MTV's Early VJs: Where Are They Now?

original vjs july 29.jpg
MTV's original VJ crew (l-r): J.J. Jackson, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn and Alan Hunter
When it comes to the attention spans of teenagers, entertainers are on borrowed time. Which might explain the turnover rate of MTV's Video Jockeys, or VJs for short. Currently, MTV doesn't have any VJs, a symptom of not playing any videos until the wee hours of the morning. Though it's worth mentioning that MTV2 has a few, including Matt Pinfield's return to 120 Minutes.

But that left us wondering, where have some of the most memorable on-air talent found themselves today. A few have been lucky, some of have passed on, are some in a dumpster? Maybe. Here is what we found for 6 MTV VJs Then and Now.

Martha Quinn (1981-91)

Martha_Quinn july 29.jpg
She was the girl next door who apparently had an entire library of Pat Benatar videos for us to watch. While Nina Blackwood was the rocker with hair like she could sit in on drums for Poison, Martha was the sweet one you could take home. After her tenure at MTV, Quinn bounced around hosting gigs on Star Search and The Early Show and even an appearance in Problem Child 2. But eventually, she returned to her natural element: The '80s. Quinn now DJs on Sirius/XM's 80s on 8 with her former VJ pals Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter and Blackwood. The fifth member of the original group, J.J. Jackson, passed away after a heart attack in 2004.

Riki Rachtman (1990-95)

Riki Rachtman july 29.JPG
It's funny to remember that Headbanger's Ball was hosted by Adam Curry before Riki Rachtman. They just kind of gave Adam a leather jacket and said "wing it." Luckily, Riki took over the reins and proudly gave metalheads something to watch. For every Whitesnake or Warrant video they played, they would play a Megadeth or Napalm Death clip. After the show's abrupt and controversial 1995 cancellation, Rachtman went back to what he knew best, managing his L.A. metal club Cathouse. He would appear on TV again working with NASCAR and, most recently, hosting the intellectually stimulating Rock of Love series and its spinoffs Daisy of Love and Rock of Love: Charm School on VH1.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Kennedy was BRILLIANT - she should that you didn't need to be a democrat to be part of MTVWhen I first saw Pauly Shore, I thought he was a 'special needs' kid, I thought MTV was just trying to reach the 'TIMMY- short bus' crowd.

Dustin Kalman
Dustin Kalman

I still have a crush on Martha Quinn. Also on Kari Whurer (first of Remote Control, then a VJ) and of course Duff (Karen Duffy). I hated Alternative Nation but loved 120 Minutes (Dave Kendall) and the original Yo! MTV Raps, with Fab 5 Freddy. Though I occasionally still do the Ed Lover Dance and I Wubba Wubba Wubba Club MTV.

I want MY MTV.

P.S. Anyone know where I can find an mp3 of the original MTV bumper music, that guitar riff?


I have Sirrus Radio and I`m thinking JJ Jackson is still alive and has a show there on 80's station with all the rest. Anyone out there know for sure?

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault