Oral history of Daria, the fantastic 1990s animated series

First aired in 1994 as a Beavis and Butt-Head spinoff, Daria was a fantastic animated series about a whip-smart, sardonic, misanthropic highschool girl, her punk friend Jane, and a familiar gang of jocks, dimwits, and cool cats. Daria, the show and the character, was funny, feminist, emo, and awesome. La la la la la. Vice has an oral history of Daria:

Daria was put together by Harvard-educated Lampoon alum Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis, who spent her days at Temple University doodling MTV logos on notebooks until a classmate suggested she get an internship at the network. His book smarts combined with her street smarts and pop culture knowledge, in a dynamic not dissimilar to that of Daria and her best friend, Jane Lane. They made their project work without a singular creative mastermind like (Beavis and Butt-Head creator Mike) Judge, who wanted nothing to do with the spin-off and was on his way out the door to bigger (and much more lucrative projects) with Fox anyway.

Daria ended up being the longest-running show to come out of MTV's Animation department, surpassing even Beavis and other cultural touchstones like Celebrity Deathmatch...

David Felton, Beavis and Butt-Head writer and creator of the character Daria Morgendorffer): In my script, Daria was ordered to work with Beavis and Butt-Head on a science experiment because their project was a disaster. It seemed like it would be interesting if they had someone to back them up who was a female, but not a sexual object. They certainly didn't think of her in sexual terms—they'd ask her about sexual things, but they called her "Diarrhea" instead of "Daria."

Tracy Grandstaff, voice of Daria Morgendorffer: I was the only female writer on the Beavis staff at the time, so I was the default choice [for Daria].

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Hello Dad, I'm in Jail

Enjoy the delightful music video for the Was (Not Was) song "Hello Dad, I'm in Jail" (1987), directed by Christoph Simon. This clip was a favorite of many viewers of Liquid Television, MTV's fantastic animation showcase produced in the early 1990s by Boing Boing's pals at Colossal Pictures. (Thanks, UPSO!)

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Things I Miss: When MTV was cool

On August 1st, 1981 the world changed and MTV launched. With a bunch of unprofessional VJs who could sometimes barely cue up tapes MTV went through a lot of growth and changes, from Yo! MTV Raps to Beavis and Butthead, there was a time MTV spoke to me.

I'll never forget the Remote Control theme either. MTV lost me as soon as the reality tv stuff started...

They also knew how to run a Presidential campaign.

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Find Slack in this SubGenius TV commercial from MTV (1991)

In 1991, MTV, back when it was edgy and relevant, commissioned Rev. Ivan Stang of The Church of the SubGenius -- the religion, disguised as a joke (or is it a joke disguised as a religion?) -- to make a television spot as part of the network's fantastic Art Break series of short films.

"Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO did the music and the miniatures and masks were created by the late St. Joe Riley," Stang writes.

Above is that video. Below is a documentary that Stang edited into a souvenir for the cast and crew. Praise Bob! (Thanks, UPSO!)

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Jill Sobule's "I Kissed a Girl": Happy 20th anniversary!

Happy birthday to singer/songwriter Jill Sobule, and happy 20th anniversary to her 1995 indie hit "I Kissed a Girl." It was edgy enough at the time to play on MTV's 120 Minutes.

Though the song title is associated with the Katy Perry song of the same title at this point, 90s adults will get this. Perry was still in elementary school when Sobule shook things up with her non-binary anthem, which helped pave the way for so much of the women-centric folk and roots music of the 1990s, from Lilith Fair and beyond. It's the birthday gift that keeps giving!

I Kissed a Girl (1995)

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Rebel Wilson will host the next MTV Movie Awards

Whatever you might think of MTV or movies, you can at least count on the MTV Movie Awards to be a pretty fun affair. And the next one will be hosted by the fantastic Rebel Wilson, so there's even more reason to tune in to MTV for the first time in, what, twenty years? The MTV Movie Awards will air Sunday, April 14. (via VH1 Celebrity) Read the rest

Why doesn't MTV play music videos anymore?

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MTV is making an hour-long "found footage" show inspired by Paranormal Activity

MTV is apparently developing a new series called The Experiment that will be shot in the style of The Blair Witch Project and the Paranormal Activity franchise, incorporating the scary, creepy element of found footage. I'd turn my nose up at this idea if I didn't think it was so groovy -- if it was executed well.

For those of you keeping score, NBC will attempt to revive the '90s through sitcoms, MTV will do it with horror. Advantage: MTV. I never thought that would happen. Read the rest