U Got It Bad … for The Ricki Lake Show’s Musical Guests
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Britney Spears. NSYNC. Usher. Salt-N-Pepa. The Ricki Lake Show featured performances from some of the most iconic pop stars of the 90s and early 2000s. Ricki and Kalen talk with former MTV VJ Dave Holmes about the amazing artists who visited TRLS, looking back at the teen pop craze knowing what we know now, and the surprising places Ricki and Dave find new music nowadays. Plus, Kalen tells the story of when he hosted the announcement of Britney Spears’ Las Vegas residency that didn’t go exactly as planned.
Please note, Raised By Ricki contains mature themes and may not be appropriate for all listeners.
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Ricki Lake, Dave Holmes, Kalen Allen
Ricki Lake 00:14
Hi, everyone. Welcome back to Raised by Ricki. I am so excited to be here. I’m Ricki Lake and I’m with my favorite Kalen Allen, you just make my heart go pitter pat. How are you?
Kalen Allen 00:28
Great. How are you?
Ricki Lake 00:29
I’m so excited. You’re coming over next week.
Kalen Allen 00:31
I’m excited too.
Ricki Lake 00:33
I really want you to see my world and know what I’m talking about when I when I talk about it. Yeah, so it’s, we’re gonna have fun, I’m laying out the red carpet. Speaking of red carpet, like, have you? Have you been to the VMAs?
Kalen Allen 00:50
Yes, I have worked the VMAs. I worked at it while I was working at Ellen. I worked it in 2019, I think.
Ricki Lake 00:58
Was that like a great year?
Kalen Allen 01:02
No, actually, it was the worst year in the VMAs. So let me tell you why. So you know, usually the VMAs are huge productions, like because it’s a celebration of music videos, and they’re all extravagant, something always crazy happened at the VMAs. This year that I worked the VMAs was the year that they cut the budget and decided to do it at Radio City Music Hall. It was so sub-par. And I was so disappointed because I was waiting for a scandal to happen.
Ricki Lake 01:29
I get them confused the VMAs with the Grammys and the other like, you know, when pink does the stuff where she comes on the court and does those admit what music show is that?
Kalen Allen 01:40
that I think that would be more VMAs, VMA is more spectacle. You know?
Ricki Lake 01:47
So like Lizzo like was that the year Lizzo came out 2019?
Kalen Allen 01:51
Juice was popular but […] perform at the VMAs I think Ariana Grande performed but this is when Ariana was still dating Pete Davidson. Okay, because I remember Pete Davidson being on the red carpet. Yeah, this was early. This is pre pandemic.
Ricki Lake 02:07
And you know, you’ve never mentioned Gaga. You love Lady Gaga. Have you met her? No, I
Kalen Allen 02:14
No, I haven’t.
Ricki Lake 02:16
She’s someone I really, yes. I love Lady Gaga. I love pink. I did meet Pink years ago and I’m hoping I think she lives in Malibu.
Ricki Lake 02:21
Pink and Ellen are really close.
Ricki Lake 02:26
They are yeah, I love her. Like I just love these people that are just so real and authentic and confident and strong. And, you know, yeah, so Lady Gaga is not someone you’ve met yet. It’s on your list?
Kalen Allen 02:41
That is on my list. I love Lady Gaga because of her artistry. You know, I think music in general, because, you know, we’re talking about music videos kind of in music in general. I think Lady Gaga is so boring. Like what I loved about like Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj and Beyonce back in the day was like, it was all art. Even Katy Perry. Like it was always about being outrageous. It just causing a moment, you know, like Lady Gaga showed up in a meet outfit. You know what I mean? Right? We don’t get crazy moments like that anymore. Like, those were such iconic moments.
Ricki Lake 03:15
So why not? Why do you think it’s different now?
Kalen Allen 03:18
I think taste has changed. I think I don’t want to say that. I think it’s easier to get, like any type of notoriety or fame within the music business. But I think to an extent it is, you know, I think social media just drives everything so much well, back in the day, I think social media used to just be complimentary to everything else. But I think because of the pandemic, when social media became only what everybody had, you know, at that time now, it’s become like, the standard is become the foundation for a lot of things instead of just being the place where you comment on what’s happening.
Ricki Lake 03:57
Right. Well, I’m excited because today we’re talking to someone that knows everything about music about music videos, he came out of MTV, he was one of those DJs from back in the day. Legend Dave Holmes. Yeah. Okay. He has an amazing pop culture brain and has interviewed basically every artist that was on mild show at the same time, too. So he’s still an active writer and actor and podcast host. What do you say? Should we bring him in?
Kalen Allen 04:22
I say we bring him in.
Ricki Lake 04:23
I think I hear a doorbell.
Ricki Lake 04:31
Hi, Dave Holmes.
Dave Holmes 04:32
Hi, Ricki Lake. How you doing?
Ricki Lake 04:33
I’m good. Thank you so much for doing this. This is Kalen.
Dave Holmes 04:37
I know Kalen.
Kalen Allen 04:38
Hi, how are you?
Dave Holmes 04:39
Good. I’m great. How are you?
Kalen Allen 04:41
I’m wonderful. We’re blessed.
Ricki Lake 04:43
We have never met before, Dave, have we? I’m thrilled. I’m thrilled you’re here. So thank you. Okay, so you, you and me. We grew up. Obviously before the internet. I’m a little bit older than you before Napster and streaming services like Spotify and you’re known for your encyclopedic knowledge of music trivia. You’re an aficionado.
