April 20, 2019 / 9:43 AM

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MTV's 33rd Anniversary - Our Favorite VJs Then and Now: Carson Daly, Daisy Fuentes, Chris Hardwick, And More



On August 1, 1981 at 12:01 a.m. the words "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll" were spoken over a montage of the first space shuttle launch -- marking the birth of the MTV and the beginning of a new promotional tool, music videos.

One thing that emerged from this new promotional tool was Video Jockeys (Vjs). They started out as virtually unknown personalities in a career that had never before existed. These VJs eventually became celebrities in their own right. They became a face for the network and showed America (and the world) the best new videos from the hottest artists.

Eventually, however, the network abandoned videos for the reality TV shows that boosted their ratings and their bottom line. Now that the VJ is no longer a staple of MTV, Music Times takes a look back at those we remember best and where they are now.

1. Carson Daly (1998-2002)

Then: Daly came to fame as the host of MTV's Total Requests Live (TRL) from 1998-2002.

Now: He is now the "orange room" anchor for the Today show, often filling in for Matt Lauer and Lestor Holt when they are off. He is also the emcee on NBC's The Voice and hosts his own show Last Call with Carson Daly.

2. Downtown Julie Brown (1985-mid '90s)

Then: Brown started off as a VJ in the '80s and went on to host Club MTV. She worked at the network in various roles until 1992

Now: She currently hosts "The Back In The Day Replay Countdown" radio show on Sirius XM, where the 30 hottest songs of the week from a particular year in the '90s are counted down.

3. Bill Bellamy (1994-1996)

Then: Belamy started off as a comedian and joined MTV in 1994 as the host of MTV Jams before he was given his own show, The Bill Bellamy Show, in 1996.

Now: Now he frequently appears on Chelsea Handler's Chelsea Lately and stars in the sitcom Mr. Box Office.

4. La La Anthony (2002-mid '00s)

Then: Anthony started off as the co-host of MTV's Direct Effect and TRL. She has also hosted reunion specials for reality TV shows.

Now: In 2012, she launched MOTIVES by La La, a cosmetic line for women of color, and started her personal website, IamLaLa.com, which is an interactive community for her fans and friends that focuses on fashion, beauty, culture, family, and relationships.

5. Damien Fahey (2002-2008)

Then: Fahey replaces Carson Daly as the host of MTV's TRL.

Now: He is now a writer for Family Guy on FOX and has also dabbled in voice acting for the show as well as the movie Robots. His is also now known for his hilarious Twitter presence and regularly does improve comedy.

6. Daisy Fuentes (1993-1996)

Then: Fuentes was MTV's first Latin VJ. She was first hired in 1988 as the host of MTV Internacional before beginning as a VJ for the network.

Now: She is now a co-presenter of La Voz Kids on Telemundo, the Spanish version of the The Voice that features kids. She also offers relationship advice on the "Matty's Dating Corner" segment of ESPN's "Fantasy Focus" podcast.

7. Dan Cortese (1992-1997)

Then: Cortese joined MTV as the host of rock-meets-jock show MTV Sports.

Now: He has since guest-starred in a number of sitcoms and hosted a number of short-lived reality series. He now hosts truTV's Guiness World Records Unleashed, which debuted in 2013.

8. Kennedy (1992-1996)

Then: A former KROQ personality, Kennedy joined MTV as the host of Alternative Nation. She was responsible for helping popularize bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam.

Now: She is the current co-host of The Independent, a current events and political discussion show, on Fox Business Channel.

9. Chris Hardwick (1995-1998)

Then: Hardwick joined MTV as the co-host for their dating show Singled Out, alongside Jenny McCarthy and later Carmen Electra.

Now: He now hosts @midnight, a nightly comedy series on Comedy Central as well as Talking Bad and Talking Dead, live half-hour talks shows about the AMC shows. He is also chief executive producer of Nerdist Industries and voices Craig in the Nickelodeon series Sanjay and Craig.

10. Ananda Lewis (late '90s to 2001)

Then: Lewis left BET in the late '90s to join the MTV staff as host of TRL and The Hot Zone. She also hosted topical programs including a post-Columbine forum on school violence and a memorial tribute to Aaliyah.

Now: After leaving in 2001, Lewis launched her own talk show The Ananda Lewis Show. She has since appeared on several sitcoms and has hosted shows including Celebrity Mole and America's Top Dog.

Who were your favorite MTV VJs? Let us know in the comments section below!

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