Club MTV

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Club MTV
Presented by Downtown Julie Brown
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 1245
Production
Location(s) New York City, New York
United States
Release
Original network MTV
Original release September 13, 1985 – June 26, 1992

Club MTV is a half hour television show modeled after American Bandstand that aired on MTV from September 13, 1985 to June 26, 1992.[1] Club MTV was part of MTV's second generation of programming, as the channel was phasing out its original 5 VJs and introducing new ones.

Overview[edit]

Background and format[edit]

Hosted by Downtown Julie Brown (Kevin Seal hosted the pilot) at The Palladium, a large dance club in New York City, the show cut back and forth between teenagers dancing to a hit dance song and the video of that hit. In later shows they would dance exclusively to freestyle music. Often there were musical guests who performed their new singles; such guests included Paula Abdul, Exposé, Jody Watley, Debbie Harry, Vanessa Williams, Sheena Easton, Salt-n-Pepa, MC Hammer, Deee-lite, Pet Shop Boys, E.U., Vanilla Ice, Samantha Fox, Soul II Soul, Black Box, Company B, and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Also some rock groups like The Ramones, Mr. Mister, and INXS also appeared live on the show. The show was taped in a private home once in 1988 with former Go-Go's frontwoman Belinda Carlisle as a musical guest, when a full 24 hours of MTV were broadcast from the home of the "MTV At My House" contest winner. Other shows featured were Remote Control and The Week In Rock.

With the rise in popularity of Freestyle music, Club MTV began using the music nearly exclusively with a few house and hip hop songs thrown in. In 1989, MTV introduced a companion show for Friday nights called Street Party that aired the complete videos of songs used on Club MTV.

Though molded after American Bandstand, the show had a more sophisticated, nightclub look. The women especially, many of them aspiring models, dressed in provocative clubwear—skintight dresses, Spandex pants, miniskirts, fishnet stockings—and the show became known for its sexual allure. In an MTV special broadcast in the fall of 1999 on some of the network's more scandalous moments, Rob Fox, casting director for Club MTV during its first year, argued that "Club MTV was supposed to be a teen dance show, but in a channel run by men it turned into a show that was pretty much 'Table-dance Afternoon.'"

The Club MTV Tour[edit]

Late in 1989, MTV launched their first Club MTV Tour featuring Was (Not Was), Information Society, Paula Abdul, Milli Vanilli and Tone Loc. But the tour was marred with troubles. On the first tour, singer Cathy Dennis who was booked for six weeks suddenly dropped out after three days, publicly accusing one of the members of Milli Vanilli, the tour's headline act, of sexual harassment. In addition Milli Vanilli was permitted by tour promoters to lip sync to pre-recorded tracks. One night a track began to skip midway through the song "Girl You Know It's True" while the show was being taped for broadcast. Later that year when it was revealed that neither Fab Morvan nor Rob Pilatus had performed on their album but the vocals had been recorded by other various studio singers, MTV was suspected of knowing that Milli Vanilli was a fraud all along. Tour promoters countered that lip-syncing was a common practice because of the exhausting dance routines artists did while performing.

During the 1992 tour, several acts dropped out midway through their bookings, forcing MTV to book new acts at the last minute. With most of the Freestyle acts no longer interested in the tour, MTV wound up booking hip hop and rap acts to replace them.


On March 20, 2005, VH1 Classic aired a marathon of old Club MTV episodes with a promise that the show would return in the future.

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