Kalen Allen 05:06
Do you agree?
Dave Holmes 05:07
Yeah. I mean, yeah, you know, it’s difficult now, for anyone, I think to have like, any kind of comprehensive knowledge of anything, because it’s all you know, culture is coming at us from a million different angles at once. And, you know, I’m at that age now, where it’s like, I don’t know what the number one song is, like, I see the artist in the title. And I’m like, No, it doesn’t ring a bell at all.
Ricki Lake 05:33
What is some of the music that you grew up loving?
Dave Holmes 05:35
Oh, well, I mean, I grew up, you know, in kind of a golden age of like, classic rock. So like, my older brothers were very into Bruce Springsteen. And there was, you know, like, the, the late 70s was like, Boston and you know, all that kind of stuff, which was great. And then when I hit Junior High was when MTV really like, made it to the suburbs. So it was you know, Duran Duran, and all that, like, sent the Spandau Ballet 80s stuff that I just went nuts for.
Ricki Lake 06:08
Do you remember when MTV hit the scene? When we were kids with those videos, those first videos?
Dave Holmes 06:14
Oh my god, I couldn’t believe it. Like it was there was a rumor that it was coming. And I was like, how can that be a thing? You know, we didn’t get it for until like, maybe 84 or something. But like friends’ houses had it. And I would, I would always invent reasons that I had to like, be at my friend’s house. So I can just like sit this close to the TV and just watch it. All
Ricki Lake 06:33
Kalen, you remember those days? No, you don’t remember that.
Kalen Allen 06:40
Let’s pump the brakes. But what I will say is like, I’m clearly African-American. So we watched BT more than we watched MTV, right. So like, when TRL was on MTV, we were watching 106 and park. So like, they were like two different worlds, but almost like the same type of content was happening during that time. Like I remember when you had like the top 10 music videos and stuff like that, or like also, another place that was really big on music, probably a little bit later after MTV started to fade out was VH one. You could get a lot of like, behind the scenes stuff from VH one and they would do like top 10 moments and stuff like that. So yeah, I am very well versed in older music. Newer music, I actually don’t have a clue. Like if you show me an artist today, I literally wouldn’t know if it’s not like a Dua Lipa or Lizzo, somebody that has like a lot of like, talk around them. I’m not gonna have a clue.
Dave Holmes 07:39
Yeah, it’s hard, man.
Ricki Lake 07:41
Are you a Swifty?
Dave Holmes 07:42
I like her. I like.
Ricki Lake 07:46
What about you Kalen?
Kalen Allen 07:48
I’m with Dave. I’m with Dave. I like her.
Ricki Lake 07:52
It’s like a lukewarm thing?
Kalen Allen 07:56
Taylor Swift reminds me of a pumpkin spice latte. That’s what I think. So it’s like a certain client tale. There’s a certain you know, community and that’s what they like.
Ricki Lake 08:11
You can’t deny that she’s an incredible songwriter.
Kalen Allen 08:14
Oh, no. I think the songs are I think she’s an incredible song writer I think she’s an incredible artists. You know, I think it’s more so when it comes down to just tasting you know what you prefer? Like, you know, like, I love Beyonce. But a lot of people don’t like Beyonce. You know what I mean?
Ricki Lake 08:28
Everyone loves Beyonce. Come on.
Dave Holmes 08:32
You can’t not like Beyonce.
Kalen Allen 08:37
After formation came out. And then she became more political. A lot of people abandoned her. You know, like, that’s why the Superbowl was such a big thing when she did it with Coldplay.
Ricki Lake 08:51
Why was that a big deal? I know. We’re going to talk about the old show and the Ricki Lake Show and music and stuff, but I want to why was it such a big deal when she did the Coldplay performance?
Kalen Allen 08:59
Well, because she had started with the outfits that she was in for formation was basically to symbolize like Black Panther. And I remember that she like came out with a with a fist up and then people at the NFL and people in the audience like, furious about it. It’s the same thing that happened when she performed at the CMA Awards with the Dixie Chicks. And in the comments were so racist that they had to remove the video from the internet, because it was so bad. Like it was crazy.
Ricki Lake 09:24
All right, I wasn’t aware of that.
Dave Holmes 09:26
Okay, but still, ignorant people dislike Beyonce.
Ricki Lake 09:31
Only stupid people don’t like Beyonce. Yeah, so you were a VJ in 1998. Yeah. How did that happen? How did you become one?
Dave Holmes 09:39
Craziest thing? I blew off work and stood in line for an open call for DJs. It was of course, you know, my dream job but I like had no idea how to make it happen. I was like I you know; I had dabbled in performing. I had done radio in high school in college. But I was an advertising guy in New York and I didn’t like it. And I was terrible at it. And then I saw a thing on billboard.com that they were doing an open call for DJs. And I was like, well, that’s my dream job. And I probably like, I don’t think I’m the guy, they’re looking for it necessarily, but like a, I just want to see it. I just want to, like, go in and look, see what the studio looks like. And I thought, you know, best case scenario, I might meet some people get a business card, get a meeting, like, you know, maybe become a production assistant or something or just like, have somebody to talk to about like, how can I move into, you know, something that I like more and maybe I’m better at, and, and so I stood in line, and I auditioned. And it ended up being this thing that was televised. It was their first want to be a VJ contest really, like it was a bunch of people stood in line, they narrowed it down to 10. And then from there, it was up to a viewer call in vote culminating in a big live event on a Saturday afternoon. And I blew off a college friend’s wedding to like, be there for the Saturday final and had to sort of come cleaned everyone from work that like I the reason I wasn’t there on Monday was that I was at MTV, auditioning, and I ended up not getting the job. But I did collect a lot of people’s business cards. And I did make a lot of connections. And I was like, old enough to understand how good an opportunity it was. And not to let it pass me by. So I just really, like kept calling people until they would meet with me and give me a job. And I started as a writer and then screen tested for a show, like a summer show at the beach house. And that show got picked up and I got attached to it as host. And then I was there for five years, which is crazy.
