10 Top MTV Veejays From The '80s and '90s -- You Won't Believe What They Look Like Now! (PHOTOS)

Nanci Theoret | Oct 15, 2015 TV

The debut of MTV in 1981 not only gave music fans with cable TV the chance to hear and see their favorite bands, it also launched a new TV genre and job description – that of the veejay or video jockey tasked with introducing videos and interviewing music’s top talent. Hey, it was a tough job, but somebody had to interview Jon Bon Jovi. 

MTV went on to launch many veejay careers as it broadened its repertoire to include game shows and the original reality TV show, The Real World. Click through to find out what many of your favorite veejays from the '80s and '90s have been up to since they signed off from the video music airwaves.   

 

Images @ Corbis; Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

  • Jon Stewart — Then

    1

    Stewart got his start on MTV as the host of The Jon Stewart Show, which aired late at night in 1993. Although popular on MTV with high ratings, an expanded format from 30 to 60 minutes and syndication the next year proved unsuccessful. Stewart was out of a job in 1995.

  • Jon Stewart — Now

    2

    After leaving MTV, Stewart bounced around, landing minor TV and film roles before being tapped to replace Craig Kilborn in 1999 on The Daily Show, Comedy Central’s satire news show that also launched the careers of Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert. Stewart stepped down in August 2015 after more than 16 years. 

  • Downtown Julie Brown — Then

    3

    The London-born Brown was hosting the European Music Channel's Music Box when she auditioned for MTV in 1986 and was offered a veejay spot that day. A correspondent for MTV News, she also hosted Club MTV, the channel’s dance music show at the Palladium in NYC. Known for her trademark, “wubba, wubba, wubba,” she later told Oprah Winfrey she loved the gig, which required no script, just instructions she talk about the music she liked — and didn’t like.

  • Downtown Julie Brown — Now

    4

    After leaving MTV in the early 1990s, Brown posed for Playboy in 1998, interviewed pro football stars for ESPN, and landed a gossip show on E! Entertainment. She also appeared on the British version of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here! and in 2001 married producer Martin Schuermann.

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  • Kennedy — Then

    5

    The bespectacled Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, a veejay from 1992 to 1996, is often referred to as the most disliked MTV personality because of her — gasp — conservative political views. But the free-thinking woman with a pink elephant tattoo was also the host of Alternative Nation, a show that introduced the world to groups like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam.

  • Kennedy — Now

    6

    Since her departure from MTV, Kennedy hosted programs on the Game Show Network and Fox Reality’s Reality Remix. Leaning more towards the Libertarian camp these days, she now has her own show, Kennedy, on Fox Business Network.

  • Kurt Loder — Then

    7

    The Jersey-born Loder brought journalism cred to MTV News in 1988 after years in the rock and roll trenches as editor of Circus Magazine and Rolling Stone. His one-minute hourly segments and news specials kept a generation informed. He’s probably most remembered for breaking the news of Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994.

  • Kurt Loder — Now

    8

    Loder, who turned 70 this year(!), is a film critic, author, and columnist and has appeared in bit roles in several movies and TV shows. He is a member of the nominating committee for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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  • La La Vázquez — Then

    9

    The Brooklyn-born Alani Nicole “La La” Vázquez was just 15 when she began a career in radio in Atlanta and was soon cast in the popular Future Flavas with Ludacris. Despite her lack of on-air experience, the then 21-year-old joined MTV in 2001, co-hosting Direct
    Effect
    and Total Request Live, and interviewing Brad Pitt, Will Smith, and Tom Cruise.

  • La La Anthony — Now

    10

    In 2010, Vázquez married NBA player Carmelo Anthony and filmed VH-1’s reality show La La’s Full Court Wedding. The show morphed into La La's Full Court Life. She’s also developed a fashion line, penned The Love Playbook, and starred in 2014’s Think Like a Man Too and this year’s November Rule and Destined.

  • Daisy Fuentes — Then

    11

    MTV’s first Latina veejay was the Spanish host for MTV Internacional when she was tapped by the American network in 1993. She introduced MTV’s House of Style, a fashion and modeling series, and appeared in bikinis for spokes modeling contracts and TV roles. 

  • Daisy Fuentes — Now

    12

    Today, Fuentes continues to model for Revlon and Pantene and has introduced a clothing collection and six fragrances for Kohl’s department stores. She also produced Nintendo Wii's Daisy Fuentes Pilates workout game.

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  • Carson Daly — Then

    13

    Girls gushed when MTV hired Daly in 1997 to launch Total Request Live, a live countdown of the day’s top viewer-voted videos with celebrity interviews. He hosted the gig for five years. 

  • Carson Daly — Now

    14

    Still as handsome as he was 18 years ago, Daly, now 42, left TRL in 2002 for his own show on NBC, Last Call with Carson Daly. He’s busier than ever, also hosting The Voice and New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly and is the social media correspondent for Today. Daly has three children with fiancée Siri Pinter.

  • Carmen Electra — Then

    15

    The schoolmate of boy-bander Nick Lachey at the Cincinnati School of Creative and Performing Arts replaced Jenny McCarthy on MTV’s 1990s dating game, Singled Out, and donned a bikini for the channel’s spring break coverage. The four-time Playboy model and three-time cover girl married NBAer Dennis Rodman in 1998 during a quickie Vegas wedding. Rodman filed for an annulment nine days later and the couple split permanently in April 1999. MTV also documented Electra’s relationship and 2003 marriage to Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro in Til Death Do Us Part. Their divorce was finalized in 2007.

  • Carmen Electra — Now

    16

    Not one to take herself too seriously, Electra, now 43, has appeared in several parody movies, including Date Movie, Scary Movie, Epic Movie, and Disaster Movie (Hmmm there seems to be a pattern here). Her most recent venture is the 2014 single,  “Around the World.” 

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  • Karen Duffy — Then

    17

    The model, known simply as "Duff," joined the MTV cast in the early 1990s, quickly becoming one of the more popular faces of the next-gen veejay. She left after only a few years following a 1995 diagnosis of sarcoidosis, a rare and painful chronic inflammatory disease.

  • Karen Duffy — Now

    18

    In 2000 Duff penned the New York Times’ bestseller Model Patient: My Life as an Incurable Wise Ass, chronicling her battle with the lifelong disease. She models for Revlon and wrote a “Life & Style” column for the New York Daily News. Now 53, Duff married husband John Lambros in 1997 and the couple welcomed a son born by surrogate in 2003.

  • Martha Quinn — Then

    19

    Voted by Rolling Stone readers as MTV’s best veejay ever, the bubbly girl-next-door was one of the fab five who launched the music video channel, tapped at 20 while a broadcasting major and radio DJ at New York University. She counts Bob Dylan and David Lee Roth among her favorite interviews.

  • Martha Quinn — Now

    20

    After five years as the face of MTV, the network refused to renew Quinn’s contract in 1986. She did guest spots for three years, was rehired briefly then released again in 1992. Quinn co-hosted Star Search with Ed McMahon. Now 56, Quinn is married to Jason Tarlow, has two children, and lives in Malibu.

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