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.