Kalen Allen 11:39
So what was the timeframe between you being a runner up and then starting to work at MTV? How long was that.
Dave Holmes 11:45
Maybe a month? Like maybe a month.
Kalen Allen 11:50
I’m thinking this is some years? So what I love about that is especially when you talk about like phony and you know, because I don’t listen, as someone that has been able to receive a career, and a lot of notoriety through social media. I also have a disdain for social media. I think social media ruins a lot of things. It’s a double edged sword is there’s some good, there’s a lot of good things. So but then I think there’s also a lot of bad to it. So but I think what is special about that is that you know, that you were clearly talented to be able to get that far in a competition where it was reliant on somebody to be able to just call in, you know, very much like the early years of American Idol. Okay, so my question is, do you think in today’s day and age, if this contest were to happen, say, MTV never happened for you? And this contest happened? Do you think you would make it that far today?
Dave Holmes 12:52
Oh, well, I mean, the contest would be completely different now. Obviously, you know. And thank God, I did it when I did it, because it was 1998. And there was no such thing as really this kind of show. Yeah, like, there wasn’t an idol yet, and there wasn’t, there wasn’t that kind of thing.
Ricki Lake 13:09
And what was the skill set? What was the skill set that you needed?
Dave Holmes 13:12
It truly was just like, I went in, and like, you know, because there were so many people that were like, 12 audition stations, and they cycled us in and we had to, like read a cue card and maybe do some ad libbing and then just sort of, you know, chit chat with the casting person. And it was yeah, it was I guess it was just sort of ability to, you know, read a cue card or like, make a connection to the camera or something.
Ricki Lake 13:37
Was it live back then?
Dave Holmes 13:40
Yeah, the final like the Thursday, Friday, Saturday, parts of it were live. Yeah.
Ricki Lake 13:45
When you actually did the job, the MTV?
Dave Holmes 13:48
It was often live. Yeah. Okay. TRL had not yet started. That wouldn’t start until like that Autumn, but weekend specials we’re typically live. And, you know, I also am incredibly grateful that I was as young and stupid as I was.
Ricki Lake 14:02
I was young and stupid, too. I was 24 I didn’t know how to host a show. And I looked up to people obviously like Oprah and Sally, Jessy, those were kind of my role models. Who were your role models back when you were starting so young?
Dave Holmes 14:17
Well, I you know, I grew up to MTV and I loved I loved people like, I don’t know if you remember Kevin Seal? Yeah. Late 80s. Kevin seal. Chris Connolly. I loved and then I got to know and work with and still know and he’s so great.
Ricki Lake 14:36
Jon Stewart was on the air back then. I was on his show back. I remember at MTV studios. It’s bringing me back. Bring me back. Okay, kids, we need to take a quick break, but we’re gonna be right back. So let’s talk about like, what was it like being an MTV VJ in the 90s and 2000s?
Dave Holmes 15:06
Well, it was wild. Because, you know, at that time, like, the culture shifted a little bit like we were coming off like the alternative thing. And like, three months after I got there, like the, the teen pop thing really began to happen. So like the boy bands, and Britney and Christina, and, and all of that, like that moment began. And so they had unveiled these big studios in Times Square, in the middle of like, maybe early 98, late 97, early 98. And the artists that they were getting were like, fastball and semi Sonic and like, you know, great bands, but like, not bands that kids were gonna, I don’t know who those people are, but then yeah, then the teen pop thing started. And it was music that like 13 year olds likes to scream at. And so they would come in droves. And like, that moment happened while I was there, which was insane. So we became like, the epicenter of that moment in culture, which was wild to see it was such like, like, I got to be 13 in 1984 for like, you know, Prince and Madonna and, and Van Halen, and all that great stuff. And it’s like, the summer of 84 is like indelible to me. And like, we definitely knew at the time that like that pop music moment, it was going to be as important for the 13 year olds of 1999. And it was just so exciting to like, be there. But also because it was a lot of times live. And they kept us very busy. The whole thing is kind of a blur. So like, you know, I have this regular life. And then like, literally like two months later it was you know, a car would pick me up and I’d go to interview, you know, Mariah Carey, or what? I don’t think I’ve ever actually interviewed Mariah.
Ricki Lake 16:52
That would be a big deal to Kailyn if you did.
Kalen Allen 16:55
have worked with Mariah. It was a dream.
Ricki Lake 16:58
All these people were on my show to like, our we were a hub. I mean, I remember just any young, new I mean, Britney Spears was on the first week her baby hit me one more time she came on my show in the little skirt, the whole outfit the choreography not singing live. I don’t think any of the groups that came on actually sang live. Yeah, probably not. But we had NSYNC, we had Usher I remember Usher being like a little boy. What do you think it was about the show that made it such like a hub for young musical artists.
