In 1998, MTV combined two of its most popular shows, the video-heavy Total Request with the more open-format MTV Live, creating Total Request Live, which would become commonly known as TRL. From its premiere in 1998 through to its cancellation ten years later, the show concentrated on music videos at a time when MTV was being criticized for its gradual shift toward reality programming, mixing in artist interviews and breaking news, as well. During its ten-year run on the air, it became MTV’s flagship program and a showcase for the network’s most notable presenters. Here’s a look at what the show’s former hosts have been up to since their time on MTV.
Once MTV combined two of its shows hosted by Carson Daly, he was the obvious choice to be the host of Total Request Live. Daly hosted TRL for four years before making the transition to late night network TV in 2002, hosting the late-late night talk show Last Call with Carson Daly, which is still on the air today.
In 2011, Daly also became the host and producer of NBC’s reality singing competition The Voice, winning two Emmys for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program in 2013 and 2015. He also became the Social Media Reporter for NBC’s The Today Show, as well as the fill-in anchor for Weekend Today. If that weren’t enough, Daly also hosts two radio programs, Mornings with Carson Daly and the syndicated The Daly Download with Carson Daly. His schedule has become so hectic that he now pre-records all his segments for Last Call. Last December, he married his longtime girlfriend Siri Pinter, with whom he has three children with.
After winning a competition to appear in a TRL segment in 1999, Burton was soon offered a permanent job with MTV, and worked alongside host Carson Daly, eventually leaving the show four years later. She made her television debut as herself on the WB teen drama Dawson’s Creek in 2002, and the following year was announced as a cast member on the WB’s new drama, One Tree Hill. She left that show after six seasons and has since shown up in numerous small screen projects, including Grey’s Anatomy and the recently-concluded HBO series Togetherness.
Back in 2009, Burton started seeing new Walking Dead cast member Jeffrey Dean Morgan after the two were set up on a blind date by Supernatural star Jensen Ackles. They had a child together in 2010, and the two of them live on an alpaca farm in upstate New York, where they also co-own a candy store with Paul Rudd. She has nothing but gratitude for MTV and her former co-host Carson Daly for giving her a start in showbiz, and when asked by MTV in a 2008 interview, affectionately referred to him as “her Fairy Godfather.”
The same year that TRL debuted, Jesse Camp beat out 5,000 other contestants in MTV’s I Wanna Be a VJ Competition, including the more professional (and qualified) Dave Holmes. While the prize was initially for a two-week run, Camp’s instant popularity with fans, thanks in part to his bizarre persona, led to MTV extending his contract for a full year. He served as a co-host on TRL in addition to Lunch With Jesse, which featured live performances, and the daytime talk show MTV Rocks Off. Camp started a band in 1999, Jesse and the 8th Street Kidz, and used his new-found fame to hire top-tier session musicians, producers, and even Stevie Nicks to contribute to their debut album. It would receive mixed reviews after its release, and was a flop commercially. In the aftermath of his album’s release, Camp bowed out of the spotlight for almost 10 years.
In 2008, he reappeared prior to the taping of the Total Finale Live special and was caught on tape by TMZ trying to buy cocaine. Camp claimed it to be an elaborate ruse, as he had been sober since 2009. Last year, he joined the Chicago-based band Green Denim and made appearances on the syndicated program The Jimmy Star Show with Ron Russell and The Special Without Brett Davis, a series that focuses on New York’s underground comedy scene.
While he lost to Jesse Camp on MTV’s I Wanna Be a VJ Competition, MTV put him to work anyway, first conducting celebrity interviews before going on to host shows like the alternative music video bastion 120 Minutes and Say What? Karaoke. You can catch him these days as a host on Sirius XM’s The Spectrum.
In 2002, Holmes publicly came out and in 2010 contributed to Dan Savage’s It Gets Better video project to help encourage LGBT youth. Earlier this year, he released the autobiographical Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs, about coming to terms with his sexuality through popular songs. He also works as a contributor for Esquire, where he writes about everything from music to movies and thoughtful essays about the state of gay culture in America.
Check out our recent interview with Dave Holmes about Party of One and his time at MTV.
Back in 2000, Benjamin Quddus Philippe, more commonly known as Quddus, began his career as a host and producer on TVOntario’s youth-oriented program VOX. The following year, he started as a co-host for TRL. He made such an impression that both Usher and Britney Spears asked him to MC their concert specials on Showtime. He co-hosted the ABC’s singing competition program Duets, along with the gossip show Omg! Insider. He also reprised his TRL persona when he played a VJ in last year’s live-action Jem and the Holograms.
