MTV Memories: Jimmy The Cab Driver Gets Ironic (Don’t Cha Think?)

by (@unclegrambo)

When television viewers changed their dials to MTV in the eighties and nineties, the omnipresence of music videos and wildly eclectic original shows weren’t the only way that the network differentiated itself from the competition. During the era on the network that predated its current reality-show-centric slate, the network had a proclivity for interstitial experimentation. Not quite “programming” (at least, in the “traditional” sense of the word) and not quite commercials, MTV often aired short burst entertainment in the form of animated films (think Bill Plympton), proto-animated GIFs (all of those bizarre MTV logo treatments) and outlets for outrageous original characters, like Denis Leary and Jimmy The Cab Driver.

Long before Jimmy Fallon and Rachel Dratch debuted their Boston Teens characters on SNL, actor Donal Logue brought his comically exaggerated Southie accent and unique perspectives on the music video medium to MTV’s airwaves. There were over 40 of these spots produced, most of which can be found in this Jimmy The Cab Driver playlist. However, the one we picked out show’s Jimmy parodying Alanis Morisette‘s iconic video for “Ironic” (which, we should note, won the VMA in 1996 for Best Female Video), mainly because the image of Jimmy in pigtails is now permanently stuck in our brain, and we feel it’s only fair if we stick it in yours, too.

You can catch highlights from the early days of MTV during this, the 30th anniversary of the channel’s launch, all weekend long on VH1 Classic.

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MTV Memories: Jim Shearer Shares His Three Favorite Moments In MTV History

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Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer?s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the Top 20 countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Were it not for MTV I can guarantee you that I wouldn?t be holding a microphone in my hand every Saturday morning on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown. Prior to the Internet, and before I was able to find my way to hole-in-the-wall record stores, MTV was my primary music source?well, I should say it became my primary source of music, when my religiously firm parents eased up on their secular restrictions and let me watch regularly.

Anyway, here are my three favorite MTV moments:

1.) Watching ?So What?cha Want?? For the Very First Time
It?s a well-known fact that I might be slightly obsessed with the Beastie Boys. The fascination began when I came home from school one afternoon in 1992, turned on MTV, and saw their video for ?So What?cha Want?? That?s the day I became a full-fledged fanatic. Twelve years later?in a pinch-me-if-I?m-dreaming moment?I got to host a live special on MTV where I introduced the Beastie Boys? performance of this very song.

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Behind The Music Sneak Peek: Enrique Iglesias’s “Crazy” U.S. Success Leads to Equally “Nuts” Female-Fan Response

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We got pretty excited about Adam Lambert‘s episode of Behind The Music (airing Sunday, August 7) when we unveiled the sneak peek yesterday (so excited, in fact, that we were briefly convinced that it premiered this week). But after seeing the preview of the episode that does premiere on Sunday, July 31, at 10PM ET/PT?Behind the Music: Enrique Iglesias?we’re more than willing to wait.

In this sneak peek that we shared exclusively with EW’s Music Mix, Enrique Iglesias recalls the overnight celebrity (especially among women) that accompanied the year following the release of his eponymous debut in November 1995. The record sold over nearly two million copies in the United States alone, going platinum faster even than Selena‘s Amor Prohibido. In both new and archival interviews, Iglesias discusses the magnitude and intensity of female attention that attended his newfound fame. (“Before I was a singer, I was getting dumped all the time,” he recalled in 1999.)

Others speak more frankly. Andres Restrepo, who toured with Iglesias during this period, characterized exactly how wild the mobs of female fans, hanging out of cars going upwards of fifty miles an hour, could be: “I felt like I was on a safari in Africa, getting attacked by all these lions and stuff!”

Don’t miss the premiere of Behind the Music: Enrique Iglesias Sunday, July 31, at 10PM ET/PT.

Enrique Iglesias on ‘Behind the Music’: His meteoric rise to stardom — EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW VIDEO [Music Mix]

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Tinie Tempah And Hot Chelle Rae Kick Off Pass The Bowl At VH1

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We have a lot of artists stopping by our office at VH1 to chat and perform, and we often ask them questions we think you’ll want to hear. But with the debut of our new Pass the Bowl feature, we’re flipping this dynamic by letting the artists themselves do the asking. For each edition of Pass the Bowl, an artist will answer a question and then replenish the bowl with another.

First up was Tinie Tempah, the UK rapper who landed on our Song of the Summer countdown for his hit single “Written In The Stars.”?As his name suggests, Tinie has a sense of humor, and he showed it off when leaving his question: “Have you ever farted whilst having sex?” Nashvilled-based pop act Hot Chelle Rae, which also has a summer hit with its single “Tonight Tonight,” left a zinger as well: “If you could punch one celeb in the face… who would it be?”

