This Weekend, VH1 Classic Celebrates 30 Years of MTV


Umm, is that a gray hair?! Starting this Saturday at 6 a.m., VH1 Classic will be airing “MTV30 On VH1 Classic,” a three day tribute to MTV’s 30th anniversary of being launched into the homes of millions of people worldwide.

“VH1 Classic viewers grew up with MTV, turning the ‘I Want My MTV’ slogan into a battle cry for a generation,” said Tom Calderone, President of VH1 and VH1 Classic. “That generation has grown up to become viewers of VH1 Classic, which is the perfect place to relive many of MTV’s iconic moments that helped shaped music and pop culture around the world.” Similarly to the clip above, this weekend-long ovation seeks to awaken viewers’ fond memories of a the iconic channel’s best programming.

Not only will the “MTV30 On VH1 Classic” marathon showcase classic moments from MTV News, The MTV Movie Awards, the VMAs and Live Aid, but unforgettable VJ segments from the original MTV VJ’s and clips from hit MTV series will also be potpourried together for all to bask in their nostalgic glory. Favorites like Remote Control, YO! MTV Raps, Beavis and Butt-Head, Headbangers Ball, The Real World, Liquid TV, Club MTV and more will be paired with original promos and contests from the channel’s early years, and Sunday night at midnight, the original first hour of MTV’s debut will air, all on VH1 Classic.

If you’re eager for more content, for will continue the party with archive playlists, interviews, and much, much more. So before they blow out the candles on August 1st, set your DVRs and gather around to help us sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY to MTV, this Saturday, July 30th at 6 a.m. ET/PT.

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  1. Ashley says:

    Mtv’s b-day is Fryday

  2. Ashley says:

    I meant MTV is bout 2 make 30 years old

  3. rose sigman says:

    Play Classic MTV like Lucy. I want my MTV forever!

  4. RUSH says:


  5. rose d sigman says:

    It’s 2:40 Phoenix time. VH1 is NOT running old MTV. Nor were there videos at lPM. What a fraud!

  6. Scootah says:

    ^That’s because it is on VH1 CLASSIC, not regular vh1.

  7. Hayley Gilmore says:

    I’ve been watching this weekends programming for the MTV30 celebration, and it has been nothing like I expected. There’s only programs from the late 80′s and later. Who’s programming this a 12yr. old? Isn’t their someone who was there that August night when they launched MTV? I sure was. It was the most exciting experience, to see Rock n Roll come to life right before your eyes. It was breathtaking. I mean to see alot of my favorite artist and to learn about many more was the best part. Why haven’t we seen anything related to that or the early years of the groundbreaking entertainment that is MTV? I just saying. Lets hope that the programming gets better we have the rest of today and tomorrow to get it together. Hey, maybe you can let someone like Mark Goodman program from now on.

    Hayley G.
    Chicago, Illinois

  8. SiriusRushFan says:

    Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Allen Hunter, and Mark Goodman are still on the air today, except now they are DJ’s for the 80′s channel on SiriusXM Radio. They are celebrating the 30th anniversary of MTV tomorrow on the air with a big special. They still rock! SiriusXM Radio! Ya baby!

  9. Stacy says:

    i was almost 9 years old when Mtv first came out, wow now i feel old, lol!

  10. Thomas says:

    When is Beavis and Butthead going to air?

  11. Ed says:

    I want my MTV The way it was when it first came on the air. Thats when mtv was 95% music and 5% commercials.

