For the purposes of this post, I feel I must divulge that I have watched a whole hell of a lot of MTV in my lifetime. Notice my careful wording -- watched. I honestly cannot watch MTV nowadays -- I'm not a 16-year-old who listens to Top 40 while waiting for the latest episode of Awkward to air.
5. The Andy Dick Show -- "Bob Gunderson: Endangered Species Ejaculation Facilitator"
Yeah, I know the reputation Andy Dick has nowadays. I know he's battled many a demon, especially considering his admitted drug use and his involvement with his friend David Strickland the night Strickland committed suicide in a Vegas hotel room. Having said that, I think Dick is a very funny, very talented person. Most of his 2001 MTV series The Andy Dick show is hilarious, with bits ranging from Daphne Aguilera, Pee Bop the Clown and Rod Crandall: Midget Wrangler. It's this ever-so mature Endangered Species Ejaculation Facilitator bit that makes me laugh the most. Oh the shit they used to get away with on television.
4. Beavis & Butthead -- "Live -- 'I Alone'"
What can you say about Beavis & Butthead that hasn't already been said? I watched this cartoon like it was my job when it first aired. I was pleased to see it was streaming on Netflix, but upon further investigation, they left out the best part of the cartoon itself -- when Beavis and Butthead would riff on the music videos of the day. This example of the pair ripping on the Live video for "I Alone" is perhaps their finest hour. "I like what I see...I'll be right over."
3. Jackass -- Blind Driver
If there is one thing I will never grow tired of, it's watching Jackass. Hyperbole aside, when the show first aired in 2000, it was like nothing I had ever seen -- I was instantly hooked, as I assume a lot of other teenage boys were, as well. Picking just one skit of their skits wasn't an easy task, but the Blind Driver bit they pulled still resonates with me to this day.
Perhaps it was because they filmed it in my hometown of Portland, Oregon -- at an intersection about five minutes from where I grew up -- or perhaps it's just the look of utter shock and chaos on the bystanders' faces. Whatever it was, I couldn't believe what I was watching -- thus making it all the more enjoyable and memorable.
2. Vanilla Ice visits the set of 25 Lame
I think the 1999 MTV special 25 Lame -- where Janeane Garofolo, Chris Kattan, Denis Leary and Jon Stewart counted down the 25 "lamest" videos, as voted on by the viewers, -- is one of the single funniest things the network has ever done.
The subsequent riffing and bashing of the "lame" videos by the four comedians is something I still remember to this day. The top ten videos were to be physically destroyed -- with a blender, a lighter or even a baseball bat -- never again to be watched on MTV. It wasn't until a special guest by the name of Rob "Vanilla Ice" Van Winkle visited the set to watch the #9 video -- his own 1990 classic "Ice Ice Baby" -- that things truly got out of hand.
Upon finishing the video, Rob went into an instant fury, thrashing the video and most everything else on the set with that aforementioned baseball bat. When Chris Kattan laments "No, Vanilla!," I can't help but laugh.
1. The State -- "240 Dollars Worth of Pudding"
"We had the $240..." "We had to have the pudding." What began as a comedy group at NYU in the late 1980s evolved into the single funniest show to ever air on MTV. The cast of The State are responsible for countless movies and TV shows -- Reno 911!, Night at the Museum, Role Models, Stella and Wet Hot American Summer, arguably their finest work.
It all began, however, with The State and its many, ingenious premises, including a college orientation lead by people with scotch tape on their faces, a mailman who puts tacos in your mailbox and a boy who always leaves the door open because he was, in fact, raised in a barn. As well, The State produced many memorable characters -- Doug, Louie, Captain Monterey Jack and Barry and Levon. It's with Barry and Levon that we are provided with the memorable "240 Dollars Worth of Pudding" skit -- a skit as funny as it is nonsensical.
It's that absurdist humor that endeared The State to many, myself included (rather fervently, if you couldn't tell) -- helping skew my own sense of humor towards more subversive fare.