Pop Up Video Turns 25

Pop Up Video, a show that prepped us for the over-simulated life of the 21st century, turns 25 this month.  In honour of the milestone let’s take a look back at the creation of the show and some of the best bubbles that popped up on your favorite music videos.

Pop Up Video aired on VH1 from 1996 to 2002 (it attempted a reboot in 2011 but only lasted a year) and instantly became a pop culture phenomenon. 

The 30-minute show aired four or five music videos that featured juicy tidbits about behind the artist and video shoot, along with random facts that you didn’t know you needed to know.  The info appeared on the screen in a little bubble accompanied with a popping sound. 

Pop Up Video was created by TV producers Tad Low and Woody Thompson and helped revive interest in the music video format which had started to dip and it also pushed VH1 to its highest ratings every.

Thompson told Billboard in 2018 that they idea for the show popped out of the work he did as a wardrobe stylist for music videos.  During the gig he would often dish to his friend Low about some of the backstage drama by stars like Mariah Carey.  From there came the idea for Pop Up Video. 

Thanks to Pop-Up Video, viewers learned interesting yet completely irrelevant facts like:

The role of Michael Jackson in the Jackson family’s 1984 video Torture was played by a wax dummy from Madame Tussaud’s in London, because the real Jackson didn’t show up for the filming.

The dreadlocks of Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz, are hair extensions (gasp!).

Dreams last on average 20 minutes was a fact revealed in Jewel’s hit song You Were Meant For Me which includes the line “dreams last for so long” in the chorus. 

Cher has two rose tattoos on her butt.

Lisa Loeb, known for her cat glasses in the video for the hit song Stay is allergic to contact lenses.

Lionel Richie’s blind love interest in the video Hello wasn’t really blind. 

And the video for Madonna’s dance anthem Vogue told us that some of the Voguers flown in for the shoot viewed the singer as their surrogate mother and tried to get her love and attention. 

For more stories from the 1990s, make sure to check out my podcast “History of the 90s” on ApplePodcasts, Spotify, Google Play and anywhere else you stream audio. You can also listen at Curiouscast.ca.

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