The music channel that changed pop culture forever is 40 years old. MTV celebrates its 40th anniversary on August 1, and ET revisits the chain’s biggest moments with two of its most beloved VJs.
ET spoke with Kurt Loder and SuChin Pak, who spoke about the impact of MTV. Loder, 76, joined MTV in 1987 and broke big news like the death of Kurt Cobain and was in the midst of infamous pop culture moments like Courtney Love crushing her 1995 MTV VMA interview with Madonna by throw her a makeup compact. Loder reflected on the channel’s early days and the executives’ doubts.
“I remember when we started doing MTV News nobody thought it would work,” he told ET’s Kevin Frazier. “They thought it was stupid. They thought we were stupid.”
“At the time, I didn’t think anybody in the mainstream media – I can’t believe I used that expression – had a lot of respect for the youth audience,” he adds. “Why do they need the news? They didn’t even have brains. So the idea of getting kids interested in politics was new, I mean, it just wasn’t something going on. at the time. “
As for Pak, 44, she recalled the unforgettable energy.
“Everyone knew when you had a big star in the building,” she says. “You know we all got the internal memo, we were just excited as a member of the audience. So it was like, you know Beyoncé is on the 6th floor!”
“It was huge, you never knew what you were going to get,” she adds. “You know, was Kanye going to talk this week? You know, was Diddy going to show up in a semi-truck? You know, is Gaga going to wear a meat dress?… Everyone. moments. aside, what we were really lucky to do was we were able to participate in the presidential debates and … I was in Haiti [in 2010] because aid was distributed there after the earthquake. “
Pak conducted numerous celebrity interviews during her time on MTV, including an interview with then 21-year-old Britney Spears.
“During that time, it was really when those kind of pop groups and Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, it was like, that was all there was,” she points out. “They were titans of the music industry and pop culture. So they’re so cautious about how many people you kind of have to control to find out who that person is. And when they’re finally here. , I think at 21, you know, she’s been in the spotlight for so long and all of a sudden she’s the greatest pop star in the world. So I think there’s a sense of vulnerability with her, I always felt that. I always felt that. once you sat down across from her she felt like she always felt very unsupervised and very vulnerable for someone else. ‘also huge. “
“She wasn’t the kind of media-trained pop star, she wasn’t,” she continues. “There was always a vulnerability to her that seemed both strong and fragile. You always wanted to leave your number and say, ‘Call me! If you’re just alone you want to watch a movie.'”
But Pak says for her personally, his most memorable talks have been with JAY-Z and Gwen Stefani.
“There was just this whole era of Gwen Stefani and Gwen Stefani had such a long career but, I mean, she was to me the epitome of cool and also one of the nicest, most real. of moments is pretty rare. I think either you meet someone who is so unapproachable and somehow, you know, they’re just going through talking points, or you meet someone who is really young and who has something to prove. “