Carson Daly Celebrates 25 Years Since 'TRL' Premiere: 'Some of the Best Years of My Life'

Carson Daly still looks back on Total Request Live (TRL) fondly a quarter of a century after the culture-shaping MTV series debuted.

Carson Daly Celebrates 25 Years Since 'TRL' Premiere: 'Some of the Best Years of My Life'
Life Style

On Thursday morning, the Today host, 50, reflected on the early days of his career in an Instagram post including throwback video from his time as host of the MTV music show.

“25 yrs ago today, before Instagram, TikTok & Facebook there was TRL," he wrote. "The 1st truly interactive, fan driven show on tv. It was my home for some of the best years of my life.”

Daly offered respect and hope for his TRL guests, as well as those who made the show happen. “I had the privilege to introduce so much to so many,” he continued. “Music, movies, celebrities, world events & more. All Live, everyday. I’m so grateful for that time & all of you who allowed me (and my T-Mobile SideKick) to be apart of your life. I hope this finds you happy & healthy 25 yrs later.”

He also added a joke about one fan who appeared “pissed off” on screen — and included the video. “Hey, I wonder if that Backstreet Boys fangirl who yelled at me is still mad? Lol…Good times.”

Comments on the post applauded TRL as a staple of the late 1990s and thanked Daly. 

The host also mentioned his time on TRL while hosting Today on Thursday. Daly said he was actually the reason the hit series became known by its acronym. “A quarter century since the premiere of Total Request Live — which I jokingly dubbed one day, ‘Oh it’s TRL for short, if you’re one of the cool kids you call it TRL.’ No one had… and then it actually became a thing. That was 25 years ago.”

He also shared a hilarious throwback about his celebrity interactions — and the technology at hand. “Artists would come in, we had a Motorola Sidekick, and you would bump Sidekicks and your information would exchange,” he said. “And it’d be like, ‘Yo JAY, you gonna be in the club tonight?’ ‘Yeah, come on thru.’ It was a really fun time.”

Jennifer Lopez and Carson Daly during TRL at the MTV Studios in New York City.

TRL aired new episodes every weekday on MTV from 1998 to 2008, welcoming the biggest musical and entertainment acts of the day live into the studio in Times Square as Daly and other hosts counted down the top 10 videos as voted by fans.  

Daly summed its cultural importance up on Today: “Before there was TikTok, before there was Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, there was this show. You know where your celebrities are eating for dinner now. We used to watch TRL every day after school to get that inside.”