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1988 Countdown: Commercial Break #15

A shockingly young Colin Quinn, lean of gut and fulsome in hair, is singing U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love).” On a clear day, from a sufficiently high vantage point, he might be able to spot the melody from where he’s standing. He interrupts himself: “Steve! Steve! You’re out of tune, buddy.” Yes, this […]

posted 21 October 2009 in 1988. 4 comments

1988 Countdown: Commercial Break #14

Time to visit the Duke. MTV replays their promo for “Michael Jackson Sunday”; as you might expect, it plays very differently now than it did a few months ago. “He’s been bad,” says the MTV Voiceover Guy. (A clip from “Bad” plays.) “He’s been smooth.” (A “Smooth Criminal” clip.) “Now he takes his own image […]

posted 24 September 2009 in 1988. 4 comments

1988 Countdown: Commercial Break #13

(If you’re new to the countdown, you can click here to catch up.) We kick off this commercial break with the spot for MTV’s “Big Bang ’89” broadcast that we’ve seen three times before. A lot of big hair among the featured acts: Poison, Winger, Daryl Hall, Escape Club, Vixen. But even at age 40, […]

posted 10 June 2009 in 1988. 1 comment

1988 Countdown: Commercial Break #12

If you’re new to the countdown: I’m plowing my way through actual videotapes of MTV’s year-end countdown broadcast on 12/31/1988. If you want to catch up from the beginning, you should probably start here. On a plate, there’s a piece of white bread in the shape of an M. It’s soon covered with a dollop […]

posted 11 February 2009 in 1988. no comments yet

1988 Countdown: Commercial Break #11

Onward through the 1988 MTV countdown! (If you’re just joining us and want to get up to speed, click here.) The commercial break, as usual, starts with a spot for an MTV program: in this case, “The Year in Rock 88.” “Sixty minutes that took twelve months to make,” says Voiceover Guy. We see Kurt […]

posted 7 January 2009 in 1988. 3 comments

1988 Countdown: Commercial Break #10

We see the “Big Bang ’89” promo for the third time, with close-ups on explosions and spinning clocks building up excitement for the fact that 1989 will start in only a few hours, a transition that can be enjoyed in the company of Robert Plant, Poison, Winger, Cameo, Hall and Oates, the Escape Club, Bobby […]

posted 16 October 2008 in 1988. 1 comment

1988 Countdown: Commercial Break #9

A lonely bugle plays over an image of Jon Bon Jovi–who’s looking morose, with his left hand on his cheek. Maybe Jon’s run out of bottles, and hence no longer knows what day of the week it is. “Bon Jovi on the road,” says the Voiceover Guy. “They play their guts out.” The image changes […]

posted 7 October 2008 in 1988. no comments yet

1988 Countdown: Commercial Break #8

An animated MTV promo: this one’s got African-style masks in a color palette of black, white, orange, and yellow–and lots of drumming and hollering on the soundtrack. It’s just ten seconds long, but if you nodded off during the Icehouse video, it wakes you up. The “Bad to the Bone” riff announces another ad for […]

posted 11 September 2008 in 1988. 3 comments

1988 Countdown: Commercial Break #7

The commercial break kicks off with another airing of the “Big Bang ’89” promo, hyping the big show live later on MTV that night. Sandra Bernhard looks skinny and sexy and mean (in marked contrast to her subdued, puffy appearance on Project Runway recently–is she on some variety of steroid medications, or was it a […]

posted 12 August 2008 in 1988. no comments yet

1988 Countdown: Commercial Break #6

Once again, MTV visits the Duke. First up, a network spot for the show Now Hear This: MTV’s Guide to New Music. This program aired on Monday nights and was hosted by golden-maned Adam Curry. “World premiere videos,” voiceover guy says, and we see clips of Keith Richards, Huey Lewis, and the Fresh Prince (aka […]

posted 24 July 2008 in 1988. 4 comments