  12. Hello! As a part of the generation of Mtv’s very first wave of viewers (or original viewers) I was very aware that Mtv would be turning thirty years old very soon, and was hoping to find something or other that would acknowledge this important milestone. After searching the tv schedules on the original Mtv website, the Mtv2 website, and finally the original Vh-1 website I’m very glad that I decided to visit the VH-1 Classic website and to see with my own eyes that Mtv’s Anniversary or Birthday is acknowledged! And since I only receive three of these four channels I am overcome with graditude that I can own a computer with the VH-1 Classic WEBSITE on my computer’s Internet!!!! Because on the other three websites I couldn’t find anything about anything about Mtv turning 30. Perhaps I have the VH-1 Classic channel on Demand?
    Anyway I couldn’t find any advertising about Mtv becoming 25 five years ago, not until I discovered that Vh-1 Classic had made plans to actually air Mtv’s full first broadcasting day on that important milestone’s day. That twenty five year anniversary or birthday was also very special in it’s very own time.
    In short – I am jazzed that out there someone somewhere someway actually remembers that Mtv’s been in existence for this long!
    I raise my glass to you Mtv, and I do congradulate you for lasting as long as you have so far!

  13. Shannon says:

    This was the best weekend of programming ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE seeing all the memories of watching MTV as a kid and later teenager come back. From the death of Kurt Cobain, to old Beavis and Butthead episodes, to actual MUSIC videos. I wish that all that would come back…

  14. Renee says:

    I’ve continuously been asking what the ___ happened to MTV, and while I’ve enjoyed watching the old programming/am thankful for it quite honestly it makes me miss what MTV used to stand for that much more!! Call me a sentimental fool, but I enjoyed the creativity that was found in seeing music videos which is lacking largely in today’s mass society.

    MTV and I almost share our birthdays. I’m 32, and quite honestly I believe it’s a disgrace to even continue calling the channel MTV considering in today’s society it reflects very little of music television other than it’s sister channels. If you’re going to air reality television why not have re-named it RTV. I get that this is what has been selling now because of the new generations of kiddos raised and weened off things The Real World ushered in, but for many of us whom grew up on the original MTV the only thing even close to our pasts our VH1. Some of us don’t just want to turn on our computers to watch music videos or plug in our I-phone and I-pods to enjoy music that is still classic as much today as it was then.

    I believe I stopped watching MTV mid 1990′s and haven’t watched it since because I find reality tv an oxymoron. I don’t consider that junk anything close to a true reality nor any form of creativity. Every now and then I’ll tune into VH1 Classic because it’s perhaps the only thing relatively close to what MTV used to be.

    It’s shameful to think this had to be aired and honored on a sister channel. Like many others whom are saying on one hand I can’t believe that MTV itself can’t acknowledge it’s past because of ratings, but on another hand in today’s society nothing surprises me anymore. It’s why some days I swear I’d prefer to not have television or cable and would rather get off the couch and out of my house. I guess in that regard thanks MTV you’ve made me more active in my life rather than sitting letting it pass me by.

  15. Natasha says:

    MTV sucks now, and the channel itself isn’t celebrating 30 years, just wanna air these peanut brain having Jersey Shore all weekend long. It’s a darn shame that another network has to celebrate 30 years for you. MTV debuted 4 months before I was born BTW.

  16. GrizzyLyn says:

    When I saw the ads for the 30th Anniversary of MTV to be aired on VH1 Classic over the weekend, I could not wait to watch it. I set up my DVR to record the whole weekend in case I wanted to see anything a second time (or if I happened to miss something). With the exception of the original first hour of MTV being shown, the weekend was a HUGE disappointment. With 30 years of programming to choose from, MTV could have put together a wonderful retrospective. Instead, they repeated a VERY poor sampling of the last 30 years over and over and over again. What a shame!! You know, it is bad enough what MTV has become. They call themselves “Music TeleVision” but very rarely play music. They no longer have “Vee-Jays” since videos are almost non-existent. Now, they shove this terrible example of their 30th Anniversary onto their sister channel VH1 Classic (which is the only half-way decent piece of MTV that is left). It is now Monday, and they are STILL re-running this crap. Again, what a shame!!

  17. Brian says:

    Please please please don’t stop this … keep it going, VH1 … my generation still needs OUR MTV … Give us back our beloved channel and all the bands we grew up with!!!!! PLEASE!!!!