We can’t wait to hear how these questions are answered. Stay tuned.

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Check Out Single Ladies Star Anthony Montgomery’s Rap Video And Hear Him Out As He Defends Darryl’s Cruelty

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Get More: Single Ladies, Christina Carter, Keisha Greene, Valerie Stokes

To Single Ladies fans, Anthony Montgomery is a hated man. The actor plays the cold and calculating Darryl Jenkins, soon-to-be ex of April, a certified “nice guy” right up until he found out about April’s cheating ways. But the real Anthony Montgomery is nothing like Darryl, as I learned when we chatted the other day. Instead, he is chatty and playful and surprisingly funny. Another big surprise? The man has a rap career. Check out the video for his single, “Stimulation,” above, which will be featured on Monday’s episode of Single Ladies, and follow him on Twitter (@AMontgomery5) to stay informed about what he’s up to. (His goal is to hit one million followers, so let’s make this happen!)

For our full interview with the man everyone loves to hate, read on.

It’s so crazy to talk to you and not hear this mean, cold voice on the other end of the line!

[Laughs] Okay, look. Liz. Look. Darryl is a bit hurt. That’s all I can say. He is hurt. And instead of sitting there crying in a corner, he’s acting out.

Darryl just seems like such a stretch for you, you are nothing like him at all.

I am not! We all have aspects of him somewhere in us, but I make every realistic effort to not be that guy. It’s also because of the roles that I’ve played in my career, I’m always the nice guy, I’m always Darryl from the pilot, and every role I’ve played in Hollywood in the fifteen years I’ve been out here, I’ve always been the nice guy, the best friend, the “Why can’t every guy be like you?” guy, so for me, getting to play a role like this where I get to show a different tier to my acting abilities, it’s a thrill for me. I’ve got a throng of women across the country who love to hate me right now, it’s pretty funny. “Why are you being so mean to her?” And I’m like, she cheated with the Mayor! What are you talking about? Is everyone forgetting that?
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MTV Memories: Fab 5 Freddy Discovers Email, Promises To “Put Some Funk In Cyberspace”

by (@unclegrambo)

Where were you when you first discovered email? We sincerely hope that the first time you learned of the existence of this newfangled thing called “electronic mail” while watching YO! MTV Raps back in 1994. While scouring the archives for our celebration of MTV’s 30th Anniversary, we stumbled upon this clip of YO! host Fab 5 Freddy waxing poetic on the virtues of modems, the information superhighway, and “computer flavor.” Not only does he explain what email is and how to use it, but he throws props to some of the hip hop world’s early adopters of this then-futuristic technology (including A Tribe Called Quest, The Native Tongue Crew, and KRS-One). And if all else fails, we have your next catchphrase for you to impress your friends with: “I’m outta here, like computers from the ’60s.”

You can catch highlights from the early days of MTV during this, the 30th anniversary of the channel’s launch, all weekend long on VH1 Classic.

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Last Lap: Thursday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

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Rumor Alert: Diddy And J. Lo Are Back Together
“We’d be thrilled if J.Lo kicked Marc Anthony to the curb to reunite with Puff, and we suspect he’d be into it too,” Kate Spencer wrote last month for our sister site The Fab Life, ranking the duo #7 on the site’s list of “35 Celebrity Couples We Wish Would Get Back Together” (McAdams/Gosling was #1, so as far as we’re concerned, that list was extremely scientific.) Now that Lopez has broken ties with Marc Anthony, another of our sister sites, BET.com, is citing unnamed sources claiming that Diddy and Jennifer Lopez are in fact dating again. Our desire to witness the reunion of Fly Girl #1 and the original Bad Boy is currently slightly outweighed by our skepticism, but we’re actively hoping for more evidence. [BET]

Frank Ocean Posts New Song “Thinking About You” On Tumblr, Then Takes It Down
Frank Ocean must have forgotten that the Internet is forever. Luckily for him (and for us), the song is really great. [Rap Radar]

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Rihanna Tells Glamour That She, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyonc?, And Ke$ha Are “Dominating Music Right Now”

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2009 Glamour Woman of the Year Rihanna returns to the magazine’s cover for Glamour‘s September 2011 issue?and she’s got plenty to say about today’s pop landscape, judging by the pullquotes that accompany the photo gallery on the magazine’s website. “There?s a pack. It?s me, Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyonc??who else? Ke$ha, for sure. Women are definitely dominating music right now, and that?s because we are competitive beings. I feel like music hasn?t been this exciting in a while.” She’s certainly not wrong about the female domination of pop, and aside from Britney, who guested on Rihanna’s “S&M” remix (and whom we’re sure Rihanna already regrets not mentioning), and Adele (who stands apart from the “pack” Rihanna describes) she pretty much has the usual suspects nailed down.