Dave Holmes 17:32
There was this generation of artists who had a bit of a background, a lot of them were Disney Kids, or like, you know, entertainers in Orlando of some kind or another and so they were really eager to like to make it and to play the game. And, you know, like TV is fun. And MTV is fun. And these, you know, giant studios with huge floor to ceiling windows overlooking Time Square, like being able to look out and see a crowd was fun. It was just good timing. I think it was young, charismatic artists and like a network that was like, eager to promote them and, and a studio to do it in. And you know, there kind of wasn’t an internet yet. I mean, there was but it was like, you know, your mom had two phones. So the idea of like, involvement in the lives of your idols was like, that wasn’t really there yet. We didn’t take for granted that we’d be able to like check in with whoever on Instagram throughout the day. So you know, we gave the viewers the opportunity to like call in and write you know, and talk to them or show up at the window and maybe be brought up to the studio or whatever. It was, like interactive before, right? Everything had to be interact.
Ricki Lake 18:43
Were you into this new music? Was it like your style?
Dave Holmes 18:47
Well, no. I mean, it wouldn’t be if I hadn’t had the job. It wouldn’t have been what I would listen to in my leisure time. But a thing happens when you are part of this world and you’re around it a bunch. It’s almost like a Stockholm Syndrome kind of thing. Where like, I mean, you can’t deny that all of these Max Martin pop songs are like masterpieces. They’re incredible. Had I continued to be like a 27 year old guy with an advertising job. I might not own an NSYNC CD, but I certainly did. You know, once I got the job, but I like I continue to listen to all my like music nerd stuff as well. But there was a great pop moment you couldn’t deny it. If you tried to deny that all of these pop singles are great. You’re lying, or you have an axe to grind or you’re or you’re ignorant like a Beyonce. Ricki, I’m curious. If somebody posts something from one of your shows from this era. And you watch it or you like, remember that or you’re just like, oh, who’s that
Ricki Lake 19:50
I mean, it comes back like when I wake up after taking Ambien it comes back like a dream a little bit. Oh, no, it’s like, oh, yeah, that happened. I mean, I definitely have memories of like seeing Britney Spears, seeing NSYNC, seeing Usher, seeing salt and pepper, TLC. I mean all those people coming on and it was definitely surreal like they’re coming on my show. You know, when I was like a real mute music nerd like my first concert, I think was Barry Manilow. Okay. I know. I know. I know. I mean, I definitely saw Bruce Springsteen, but I was not someone who was cool with music. I can tell you right now I’m not cool. today. I will listen to Broadway show tunes before like Hamilton. I just think like you mentioning these groups that don’t really ring a bell for me, you know, but I definitely you know, I so appreciate the platform that I had, like I that we were able to be on the cusp of what was like popular to young people, you know, when I was young at that time, too. Yeah. But I definitely did not consider myself cool.
Kalen Allen 20:53
I had a question. Well, what because I think people really especially because you all were working so closely to people who at this time were like icons, like phenomena like this is when celebrity was very different. Yeah. And so I think people would be interested in doing like, personal experience of stories that you have now. I’ll start off, I’ll tell my Britney Spears story. Because if you watch the Hulu documentary, I’m in the documentary, because Britney Spears did this was the last residency the last time we ever saw her in a public setting. Either 2018 or 2019. Britney Spears was announcing a residency in Vegas. She had come on to the Ellen DeGeneres Show to announce that she was going to do this residency. And Ellen said, oh, well, we’re going to cover it in Vegas. So they sent me and we get there. And nobody really knows what’s going on, or what’s happening. And I was told that Mario Lopez was going to be the host. And I would just throw in and throw out you know, and so I was like, okay, that works. Because at this time, I didn’t know like, Jack diddly squat about Britney Spears, like, day I knew like songs like just like the hits. But as far as like about her life, or any of that no clue. So I was like, Okay, well, we’re just gonna wing it. So we start the night, but Mario had just recently broken his foot. So he couldn’t stand very long on his foot. So then they ended up having me during most of the hosting. Nobody really knows when Brittany’s gonna come out what’s gonna happen, we go over, and all the fans are lined up. And Brittany comes out of the stage, she walks down, she signs like one two autographs, she comes to me. She says, I love your hat. She gives me a hook. And then she walks to her car and leaves.
Ricki Lake 23:01
Wait, what was she supposed to do?
Kalen Allen 23:02
Nobody knows what she was supposed to do. Like nobody, no, nobody knew if it was a performance, like we know, nobody knew what was going to happen. All we knew was that she came up, she came down and left. And we didn’t really find out until later on. Once, you know, then they started talking about the conservatorship and everything, finding out that the reason why it was like that, that night was because she didn’t want to do the residency, she was being forced to do the residency and wouldn’t leave the hotel room that night to go and even do the announcement. So that’s why everybody was kind of just waiting and waiting. And so it really wasn’t afterwards until it all made sense. But I will say an iconic time.
Dave Holmes 23:48
Yeah. Well, Kalen I will tell you, I watched it live. Oh, yeah. Because I remember hearing that there was going to be this announcement of this residency. And I thought, well, this will at least be an interesting thing to watch.
