5 MTV Shows of Yore That We Want Back Like Crack

So, already there’s been a lot of hype and buzz in response to the US version of Skins that premiered on MTV last night. Some has been positive…the rest? Well, not so much.

But see, this is weird for me, because when I was a teenager, MTV had original series that were actually really, really good. And I don’t mean reality TV Real World-Road Rules stuff. I mean legitimately entertaining original television shows.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a little proof:


Before the kids from South Park uttered their first censored F-word, Beavis and Butthead were playing frog baseball, shoving tampons up their noses, mocking music videos and, of course, getting hopped up on caffeine and demanding tp for their bungholes.

THE LEGACY: You can see it pretty much everywhere. Bevis and Butthead helped to usher in the popularity of raunchy animation that we now see in Family Guy, The Cleveland Show and pretty much everything on Adult Swim. Also, the creator of Bevis and Butthead went on to do King of the Hill and a spinoff program…


The Queen of the Deadpan One Liner and the poster child for smart girl social outcasts everywhere. Daria somehow survived the same horrors a lot of us did in high school: stupidity, selfishness, egomania and fame-seeking…and that was just from her teachers. Her knowledge enlightens us to this day.

DariaMTV Shows

THE LEGACY: Trust me. There are still more than a handful of girls who grew up in the 90’s who identify with a pair of thick glasses, thick boots and thick sarcasm.


A sketch comedy show that ran for three seasons, The State was actually the name of the comedy troupe that wrote and starred in the show. It’s noteworthy because it was a show that made fun of MTV and MTV culture BEFORE doing so was cool…and while being shown on the network. Hell, when MTV demanded they create a character with a memorable catch phrase in order to better market the show, The State responded with “Louie, the Guy Who Comes in and Says His Catchphrase Over and Over Again!” His catchphrase?

THE LEGACY: While The State itself remains more of a cult-hit, members of the cast went on to create Viva Variety (that was actually a spinoff of a bit from The State) and Reno 911, both of which aired on Comedy Central. And odds are, you’ve seen members of The State in other things and haven’t realized it….like Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney and Ken Marino.


What began as a series of shorts for MTV’s Liquid Television became a half hour animated series. Peter Chung’s visionary series combined a unique art style with surreal plot lines and created one of the best animated series ever. Aeon Flux followed the adventures of a woman in a post-Apocalyptic world where she might have been a hero, a villain, both or neither. And continuity was a foreign concept.

THE LEGACY: We won’t talk about the movie. We won’t. WE WON’T.


Stoned sockpuppets who hosted a TV show along with their spacey friend Chester (who keeps cereal in his pockets. For the ladies) and sometimes hocked items for Precious Roy’s Home Shopping Network. You ever wanted Chicken Flavored Air Conditioning? Because you have some serious ass Chicken Flavored Air Conditioning problems. Just don’t let their landlord know. And keep Chester away from the bubbles.

THE LEGACY: Odds are you’ve heard the song “United States of Whatever” on a commercial of some sort, the song originally appeared on Sifl and Olly. Also, their song about ninjas made the rounds as a meme at one point.

So there you go. Proof that, once upon a time, there was stuff on MTV that wasn’t music videos but was totally worth watching. You can still find this stuff out there, on DVD, Netflix streaming, YouTube and other sites. So if you’re unfamiliar, seek it out. And understand why the current MTV makes me cry giant tears of shame.