120 Minutes

We’ve posted a number of memorable clips over the years as part of our “120 Minutes” Rewind feature, but this is a true rarity: some 35 minutes of J.J. Jackson-hosted footage from the earliest-known recording of an episode of MTV’s seminal Sunday night music-video show that took viewers “two hours into the future” every week.

The footage — uploaded and sent to us this weekend by frequent “120 Minutes” Rewind contributor mrbriefcasetv2 — is from the April 27, 1986, broadcast, which the ever-handy 120 Minutes Archive lists as its earliest-known episode. The show debuted on March 10, 1986, so this would be, by our count, the eighth episode ever aired, although the 120 Minutes Archive suggests it’s only the fourth.

As you can see from the video posted below, the 35-minute reel spans the entire two-hour show, with many, but not all, of the music videos cut out. Still included: videos from Latin Quarter, The Untouchables, Cactus World News, The Go-Betweens, Roaring Boys and Laurie Anderson.

What you get is a lot of J.J. Jackson — one of several rotating hosts used until “120 Minutes” creator Dave Kendall took over in 1989 — plus music news (including the announcement of Andy Rourke’s short-lived departure from The Smiths) and “120 X-Ray” segments on both The Untouchables and Laurie Anderson (“Is Laurie Anderson a genius or simply just a weirdo? The ‘120 X-Ray’ reveals all,” Jackson promises).

There are also some great commercials, including a Max Headroom ad for Coke and a pitch for Judas Priest’s new record (“It’s 1986, do you know where your children are?” Rob Halford asks). Oh, and a promo for an upcoming guest VJ slot by “Cosby kids” Malcolm Jamal-Warner and Tempestt Bledsoe.

Check it out in all its glory below:


Video: MTV’s “120 Minutes” with host J.J. Jackson — April 27, 1986




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