Since it is New Year's Eve, I was thinking about Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life"), which has been an event staple for more than two decades now. They performed the song on MTV on New Year's Eve back in 1998 when Carson Daly was dating Jennifer Love Hewitt. Yes, this was a very long time ago.
My point was, this song that turned into a prom song was actually inspired by the original, good riddance part of the title. Thank god this is over. Perfect for 2020. Here's a bad VHS version of it, featuring the aforementioned Daly - JLH couple. There's a slightly better version on YouTube without Carson, but it just lacks the authenticity.
Anyway, after watching that, I looked up MTV's old New Year's Eve specials and discovered that Tila Tequila once hosted the 2008 version of the event and it was called Tila Tequila's New Year's Eve Masquerade. Yes, this was right around the beginning of the end for MySpace. Unfortunately, perhaps purposely (come on MTV, embrace your past!) no video exists online that I could find.
While I was searching on YouTube, I scrolled over a video and wouldn't you know it, there's Rudy Giuliani. Apparently, in 1999, as we rang in the year 2000, Rudolph Giuliani, entering his last year as Mayor of New York City, was cool enough to appear on MTV. It does not matter how far back you go, there is no one that would understand 2020 based on whatever time they were in.
Rudy is in there, I promise. Just watch and soak in the 2000-ness. The fact that Seann William Scott wasn't there is just wrong.
Just look at Tyrese Gibson and Sisqo just going crazy whenever the camera cuts to them. It appears that neither "Thong Song" nor the first Fast & Furious movie had even been released at this point. Can you imagine Y2K actually wiping out either of those cultural events because computers couldn't handle a year that started with the number two?
Weirdly, the number one zipper in the world then and now was YKK. Imagine the conspiracy theories that would have gained traction online if we were worried about Y2K right now.
A few more observations from this video, besides the fact that all these people were in an enclosed space without masks, shouting and singing and sharing cups...
There was some kind of snake thing out in Times Square like one of those beer snakes at an XFL game. Holy crap. Remember the XFL? And beer snakes? That was 2020. Remember how fun stupid sports news could be like 9 months ago? Forget 2000. I'm talking about February.
No Doubt decided to take the ironic/referential approach and perform REM's "It's the End of the World as We Know It." This was obviously not in their usual catalog since there were people holding up cue cards in the back of the room for Gwen, who at the time had yet to marry Gavin Rossdale. Her now future husband, Blake Shelton, hadn't even signed his first recording deal yet.
So yada, yada (original air date April 1997) stuff was different back then. Mostly for the better because, well, take look around, we're at the threshold of Hell (reference dated December 1989). Hopefully, 2021 will be better. It has to be. Either way, 2020, good riddance.