Back in the day, when YouTube wasn't an option and Twitter was nearly a decade away, MTV's TRL was the place to be for the hottest music videos in pop culture. Debuting in 1998, Total Request Live was Carson Daly's big break on the small screen. Now, 25 years after the show first hit the airwaves, Daly reflected on his TRL hosting days, and I officially feel ancient.
TRL tallied votes from viewers to count down the hottest music videos of the day, and launching in an era of pop princesses and boy bands helped to make it a huge hit. Episodes also featured celebrities who dropped by the set to chat with the host and promote their projects. Basically, Carson Daly was the face of pop culture for plenty of kids and teens in the late '90s - early 2000s. In an Instagram post commemorating the 25th anniversary on September 14, Daly wrote:
25 yrs ago today, before Instagram, TikTok & Facebook there was TRL. The 1st truly interactive, fan driven show on tv. It was my home for some of the best years of my life. I had the privilege to introduce so much to so many. Music, movies, celebrities, world events & more. All Live, everyday. I’m so grateful for that time & all of you who allowed me (and my T-Mobile SideKick) to be apart of your life. I hope this finds you happy & healthy 25 yrs later. Hey, I wonder if that Backstreet Boys fangirl who yelled at me is still mad? Lol…Good times.
Carson Daly hosted TRL from 1998-2003, and the MTV gig arguably launched his career that would go on to include Last Call with Carson Daly, New Year's Eve with Carson Daly, and The Voice, the latter of which he still hosts on NBC with Season 24 approaching. Personally, as somebody who vividly remembers tuning into Total Request Live on weekdays after school to see where the latest Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears videos would rank, I haven't felt this old since Daly celebrated turning 50.
Of course, watching the video that he posted along with his message also helped me feel like a senior citizen, because he just looks so young! Take a look at his blast to the past (and some context for the BSB fangirl who got mad at him):
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I may have been Team Backstreet Boys over Team *NSYNC back in the day, but I don't think I would have ever gotten that mad at Carson Daly during the boy band battles of the late '90s! The host's throwback to the show for its 25th anniversary really is a reminder of days gone by, and not just because 21st century teens may not even know what TRL was. The most recent attempt at a revival only lasted for a couple of years, and social media isn't going anywhere to make television the only medium for music videos again.
You can soon find Carson Daly back on television in the 2023 TV schedule, though, in a gig that surely wouldn't have been possible if not for his TRL success! The Voice returns to NBC for Season 24 on Monday, September 25 at 8 p.m. ET before moving to its usual Tuesday night time slot the next day. It will be the first season without longtime coach Blake Shelton, and Daly had a hilariously relatable reaction to starting the Shelton-free era.