I watched the MTV awards last week and like every other old person watching it was left wondering, “I don’t get it”. It’s not like in the 80’s when it was relevant and spoke to me. And who is this Kevin Hart guy hosting the show and why is he doing a Nicholas Fehn impersonation by doing a setup but not telling actual jokes? Well as it turns out and thanks to YouTube, I was able to go back to the first MTV awards in 1984. Without looking it up, can you name who hosted it? Someone cutting edge like Eddie Murphy (He hosted in 1985) or Sam Kinison? Nope. Maybe Tom Hanks from Bachelor Party or Kevin Bacon from Footloose. Nope. It was Dan Aykroyd, which makes sense coming off of Ghostbusters and they paired him with Bette Midler, coming fresh off of the 1982 movie Jinxed. The teenage kids couldn’t wait for this dynamic duo and this is what we got.
It got a little more cutting edge in 1985 with Eddie Murphy hosting, however for some reason MTV put him in a Bill Cosby sweater. RUN-DMC was on the show, yet they didn’t get to play one of their songs instead they got to do a rap regarding the voting rules for the awards (can you imagine Jay-Z agreeing to do this?). This show was geared to an older generation still trying to understand music videos and MTV. I don’t think MTV figured out that they needed to ditch anyone over 30 until a few years later. Still Eddie is very funny flirting with Tina Turner and introducing Morris Day and Glenn Frey to everyone. Here’s a clip.
I do admit that the awards were more fun before everyone figured out there was huge money to be made for selling their projects on these shows and everyone was a lot less professional. Here’s a fun one I found of Madonna in 1986 accepting an award before she found her British accent. I like the fact that they have to put her name under her while she’s speaking so we know who she is.
It is fun to look back but that time has gone and just keep in mind what a wise man once sang back in the 80’s “same as it ever was”.