How Talk Shows Used to Treat Metalheads + Punks
If you’re a Gen X’er or a Millennial, you remember those trashy daytime talk shows that waged war on all things subcultural. Anyone with a spiked jacket or dyed hair was paraded around like a circus freak on these shows, with some even forcing young outcasts into dressing like “normal” folks.
On daytime TV, Jenny Jones was the most egregious example of a puritan’s attempts to snuff out any spark of individuality. When a group of young punks or metalheads took her stage, Jones’ staff encouraged the crowd to relentlessly boo her guests, attempting to break them down psychologically before the makeover segment. Though the new looks got a warm reception from the once icy crowd, the kids onstage rarely enjoyed their forced transformation.
The late Regis Philbin may hold a Guinness World Record for Most Hours on Television, but his interviews were often vapid and cringeworthy. While speaking with a group of New York punks, Philbin just couldn’t get past the way they looked, even when one woman named Christine spoke about her multiple day jobs and how she was putting herself through college.
Before there was Facebook and Twitter, awful hot takes were reserved for talk show audiences. Boomer rage was always on full display on shows like Donahue, where parents spoke about throwing their own kids out of the house if they ever got a piercing or cut their hair wrong. “I’d rather see her on drugs than [dressed like a punk],” one woman went so far to say.
Watch this compilation of how talk shows used to treat metalheads and punks in the Loud List below.