Pop Culture | TV | 00s
This Show About "Yo Momma" Jokes Was Everything Wrong With MTV After The 90s
If you're someone who's avidly watched the rise (and eventual fall) of MTV over the years, you'll definitely notice that the early 2000s were when things started to get... weird.
I mean, the network actually still played music videos and hosted bands on TRL, something which seems like a completely foreign concept to MTV nowadays, so at least that was something. However, the coming onslaught of reality shows the network would eventually become infamous for was about to start, and the results were strange.
The Simple Life showed us that viewers wanted to watch Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie be a bunch of catty rich b****es while trying to figure out how to live on a farm, while The Real World revealed that we apparently loved watching awkward teenagers be dicks to each other while having to share a house. And these were the successful ones!
Of course, what viewers from those years probably remember even better were all the strange shows, the ones that maybe got a season or two before fizzling back into nothing (which is pretty much what they were in the first place). It's almost the TV equivalent of that whole "tree falling in the woods" riddle.
Which brings us to today's subject: in 2006, MTV decided to call up one of the cast members of That 70s Show and ask "how would you like to host a show entirely about telling 'yo momma' jokes?" The result is probably the stupidest thing the network ever did that didn't involve orange-colored residents of New Jersey.
That's right folks, Fez himself, Wilmer Valderrama, was chosen to be the host of what was sure to be MTV's next breakthrough reality TV hit, Yo Momma. Now there was a competition the teens of the day could totally relate to, and by teens I mean me and my friends when we were in the sixth grade, YEARS before the show was a thing.
The premise was simple: rival teens (who were always dressed up to be as "gangsta" as suburban white kids dared to get in the 2000s) competed to get the best "diss" against the other person's momma, with the winner advancing through the rounds and working towards a cash prize.
Now you might be tempted to ask, what exactly determines the strength and quality of a "yo momma" joke? Is there a Deadliest Warrior-style algorithm that determines the comedic timing, sharpness, brutality, and memorability of a joke? The answer of course is f*** no, they just went with whatever sounded okay.
The show somehow lasted two seasons and featured guest appearances from whatever D-list rapper MTV could afford to guest for an episode, before disappearing as unceremoniously as it came. There was even a website for the show, where you could submit your own "yo momma" jokes!
No word was ever given about a possible offshoot show revolving around "deez nuts" jokes.