The Nebraska-born McFayden started out as an MTV news anchor before transitioning into a role as a VJ and landing a job hosting TRL. After leaving MTV in 2002, he also played himself on Dawson’s Creek (the same episode his TRL co-host Hilarie Burton also appeared in), before going on to become a TV gadfly, hosting dating competition shows like Cupid on CBS and Beauty and the Geek on the WB (the show would eventually move to the CW). McFayden also spent some time as a sports persona, spending a year with HLN’s Bleacher Report as an anchor, as well as hosting the online NCAA sports show Campus Insiders. He’s since moved away from sports but still keeps busy hosting both Fake or Real on E! and 7 Wonders of the Wall for MSN.
La La Vasquez (La La Anthony)
La La Vasquez (now Anthony) got her first job in entertainment as an intern for Atlanta’s Hot 97 radio station before getting her own show, Future Flavas, while she was still in high school. After a stint with the L.A.-based 92.3 Beat FM, she joined TRL in 2001. Once she was in front of the camera, MTV quickly made her one of the network’s most visible on-air personalities. Anthony left the show after just two years to start her own production company, Krossover Productions.
In 2006, Anthony started seeing NBA player Carmelo Anthony. The two married four years later and recently commemorated their sixth wedding anniversary on Instagram. She’s kept busy in front of the camera as well, with roles in You Got Served, CSI: NY, and Law & Order: SVU. She’s currently got a recurring role on the TV crime drama Power, and is in the middle of filming the TV miniseries New Edition: The Movie.
Vanessa Minnillo (Vanessa Lachey)
After being crowned Miss USA in 1998, Vanessa Minnillo (now Lachey) started a four-year hosting stint on TRL back in 2003. The following year she’d host the Miss USA Pageant before becoming a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight in 2005. Along with roles in How I Met Your Mother, Psych, 30 Rock, and CSI: NY, she appeared as a model in the BONGO jeans campaign starting in 2007, the same year she launched a cosmetics line, Flirt!
Minillo started dating fellow TV personality Nick Lachey after they met on the set of his music video “What’s Left of Me” back in 2006. (Ironically, the song was about Nick Lachey’s very public breakup with his ex-wife and former MTV reality show co-star Jessica Simpson). The couple briefly broke up in 2009 before getting back together, then marrying in 2011. Today the two have a son and daughter together, and Vanessa continues to work regularly on the big and small screen while also running her own lifestyle website.
The guy who’d replace Carson Daly after he left the show in 2002 would host the show up until its conclusion in 2008. It was during his time on TRL that he was one of David Letterman’s four hand-picked finalists to compete to takeover The Late Late Show in 2004 after Craig Kilborn left. He’s since gone on to host I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here and made guest appearances on shows like Big Morning Buzz Live and Cupcake Wars. Right now, he works as a staff writer for Fox’s animated super-hit Family Guy.
After competing against her fellow TRL host Vanessa Minnillo in the 1998 Miss USA pageant, Castillo started hosting TRL in 2005. Since then, she had a recurring role on the fifth season of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, and has worked as a correspondent for shows like E! News, Entertainment Tonight , and EXTRA! Aside from show business, Castillo made headlines when she publicly spoke out about her negative experience with the TSA back in 2011. Most recently, she starred in the Lifetime made-for-TV movie Kidnapped: The Hannah Anderson Story.
The Australian-born Rodrigues started at TRL in 2007, hosting the show until it ended in 2008. Afterward, she stuck around MTV, hosting two Real World reunion specials in 2008. The following year she went back to Australia, where she continued her work as a TV host. She’s currently one of the hosts on Amazon’s daily fashion show, Style Code Live.
While she was never a formal host, Suchin Pak was MTV’s go-to news reporter beginning in 2001, with frequent appearances on TRL through the years. Her work on MTV went on to include hosting the semi-autobiographical My Life (Translated) and narrating MTV’s Cribs. After a handful of various hosting gigs elsewhere, she returned to MTV in 2010 to cover the VMA pre-show, staying on as the narrator for the cultural awareness show MTV True Life and is the host of the Catfish post-show. She was married in March of 2012, and had her first child in June of that year, which was announced on MTV News that year by co-host Sway.
Like Suchin Pak, Sway Calloway, better known as Sway, never hosted TRL, but as one of the faces of MTV News, he would made frequent appearances on the show. Already an established radio personality before joining MTV in 2000, he became one of the faces of the channel’s news team. In the summer of 2011, he started hosting a morning radio show on Eminem’s Shade 45 channel on Sirius XM. He remains a vital part of MTV, where he continues to work as a news correspondent and producer. He’s even played himself in multiple TV shows, including The Boondocks in 2007, as well as Fox’s mega-hit Empire last year.