Ricki Lake 24:03
Were we aware of the conservatorship then trying to remember the timeframe. It’s pre COVID. Yes, 2019. You said, let’s just pray. So you were titillated to see how she would react, how she performs?
Dave Holmes 24:18
Just curious to see what we were going to get, you know, she had been gone for a while and she had done that the one residency and it just seemed, you know, like, everyone was posting video from it. And it really just seemed like kind of robotic and robot I was just curious to see like, you know, what stage of like, you know, like rehabilitation she was in right. And so I watched and it kept getting later and later, and I already knew you from your videos Kalen from Ellen, and I remember thinking like, Caitlyn is learning how to vamp today, like this is this is a very important skill for a host to learn. Wow, because sometimes things do not go off the way they’re supposed to. But it was like you crushed it. And it was fun. I think she was supposed to do like a little performance and then like, announced the residency and a big poster with dropped or something. But we it was like a live stream of her. Walking out of her house and getting into a car and leaving.
Kalen Allen 25:17
Yeah, that’s really what it was. But, you know, to that point of, especially now, in today’s day and age, when we are able to look back, like for instance, like when I read Mariah Carey’s memoir, I was like, damn, like, girl was going through it, you know, even like, like, people don’t even know that 911 meant something totally different to Mariah Carey. If you read the memoir. So first of all, glitter came out the same day as 9/11.Yes. Yes, yes, yes. And in addition to that, at that time, her mother and brother had put her in a rehab facility because they were trying to extort her. And so she was able to get out of the rehab facility because everybody was so focused on 9/11 watching the TV that she just walked out the door. And that was how she got out. And that’s why then a couple years later, the emancipation of Mimi is the next album.
Ricki Lake 26:16
even you didn’t know that Dave Holmes?
Kalen Allen 26:18
No, I didn’t.
Kalen Allen 26:23
Now, as you were working in these places, and seeing the stars coming in and out, was there ever a time because I also know about the Mariah Carey moment on MTV. Were there ever moments where you were like, I’m concerned for this individual? Is this individual being taken care of this for you to Ricky, especially if having so many people come in and seeing the people that are working for them or the teams in actually having genuine concern?
Dave Holmes 26:49
I guess I’m pretty naive because no, like, I never really felt like anyone was in any kind of, you know, I think I still at the time believed the best in people even like industry, people, even the Mariah Carey thing. I will tell you; I wasn’t in the studio that day.
Ricki Lake 27:07
Refresh the memory of the people that didn’t get to see it like me.
Dave Holmes 27:09
Well, she showed up. And she like, she was kind of just in a long t shirt.
Kalen Allen 27:16
And it was Carson Daly.
Dave Holmes 27:18
It was Carson Daly. And, and she brought she brought an ice cream cart. She was like brought ice cream for everyone. And she brought like a photograph of like a headshot of her mother.
Ricki Lake 27:27
What year is this?
Dave Holmes 27:28
Ricki Lake 27:29
This was for glitter?
Kalen Allen 27:32
is in this timeframe? Yeah, this is
Ricki Lake 27:35
This is like the show must go on. You had to go back to work and do these, you know, promotion?
Dave Holmes 27:41
No, no, no, it was July. It was July of 2001. Yeah. Okay. And I don’t even think she actually was promoting anything. I think she just called in and was like, I want to be on the show. And of course, she calls in and says she wants to be on the show. You want her on the show.
Kalen Allen 27:53
That’s the thing that Mariah says in the book as well, because the way that they framed it on the show was like Mariah just showed up out of nowhere and had lost her mind, which led to her being locked up. But Mariah says in the book is that this was planned. This had been talked about. She was like, how was I just gonna walk into MTV TRL and just crash this set? And so she was angry about that.
Dave Holmes 28:17
But she, yeah, so she, she just seemed a little, I guess, a little loopier than normal. But like, at the time, I remember watching and being like, as she yes, she’s a little weird of unusual, but I didn’t think too much of it. And it wasn’t until a couple days later, once it had like, entered the gossip cycle and whatever. That it was like, oh, yeah, I guess that was weird. But, you know, even the producers and the people who worked on the show were like, that’s a little bit what like working with her is always like, like she’s always a little bit a little, you know, a little loopy. That’s why we like her.
Ricki Lake 28:48
Was she with that manager husband at that time was that when she was with?
Kalen Allen 28:52
I think this was at the tail into Tommy Mottola. Because butterflies, really when Tommy Mottola kind of got out of the picture. Right.
Ricki Lake 29:03
Weirdness aside, or maybe not, how do Britney and Mariah embody the 90s and 2000s as pop music celebrity icons?
Kalen Allen 29:11
That’s a good question. Well, I think what’s special about those two is that they’re almost like two very separate generations, honestly, because Britney, you know, 90s but Mariah was the 80s Like, you know, coming in and then really dominated with like, vision of love, and then doing the emotions and all that and I think what is special is that Mariah has always been very good at redefining herself and rebranding herself, to where she always felt younger than she was, you know, because she was always still selling sex. You know, especially once the butterfly came out and you get into the rainbow era. But I think when you think about divas and icons of music. You immediately think of Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion Whitney Houston like you think about these people that were moments they were experiences they were phenomenon’s, very much like in today’s day and age when you have like K-pop bands, you know like the way people go crazy for K-pop bands or how people were going crazy for the Mariah is and the Brittany’s and all those people.
Ricki Lake 30:29
Do you agree, Dave?
