Can you make a comeback if no one even remembers you left? That’s the question we are asking ourselves after it came to our attention that the new generation of MTV viewers doesn’t even know what TRL is. Yes, that’s right. You are officially “old” if you remember watching TRL.
Once the most popular show, on what was once a channel dedicated to music videos, is now just a fond memory for Carson Daly-loving millennials. At its peak, TRL, which stands for Total Request Live by the way, was the after-school program you couldn’t miss. From Britney Spears performing “Oops… I Did It Again” to Eminem‘s takeover to the breakup of Destiny’s Child, there was never a dull moment at the TRL studio in Times Square. Before social media or Spotify, TRL’s top music video countdown was the arbiter of the artists to watch and the best songs on the radio. In a nutshell, it was a pop culture mecca.
Today, teens have zero nostalgia when it comes to the MTV reboot. “When ur little sister asks you what TRL is…#amiOld ,” one viewer tweeted before another added, “Can someone inform me what TRL is? I am missing out on something I think.” Sigh, it’s worse than we thought.
can someone inform me what TRL is, i am missing out on something i think
— beate ✨ (@himynameisbeate) October 3, 2017
What is @TRL exactly??
— GypsyQueen (@SophieAttiave14) October 3, 2017
what is trl i’m out of the loop
— viviana (@smolchickee) October 3, 2017
However, don’t panic. While we can almost guarantee the reboot will be nothing compared to the original, here is everything you need to know about the live show. And for those who do remember, let’s take a walk down memory lane.
What is TRL?
In one word, TRL was everything. It merged MTV Live with Total Request, thus the name Total Request Live. Hosted by Carson Daly, the live show counted down the top 10 music videos of the day along with appearances and performances by the biggest names in pop culture. Fans could vote for their favorite videos and there was also a live audience, inside and often times outside the studio.
When did Total Request Live start?
The show kicked off in 1998 and within a few years, it was a pop culture phenomenon. There was also a short-lived weekend edition of the series but its popularity remained on weekdays. It catapulted boy bands such as ‘NSYNC and Hanson to fame, along with making Britney Spears, Eminem, and Avril Lavigne (just to name a few) household names.
New hosts the Dolan Twins, Tamara Dhia, and DC Young Fly.
Why did Carson Daly leave?
In 2003, Carson stepped down as host of TRL to host his own late-night talk show. This led to a revolving door of VJs, or video jockeys, such as Damien Fahey, Hilarie Burton, Vanessa Lachey (formerly known as Vanessa Minnillo) and La La Vasquez who quickly gained their own following.
New TRL hosts 2017
Today, the revival will be hosted by social media influencers DC Young Fly, Amy Pham, Erik Zachary, Lawrence Jackson, Liza Koshy, the Dolan Twins and Tamra Dhia. The first episode featured performances by Ed Sheeran and an appearance from DJ Khaled. However, there were no music videos or requests, so the question still remains: what is TRL?