Speaking of “S&M,” Rihanna is also far enough in her career to speak to concerns of representation (particularly of sexuality) in public. “I want to set the right example and, at the same time, live my life,” she tells the magazine, possibly punning on “Live Your Life,” the T.I. song for which she provides the hook. “Pop stars can?t be rock stars anymore because they have to be role models, and it takes the fun out of it for us, because we just want to have fun with art.” And with fans, as our meet-and-gropegreet gallery illustrates. Clearly these playful interactions are just a small part of the ways in which Rihanna enjoys (and tests) the freedoms she enjoys at this stage in her life and career. Things weren’t always so carefree. She explains to Glamour: “In the beginning of my career, it was really strict for me. I couldn?t wear pink or red lipstick; it was just bizarre. We had a young fan base, and they were trying to keep me fresh. But I just really wanted to be myself. I wanted to be sassy, the attitude, all these things that I am.” Even now, a mild uproar over the not-actually-that-scandalous imagery in the video for “S&M” caused a bit of controversy for the artist, who felt that her expression was still being censored. (The copyright-infringement lawsuit brought by David LaChappelle is another matter entirely, and we don’t anticipate that she opened up to Glamour about that.)

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Exclusive: Estelle, Big Sean, And Gavin Rossdale Remember Amy Winehouse, As Fans

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VH1 News caught up with Estelle and Big Sean at the mostly drama-free Here I Am launch party, and the discussion turned to the late Amy Winehouse, whom Estelle knew from the London club circuit. (She’d told Sway, “I cried for about two days,” when she appeared on his Shade 45 morning show earlier that day.)

“She sang from her soul,” Estelle told VH1 News, as Big Sean looked on. She recalled first hearing “F?k Me Pumps,” from Winehouse’s debut Frank: “I’m sitting there, like, ‘I know girls like that! I know every one of ‘em girls! We rave with them every week!’” Clearly, even though the two singers came up together, Estelle admired her late friend’s lyrical talents. “It’s hard as an artist to be that clear and that clean in your message and what you’re talking about,” she said. “[Amy Winehouse] was the only one I knew who could do that, and just speak it.” The real revelation of the interview, though, is the new level of appreciation that Big Sean develops for Winehouse as Estelle speaks. “Wow! That’s crazy! I didn’t know it was like that,” he said, admiringly, adding, “I didn’t personally know her. That’s real, man. She sounded like a real G. No, seriously!” (Anyone who needs a reminder of her realness need only watch her shocked gratitude at winning the Grammy for Record of the Year. WARNING: That video nearly made us cry at work?and we watched the ceremony live.)
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For OK Go, Making Another Viral Video Is No Small Feat

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For some reason, it’s a power-pop band’s lot in life to be underrated and undernoticed?a fact that’s been true at least since the sixties, when entire life cycles of under-the-radar garage-rock bands went by before Lenny Kaye compiled their hits into the first Nuggets collection. It’s no less true now. To be successful as a power-pop band, you need something extra. For Fountains of Wayne, it was a catchy gag-single (“Stacey’s Mom”) plus financing from Adam Schlesinger‘s side-hustle as a commercial composer. For Sloan, it’s been Canadian arts-socialism (via FACTOR).

OK Go‘s angle, starting with the mega-success of the video for “Here It Goes Again,” has been eye-catching visuals. This has led to the unusual challenge of outdoing the last video with the next one, most successfully with last year’s Rube Goldberg video “This Too Shall Pass.” Their antics have even inspired other artists like Death Cab for Cutie to shoot art-gimmick videos, even as OK Go’s own sound has drifted more towards the indie-guitar-pop of those same bands.

Their latest eye-catching clip, for “All Is Not Lost,” features the band?accompanied by the Pilobolus Dance Company?contorting themselves on a transparent surface, through which the video is shot. In the clip, viewable above, the band and dancers spell out some of the lyrics with their feet.

At the interactive site allisnotlo.st, you can enter your own message, and the dancers walk across the screen and spell it out (even if your message is explicit?so teenagers and teenage-minded adults, have fun spelling out OK Go foot obscenities).

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