s to the turn of the century.
MTV used to be a mecca of music videos featuring the best '90s albums and songs, but it slowly began to transition to an era of shows. From Daria and Beavis and Butthead to some of the earlier reality TV shows like The Real World, MTV's lineup was pretty awesome. It was during this phase where MTV became a pioneer of pop culture that explored serious social issues and launched the careers of icons.
But then came their weird, trashy reality TV phase, which often leaves a bitter taste in your mouth as you watch the worst mothers in Teen Mom mess up their children's lives. Travel back into the past as you read this list, remembering when old-school MTV had some of the best entertainment. Vote up the best MTV shows from back in the day!
- Photo: Daria / MTV
Daria is the slacktivists' champion. She hates everything and everyone, and slashes her way through the world with a sharp tongue and a thick layer of sarcasm. She has real problems that are relatable. Her sister is annoying, she has a crush on her best friend's brother, and high school sucks. It's a sick, sad world, but watching Daria makes it a little more tolerable.
- Actors: Tracy Grandstaff, Wendy Hoopes, Julian Rebolledo, Johh Lynn, Janie Mertz
- Premiered: March 3, 1997
Mike Judge's iconic duo, Beavis and Butthead, sparked the craze for risque adult cartoons. Featuring two "socially incompetent, heavy-metal-loving teenage delinquents," Beavis and Butthead became the ultimate stoner and slacker comedy.
The duo routinely got into juvenile hijinks and were both voiced by Mike Judge.
- Actors: Mike Judge
- Premiered: March 8, 1993
- Photo: Celebrity Deathmatch / MTV
For some reason, claymation became cool again in the early 2000s and Celebrity Deathmatch used the medium to portray pop culture icons killing each other in grotesque ways for sport. It was awesome. The show ran for four seasons and was rebooted in 2006 for another two.
Celebrity Deathmatch was hosted by the fictional Johnny Gomez and his lovable-but-dumb co-host, Nick Diamond. It premiered as an animated short depicting Charles Manson and Marilyn Manson fighting to the death.
- Actors: Maurice Schlafer, Len Maxwell, Mills Lane
- Premiered: January 25, 1998
- Photo: Jackass
"Hi, I'm Johnny Knoxville, and welcome to Jack*ss." Those words are iconic to the MTV generation. Although the series only ran for two seasons, Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, and Steve-O racked up dozens of injuries and stirred up plenty of controversy. Jack*ss was so awesome, it spawned three TV spin-offs, eight feature films, and a video game.
- Actors: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Chris Pontius, Dave England
- Premiered: October 1, 2000
- Photo: Wdwdbot / Wikimedia Commons
TRL was the epitome of awesome in the early 2000's. It premiered in 1998 and subsequently launched Carson Daily's career. It certainly didn't hurt the careers of pop artists like Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and even Eminem.
Every high-schooler on the planet rushed home to catch the top ten videos of the day, which included many different genres like pop, hip-hop, rock, and whatever the hell Tom Green does.
- Premiered: 1999
- Photo: Viacom
The Real World was MTV's first reality TV show. It premiered in 1992 and is MTV's longest-running program. Back in the '90s, it was a socially charged program that pushed the boundaries on topics like sex, race, and religion. Early cast members discussed things like AIDS, politics, and substance abuse.
- Actors: Jamie Chung, Steven Hill, Landon Lueck, Rachel Campos-Duffy, Kevin Powell
- Premiered: May 21, 1992