Dave Holmes 30:30
I do. And I think Britney, more than anything kind of embodies. Like the change in our culture from the late 90s to the early 2000s. Like Mariah Carey was, you know, she had like a profile in the press and whatever, but you didn’t you didn’t really, I guess it was because she was with Tanya Matola. But there wasn’t a whole lot of like, she didn’t show up in the gossip columns, right? Britney did and Britney was young.
Ricki Lake 30:55
She and Justin Timberlake. Right.
Dave Holmes 30:57
So he loved to write about her. And that was when, like, the balance of power shifted from like, print outlets, who as vicious as they could be, had some sort of standards that they had to, like, exist by to things like, you know, Perez Hilton, and delisted and, and all of these, like gossip sites that were just could be as vicious as they wanted to be. And there was a never ending flow of content, because suddenly everybody had even the time before an iPhone, you would have like a digital camera. And you can take unlimited pictures. And so like, she lost her privacy almost completely at a time when her frontal lobe was still, like not fully forming. Yeah. And it’s like, she really is like the example of like, what our culture did to young people seeking fame. And it’s like, it’s still a thing that you can tell that she’s like processing, it’s like, it took a massive toll that you can still see.
Kalen Allen 31:57
That’s I think the biggest critique that I have about popular culture, especially when it comes to celebrity, because I think the frustrating thing, because I even have this argument when it comes to Whitney Houston, because people talk about addiction, you know, and then but I think the thing that I struggle with is they always say stuff, like, what they signed up for it, you know, it’d be like, well, this is what comes with the territory. And I’m like, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right. You know, because like you’re completely altering these people. And they’re like, well, they’re rich. I’m like, okay, yes, but they’re also entertaining you, you know? So it’s like, it’s a relationship, that there’s a fair trade here, you know what I mean? And it’s like, in the fact that you feel that because they have this money or whatever, especially in today’s day and age, when we always talk about mental health, how does that give you the right to mock this person to trash this person to not allow this person to live a normal life, and then when they start to, you know, go off the rocker or they start to act different. Now you want to judge them, you know, without taking responsibility to where how the culture in society is a big reason.
Ricki Lake 33:09
We’re all implicated. I think her youth her being so Young had a huge effect on her mental health. I mean, I remember I my memory, of course, she was on my show, but I also did Regis and Kathie Lee, in Disney World with Britney and her mom. This might have been her second album, so it was what lucky.
Kalen Allen 33:32
Somebody write a song like Lucky and nobody around you is like, we should help this girl. The song is literally a cry for help.
Ricki Lake 33:43
All right, let’s take a break. We’ll be right back Wait, can we talk about MTV and their role in reality television, the real world? The first one? I mean, I had the whole cast on. I remember it. That was groundbreaking television. Really? And you hosted the reunion?
Dave Holmes 34:11
I did. Host a reunion. Yeah. It wasn’t it was like it seasons four through seven or something. It was like a Vegas thing. Yeah, I didn’t. I didn’t I didn’t get to meet the original cast. Which is like, you know, I mean, I’ve met Heather.
Ricki Lake 34:28
I want to have Heather on here. She used to be on my show all the time. I was friends with I can’t say good. I was friends with him. I was friendly with all of them. But I did you happen to see the recent reunion of, it was genius. I thought it was so important.
Kalen Allen 34:45
And that’s not the one with Tammy.
Ricki Lake 34:47
No, Tammy was LA. Tammy was La.
Dave Holmes 34:51
They did the real world New York homecoming in LA and then they jump forward to New Orleans.
Ricki Lake 34:58
But what did you think when you were working at him? TV, and then that show came out because that was really the start of like, following real people in their real lives. It was real.
Dave Holmes 35:07
It was. And those were the people that I kind of gravitated to, like I, you know, I didn’t really have a whole lot of like Rockstar friends. But like, when a new real world cast would come out, I would always like make a point of like, getting to know them, because they were going through what I had gone through, you know, like, suddenly, literally overnight, like people know who you are, or whatever, which is not everybody, but some. And it’s weird, and it’s disorienting. And you know, what’s interesting, and what they kind of get into, in some of these real world homecoming shows, is like, those people got famous, but not rich. You know, and that’s tough. It’s two very different things and like to be recognizable, but then also, like, have to, like, you know, maybe you’re working at a Starbucks or something. And it’s, and people are like, hey, I know you from TV. Why are you here? You know, it’s, it’s strange. And it’s, I don’t know, it can do a number on your ego. Now, you know, you go on The Bachelorette, or whatever. And then you don’t win. But you get a whole bunch of new Instagram followers. And it’s like, here’s my weight loss tea, or whatever, and like, and you can make some money off it. But they didn’t really have that back then. And because they were recognizable from the real world, they couldn’t work if they wanted to be actors.
Ricki Lake 36:25
It’s such a weird thing. Like, you know, I hosted this really awful show called charm school, we’ve talked about it. And it’s like, those people came on with this agenda to get their own spin off. Like that was their reason for being there. And they were characters, and they were like, it was just such a weird thing. It wasn’t real anymore, you know? And yeah, I loved the real world. And I loved you know, Pedro and the storyline about the AIDS epidemic. I mean, it was just, it was important. It mattered; you know?