  18. Jonty says:

    Happy 30th MTV. MTV Glory Days was 1981-86 with the Oringnal 5 VJ’s. I miss all those old Contest they use to do. From The Lost Weekend Contest with Van Halen to U Dirrect Madona’s True Blue contest. Thoose were the days of MTV. Thier should be a classic MTV sponsor by VH1 Classic just show stuff from 1981-89 glory days of MTV from the 80′s

  19. Chelsea Wilson says:

    THANK YOU VH1 Classic! Do this again tomorrow!!!!!!!! Do more, so we can see more!!! This is awesome!

  20. Jess says:

    Shame on MTV! This whole 30th Anniversary Weekend was a slap in the face to its original audience, its original VJ’s and to the original artists’ music videos that made them such a huge success. What a fraud! It’s obvious, some running the network now couldn’t care less about the history of the channel, the timeless music or their loyal fans. In fact, Stephen Friedman was quoted in a LA Times article about the event saying the following:
    “It doesn’t surprise us that people who grew up [when we launched] 30 years ago say, Whoa, what happened? But they are not the audience we are speaking to,” Friedman said.
    Well okay, so maybe we don’t fit your so called demographic but then why celebrate the 30th Anniversary of MTV at all if your so called demographic was even around back then? What you forget is that good music is timeless. Believe it or not a lot of todays youth actually really love listening and watching those old new wave and classic rock videos and in fact, many of todays new bands are heavily influenced by them. The kids of the 80′s generation still loved and listened to their parents music from the 60′s like the Beatles, Stones, Who etc and todays youth is no different and are enjoying discovering music from the 80′s like Journey, Fleetwood Mac and others as seen on shows like Glee.
    The channel was called MTV for a reason.. MUSIC TELEVISION….if there is no “MUSIC” then what’s the point? Seems like you guys sold out to $$$ (yes we know, reality tv is cheap to produce). Your original audience actually loved rock music. Why didn’t you just create another channel to promote your reality drainage? The M in MTV now seems to stand for MORON TV. Watching MTV these days is like living out a real life “Ow! My Balls” scene from the movie Idiocracy! The difference here is this. Your original “demographic” from the 80′s are still interested in seeing those old music videos from one reason: the MUSIC. But will your current demographic be interested in tuning into your current reality programming 30 years from now? Time will tell but I would wager the answer will be No and the reason is because it’s disposable reality tv.
    What they should have done for this 30th Anniv. was simple….bring back the remaining 4 original VJ’s to celebrate and discuss those ground breaking years while playing uncut blocks of original programming starting on August 1, 1981and going along chronologically year by year with a heavy emphasis on the early VJ years 1981-1986. In addition, they should have played a couple rare concerts from the 1981-1983 show “Weekend In Concert” series. A few good ones would have been…The Fixx, Pat Benetar, April Wine, Duran Duran 1982 New Years Eve show etc.
    The cool thing about early MTV was it featured New Wave, Classic Rock and pop videos. I set my DVR to record the entire 3 days but only ended up keeping the one segment and that was the very first hour of MTV. Pathetic! So many of us longed to see the original VJ’s reunitedto reminisce and relive some of MTV’s most majestic moments. How about making this up to the fans and start playing vintage blocks from the early MTV years on VH1 Classic?

  21. Pearl says:

    Thank you for airing all the things that keep MTV a treasure in my heart. There was nothing like it and I still miss the original VJ’s….thanks Mark, Nina, J.J., Alan and Martha and all who made MTV possible ~ it was such a blast! And thanks again for VH1 Classic for being out there and making me feel at home!

  22. Kootiebirdo says:

    I just watched bits of Vh1 Classic’s “30th anniversary celebration” of MTV a little while ago and the most I can say is that what they’re doing isn’t even nearly as good as what MTV themselves did for their 20th anniversary back in 2001.

