[Editor’s note: It’s Thanksgiving, so your Flavorwire editors and writers are taking a much-needed break. We’ll return to our normal publishing schedule tomorrow, but in the meantime, we’ll be revisiting some of our favorite content from the past few months. This post was originally published October 20, 2010.] It’s time again to play that game where we look into the lives of people who were once in the limelight and have since faded, for one reason or another, out of sight. In the 1980s and 90s, the VJ was king and MTV was his domain. That was, of course, when MTV actually played music videos more or less continuously, instead of investing in low-brow culture staples like The Hills and Jersey Shore. Remember the omnipresent MTV News presence of Serena Altschul? How about Downtown Julie Brown, in her cutoffs and hats? What about Bill Bellamy? All this, and more, below the jump.
Simon Rex began his career as a small-time porn star — with a name like that, can you blame him? — and was vaulted into MTV fame when he was hired as a VJ back in 1995. He left the network two years later, and has gone on to a semi-successful acting career, with roles in shows like Everwood and Felicity, as well as well-attended if terrible parody films like Scary Movies 3 and 4. Weirdest of all though, is Rex’s burgeoning rap career under the handle “Dirt Nasty,” that made him a YouTube sensation as well as a guest on Paris Hilton’s My New BFF. He also made a cameo appearance in Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok” video (he’s the guy with the mullet and unfortunate mustache).