Dave Holmes 36:53
It totally did. I think season one is on Paramount plus of the real world. And it’s totally worth watching. Because it’s like, it’s very slow paced by today’s standards. And also, like, the people involved are like, awkward because they because there is no template for this. And so, like in interviews, they kind of don’t know where their eyes are supposed to go. And like it’s clunky. But in that way, it’s it actually feels very real and authentic. And of course, you know, you could never, you can never have that now people just show up in the house and go right to the hot tub and get right to get right to doing it. But yeah, I loved those a lot. And then on weekends, they would just, like rerun them all in a row. I’m sure I’ve seen the Miami season 15 times all the way through.
Kalen Allen 37:38
Oh my gosh, So do you think that social media, including TikTok and YouTube have created more opportunities for emerging artists to be heard discovered? I mean, I’m a product of that. Because I do think that with social media being very in a more of a space of equal opportunity where anybody could get fame or get notoriety that it creates oversaturation and the oversaturation, then we’ll make it easy for people to just replace you, or to just find somebody else, you know, mimic you and copy what you’re doing. Oh, which we’ve seen that happens all the time, you know, so do you think that the same themes and the same situations that we’ve had when, you know, back in the day with real world, that they exist even more today?
Dave Holmes 38:27
Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s what I mean, there is this entire, you know, World of, of YouTube stars, who I largely don’t know, but who are massive, you know, yeah, I think it’s created a world where, you know, we have our like, a handful of like, super superstars. And then there’s this kind of huge middle class of people who are like sustaining themselves by making content. And they have their, you know, they’re like, sliver of the world that is huge fans of theirs, and nobody outside of that sliver knows who they are. I did a thing. I did a thing with New Kids on the Block. Not to brag, but I know those guys, and I work with their management company on stuff. And so I did a video around their tour opener this past summer. It was in Cincinnati, and they invited like, a whole ton of Cincinnati, YouTube, influencer families. And I was like, Alright, yes. But also like, there are Cincinnati YouTube influencers right? There totally. And there’s like the main family, and then there’s the wacky neighbor, and she has her own channel. And it’s like, I did a thing with the wacky neighbor and like 1000 people who I know who like her, like a rather wacky neighbors YouTube channel, and it’s like, I guess, I guess, but it’s wild. And I don’t know if I answered your question, but there is a whole big world that that I can’t get my arms around and then and then there’s TikTok that I’m just afraid of.
Ricki Lake 39:58
It’s an age thing, right?
Kalen Allen 40:00
Before we did like Ricki didn’t have a clue who I was or what I did you know what I mean?
Ricki Lake 40:05
I didn’t, I still don’t know. Like, like, I know the food videos. And I mean, I’m your biggest fan. I’m your manager now.
Kalen Allen 40:11
I do have a question for you, Ricki. Because we are talking about 90s. And we’re talking about these artists and these celebrities. And we know the celebrity is shifting this changing. Culture is fractured is very different. My question for you, is it at any point? Did you feel like a has been like, did you ever think about it? Or were you content in the life that you had created that you didn’t care?
Ricki Lake 40:32
100% I have never felt like a has been, I’ve never and I also don’t have this drive to stay relevant. Like, I just am doing my thing. And I’m exploring new avenues. And I’ve reinvented myself and I’ve had, like, in my mind, my greatest success is my documentary film work that doesn’t pay a bill, you know, but I’ve left my mark. And I’ve, you know, focused my energy and my attention on something that I like, it’s my passion. So no, I mean, I look at it like, like, the Ricki Lake Show is, it certainly was a long, long time ago, but I feel like I’ve left my mark in other ways, whether it’s John Waters, whether it’s acting whether you know, and doing this podcast, like it’s just, no, I definitely do not see myself as someone who’s like, peaked. You know? And maybe that’s in my mind, you know, maybe I have and maybe the heydays are long gone.
Kalen Allen 41:20
Oh, no, no, what, that’s what I was about to say, you know, right, it is very healthy. But it’s also because I think in the pandemic, I’ve really seen a shift in Celebrity, is because during the pandemic, I think people started to really appreciate nostalgia, and wanted to kind of go back into past because everybody wanted to life that they used to live before everything changed. You know what I mean? Because this was like, the first time like, 911 changed New York, but COVID changed the entire world. You know, and we all lifted. And so what I have noticed is celebrity culture now is that the most famous people are actually the older people are the people that were from back in the day, those are the people that I feel are shining now and really getting their opportunity like for instance, I surely Ralph winning her Emmy finally, you know what I mean? So getting the moments where people are now starting to thrive, I think people have kind of started to remove this, how shallow that thought processes of detail somebody that they are has been when they have shifted and moved culture and I think people are now more so like, let’s just give people their flowers while they’re here.
Dave Holmes 42:27
I hope. What our culture does when somebody has big dreams of fame, and they don’t quite pan out is like we say things like has been or also ran or like these are one hit wonder one hit wonder, like these kinds of dehumanizing things. And it’s like sometimes, you know, you take that chance and that doesn’t pan out but because of that you meet the person who takes you over here to where you’re supposed to be. And like being on TV being you know, a name on people’s lips is not the be all and end all for everyone. It’s not it’s not the right thing for everyone’s back and like having fame for a brief time and then changing direction is like, that’s fine. And if people want to make fun of you for it, who cares? You know, sometimes the better path is the one that you do not see.
Ricki Lake 43:09
So how do you find, how do you discover new music now, Dave?
Dave Holmes 43:14
I work at Sirius XM I do weekends on the spectrum, which is like their adult alternative station, which is kind of kind of my taste in music.