  23. Tricia says:

    I anxiously awaiting last weekend’s anniversary programming. What a disappointment. First you had no way of knowing what would be aired when and since I actually have a life away from the TV, tuned in when I could hoping to see those memorable MUSIC videos and MUSIC concerts and MUSIC special programming that shaped not only a new tv channel, but also a generation. I tuned in 11 times during the “special” and each time was disappointed to see yet another realty show or game show or cartoon. I realize that MTV had success with these genres, but when you celebrate an anniversary, due what the original purpose of the channel was some justice…MUSIC. Sad…

  24. Bearkitten in NC says:

    I was pretty disappointed in the programming for the 30th anniversary. VH-1 showed ADD programming and only the shows, not many videos. The original MTV was about MUSIC VIDEOS. It was not really about the House of Style or Jackass! I appreciate the effort, but repeating the same segments over and over for three days was pretty disappointing!

  25. dave says:

    I watched as much as I could and I did enjoy a lot of what I saw. BUt with 30 years of stuff to pick from you guys did drop the ball on the amount of footage you showed. I fyou want an idea for a new show on VH1 that wont repeats in a month then make the MTV30 thing into an hour long show each week . You have tons of footage to show. THink of all the bands that have played live in the MTV studios. All the guest Veejays that had been on. ETC ETC ETC ETC.
    Also did anyone see any footage Pauly Shore? or Jesse Camp?
    ONe last thing to whoever put it together,YO MTV raps was just a small part of MTVs history. YOu could have shown some of the other shows that had live musical guests on it too.

  26. txdeejay says:

    I never realized (since our town didn’t get MTV on the cable system until 6 or 7 months after it launched) that the first 14 minutes of MTV’s first hour was the countdown to a space shuttle launch. Really? Couldn’t you have edited that part down a little bit? (Thank God I DVR’d that first hour…at least I could FF through it. I can only imagine how tedious it was to watch back in ’81 – it didn’t build the excitement at all) Sure, leave in all the other technical difficulties that happened that first hour (Mark Goodman introducing the Styx video that had already aired).
    Overall, it was a disappointing “salute” to the network. Producing six or seven hours of highlights(?) and repeating them over three days?
    Other than the original VJ’s introducing themselves in the first hour, we NEVER saw them again (unless it was in the 30th anniversary promo that was run ad nauseam during the weekend). It’s a pity that MTV is obviously so ashamed of its roots that it had to air the celebration on VH1 Classic.

    And Rose (7/30 @ 5:37 pm)…it was VH1 Classic, honey. That’s why you didn’t see it on VH1!

  27. katie C says:

    It would be nice if the regular MTV&VH1 channels went back to just playing music videos again and get rid of the reailty shows,Cause you just see reality shows now on the 2 channels& MTV hits mostly does pop music on that channel.So it would be a good Idea to END the JERSEY SHORE reality show, thoses guys need to get a regular 9-5 job&end the realworld road rules challenges cause the same ones play it each time and thoses guys&gals like Wes&CT&rachel&coral&adam&katie,ect should get a regular job and STOP goofing off in getting drunk&partying like they do in between in thoses rounds of challenges that they have for each year.So MTV should go back to playing music videos or change its name to RTV since it just does reality shows now on that channel instead of MUSIC which is what the M stands for in its name Music.Since I was 2 when MTV came on the air.Go back to PLAYING rock/rap/metal/pop videos and end the reality shows.

  28. Jeph says:

    I really cant believe how much of a relieving experience it was for me to ‘relive my childhood’ with the broadcast over that weekend! Seriously, there should be a whole station devoted to just rebroadcasting entire days of bygone MTV. As crazy as it sounds, MTV used to mean a lot to everyone (back when it was about the music) and Im sure that there are a number of folks out there who would agree with that proposal…

  29. jeph says:

    Additionally, I wanted to add that since I keep hearing news reports about how MTV is always loosing its viewership: GO BACK TO PLAYING VIDEOS!! Us adults will watch and kids would love to see their fav bands’ (not rap starts) videos!

  30. Jeph says:

    *stars… What I mean is that when I last saw videos of MTV they were all rap artists – another reason I stopped watching:)