Happy Birthday MTV!
On this day in 1981 that little man walked on the moon and BOOM! MTV was launched introducing us to the concept of music television and the VJ.
Here’s a few things we might not have today had it not been for MTV:
- Reality Television: Jon Murray and the late Mary Ellis Bunim brought us “the true story… of seven strangers… picked to live in a house…work together and have their lives taped… to find out what happens… when people stop being polite… and start getting real…” otherwise known as, The Real World. Theresa Guidice and Kendra Wilkinson pay homage – you might not have a career if it weren’t for Kevin Powell and his roommates.
- Mainstream Alternative Artists: By placing alternative rock acts on a national television channel, MTV made music styles that were typically only consumed by a segment of the population and not heard on radios available to wider audiences. This lead to record stores carrying albums from different artists instead of only the typical pop acts. Today artists like Lil’ Wayne and events like Coachella might’ve never seen the attention they get from mainstream artists if MTV didn’t make it cool to be “different”.
- Wardrobe Malfunctions: Live TV hasn’t been the same since Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake had their little mishap during the MTV produced halftime show at the 2004 Superbowl. Nowadays all live shows have delays of a few seconds to prevent airing any indecent content. We’ve also introduced the term “wardrobe malfunction” into our everyday vocabulary for everything from a torn skirt to a Timberlake/Jackson-style nip slip.