Ricki Lake 43:22
I think I listened to that. I just hear you all the time.
Dave Holmes 43:25
Saturday Nights that’s me. Honestly, like spin class, is where I’ll hear. I have a friend who teaches at a hot room spin studio in Toluca Lake.
Ricki Lake 43:43
I like Emma Lovewell on my peloton. She’s got good like music really? I
Kalen Allen 43:47
I would have felt like you was probably on the bike with Cody.
Ricki Lake 43:51
I like Cody but no Emma Lovewell’s, my favorite. I want to be her. She’s so pretty. And I love her taste in music, but I need to get back on my bike. I haven’t seen her in a while. Well, what are you up to? Now? I know you’re an editor at Esquire. Right. Yeah. And yeah, you’re doing a ton of things. So yeah, I mean, your heyday was not as MTV DJ, VJ gig, you went on to do great things.
Dave Holmes 44:20
You know, that was the most like public thing that have that have done and I’m obviously so glad I did it. It led to everything that I’m doing now. You know, like if I had not shown up that morning, I there’s no world in which I’m on the masthead at Esquire magazine. And so that’s great. I also just wrapped a documentary for Netflix. That’s coming out next year. With Wanda Sykes his production company about the latest John it’s about the history of queer people in stand-up comedy. From Moms Mabley to you know, Sam J and Jokin Booster and it’s really fascinating.
Ricki Lake 44:57
But one thing I just wanted to add and I know it’s not You know, tied to anything, but I also went to an open call for hairspray. I read about it, and I just it changed the whole trajectory of my entire life and gave me my career. So same thing if I hadn’t gone for that call. I don’t think any of this would happen.
Dave Holmes 45:14
I mean, how much do you think about that sliding doors moment?
Ricki Lake 45:17
A lot. I mean, there’s been a lot of moments that I’ve like gone this way. And that turned into this, you know, certainly John Waters just opened every avenue for me. I’m so grateful. I took that leap of faith and he picked me.
Dave Holmes 45:29
I want to talk to you for a full day about life on that set. I just I got to interview Josh Charles a couple of months ago. We had cocktails over Zoom.
Ricki Lake 45:42
Josh Charles was in hairspray. He was one of the council kids. And he went on to be a he’s a great actor and his dad, Alan Charles, provided the space for us to do our dance practices. So when we would learn all the mashed potatoes and the you know, all of the dances were done at Allen Charles’s studio. It’s so funny. Anyway, thank you so much for going back in time with us. It’s a pleasure to meet you and talk with you.
Dave Holmes 46:06
Great talking to both of you. I’ll see you around the Malibu country Mart. Thank you so much.
Ricki Lake 46:21
Dave was great.
Kalen Allen 46:21
Oh, my God, I loved it.
Ricki Lake 46:25
I have to say, Yeah, I thought he was really attractive.
Kalen Allen 46:29
My goodness. Of course.
Ricki Lake 46:30
I know. I know. Everybody can’t see him. But me. But yeah, his voice. And I thought he was just, just his whole perspective and his experience of being a VJ back then. And like someone say hey there.
Kalen Allen 46:43
I agree. I agree. I was very, I just loved it. I really loved being able to talk about culture as a whole. This is you know, we talked about the show so much, but it’s not very often that we get to talk about it with someone that has so much knowledge about the actual social climate of that time.
Ricki Lake 47:07
Kalen, I had no idea about that Britney Spears thing.
Kalen Allen 47:10
I got stories for days. That’s what everybody always says, and I was like y’all, I was winging it.
Ricki Lake 47:16
What were you talking about? What did you do when she just like was gone.
Kalen Allen 47:19
I think there’s like a moment where they flash it to me, and I just kind of just stay in there. And I’m like, like, just smiling. And then I think I was just like, well, everybody, there you have it. Britney Spears. It’s coming to y’all live in Las Vegas is going to be a great time. Until next time. I’m Caitlin. I’ll see you later. Like Linda, you got to remember like, this was early in my career. So I was so nervous, like so scared. I didn’t know what I was doing with it. Like, yeah, it was interesting.
Ricki Lake 47:47
All right. Well, I think having Dave on was really, really a fun reflection for all of us who grew up in the 90s. Even the people the old souls like you know, baby, thank you so much for listening. We really appreciate you taking part in our good time. Please, if you like what you hear..
Kalen Allen 48:03
Rate, review, and make sure you subscribe.
Please do and we hope to have you join us next time. Bye so long. We love it. We love the feedback. And thank you so much. We hope you’ll be listening next time. Thanks for joining. One last thing, there’s even more Raise By Ricki with Lemonada Premium. We do our premium episodes AMA style where you get to ask me anything. And earlier this week you asked me what was the moment I actually felt famous and it was so fun to answer that and remember that night. Now if you want to find out what my answer was, you should subscribe to Lemonada Premium right now in Apple podcasts. Raised by Ricki with Ricki Lake and Kalen Allen is a Lemonada Media Original. This show is produced by Claire Jones and Nancy Rosenbaum. Our associate producer is Tiffany Buoy. Our senior director of new content is Rachel Neill, VP of weekly production is Steve Nelson and our executive producers Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer and DeRay McKesson, and the show is mixed by Johnny Vince Evans. Music is written and produced by Jellybean Benitez, Jason Peralta and Jay Coos for Jelly Bean Productions.