Today's Teens Have No Clue What Total Request Live Is

Here we have another one of those sad reminders on the Internet that you are, in fact, getting older. Maybe you were a teen when MTV's Total Request Live was at its peak, maybe you were a bit younger or older. Regardless, we all remember the show that shot Carson Daly to the mainstream and featured all of the hot celebrities at the time. It's been less than 10 years since the show left the airwaves in November of 2008, but you wouldn't know it by these teens' reactions to it and other classic MTV shows. Check it out:

I think what hurts the most is the vacant look on all the teens' faces when they're given footage from Total Request Live aka TRL. Even when three out of ten kids that say they've heard of the show, I just get the sense they're lying. What's even crazier is the kid who calls Carson Daly "Ryan Seacrest." Like, he does know Carson Daly is currently running things on The Voice right? Right? If you had asked me back then if I would ever get worked up about TRL, I would've laughed in your face, but these kids triggered me. I can forgive snubbing Laguna Beach or Punk'd, but I thought TRL was a sacred institution.

I'll start first with the React Teen who said that with YouTube around, there's no need for a Total Request Live. Music videos, while they were the premise of TRL, were not entirely what the show was about. Hell, you'd be lucky if you'd even see a full music video while watching Total Request Live while it was on. You'd be right in the middle of "The Next Episode," and would get to see Tammy from Wisconsin screaming shout outs to her friends right in the middle of Snoop Dogg's verse!

It's also amazing that the teens mistook Jessica Simpson for Britney Spears (which is still blowing my mind), and none of them knew anything about Newlyweds: Nick And Jessica. Surprisingly, the teens did okay at identifying Pimp My Ride, Punk'd, My Super Sweet Sixteen, and Jackass. Jackass is easy to understand, considering the films released in theaters, and people to this day still bring up Pimp My Ride anytime they're discussing their gross cars. All of these shows, I will admit, likely had a more lasting impact on pop culture than TRL did just on theme alone. It also helps that these shows were unscripted series where TRL was basically a daily variety show.

Of course, MTV is constantly in flux to meet the needs of its younger audience. In fact, the network announced last month that it would be moving away from scripted shows and bringing in more reality TV, and yes, music. Shows from the TRL era like My Super Sweet 16 are in headed for a reboot, and even super classic shows like MTV Unplugged could be making a return. That sounds like the MTV I used to watch, so maybe the network will bridge the gap between me and the young guns of the new generation. Who knows, maybe even TRL could make a return! Be sure to keep with us for more updates on MTV's transformation and find some new shows in the meantime with our midseason premiere guide.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.