Top moments in MTV history
Here's a look at some of MTV's most memorable moments.
Aug. 1, 1981 MTV launches with the premiere of The Buggles' “Video Killed the Radio Star.” The first hour also featured videos from Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, The Who, The Pretenders, Styx, and .38 Special.
Dec. 2, 1983 Michael Jackson's "Thriller" premieres. The 14-minute video was the perfect combo of killer beasts and killer beats. Jackson was the first African-American artist to be consistently featured on MTV.
Sept. 14, 1984 The first MTV Video Music Awards. The show, hosted by Bette Midler and Dan Aykroyd, featured this memorable Madonna performance of "Like a Virgin." Never has another star rocked a wedding dress quite like she did.
Feb. 2, 1992 Then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton sits down as part of MTV's Choose or Lose campaign. The campaign was dedicated to encouraging young people to vote and making politics just a little more bearable.
May 21, 1992 "The Real World" premieres. The synopsis? Make seven strangers live together and see what happens. What happened was reality gold. The show has gone on to have 25 seasons.
Sept. 14, 1998 "TRL" (Total Request Live) premieres. This top 10 video countdown had teens either glued to the TV screen or going bananas outside the Times Square studio, hoping for a glimpse of that day's celebrity guest. "TRL" was cancelled and had its last countdown in 2008.
Dec. 3, 2009 "Jersey Shore" premieres. Love 'em or hate 'em, these fist-pumping castmates made their way onto TV screens and became one of MTV's most notable reality shows. The gang returns Aug. 4 for season four when they bring the shore to Italy.