90s YTV was awesome, in large part thanks to the small group of program hosts. Hey, if MUCH could have VJs, then YTV could have PJs. Here are seven of the coolest.
The greatest YTV PJ of them all? We’d say yes. Phil was a funny guy who knew exactly how to make our young selves feel cool just by watching afternoon kids’ TV. He was the first host of The Zone, although when it launched in 1991 it was called The Afternoon Zone, and was frequently on with just Snit. He sometimes shared co-hosting duties with actual humans. Also, remember when he finally cut his super long hair? What a huge deal that was. You can see what he’s up to now on Twitter.
Anyone who grew up on YTV probably has Sugar’s squeaky voice imprinted on their brain. She gained prominence in the “Keep It Weird” era of programming and did things like voice Sailor Mini Moon on the show Sailor Moon. She’s still an actress and has appeared in Captain Underpants, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, and 50/50. You can follow her on Twitter.
We knew him first on The Breakfast Zone because why wouldn’t you watch cartoons before school? Of course, he spent a lot of time interviewing kid-friendly bands, singers, and actors too. And maybe some people not so well known among kids . . . like, we’re pretty sure he interviewed Jerry Seinfeld at one point. A chapter of wonderful madness in our young lives. He’s still interviewing people, though. You can find PJ Paul, who goes by Paul McGuire, on CMT. And Twitter.
Best remembered as the co-host of The Breakfast Zone, where her chemistry with PJ Paul made for easy viewing (remember when they wrote a hip-hop song about Paul’s pants?), PJ Aashna also hosted Hit List, YTV’s parade of music videos, and The Alley, the Saturday morning cartoon block. Oh, and you probably remember her voice from her rendition of O Canada. For any kids inexplicably reading this: they used to play the national anthem at the end of the day before they stopped broadcasting. Which means the TV channel “ended” for the day. No, we’re not sure why either.
Shaun Majumder had a whole bunch of different jobs at YTV, but you probably best remember him as Ed Brainbin from the show Brainwash. What was that about? It was mainly a trippy, psychedelic clip show-type thing. We think. Majumder was also on Uh Oh, hosting one of the segments where the audience could get slimed. Why aren’t there more slime-based shows on TV anymore? Anyway, Majumder is still on TV all the time, typically in his capacity as a stand-up comedian. You can follow him on Twitter or visit the Just for Laughs YouTube channel, where they post his stuff from time to time.
PJ Jazzy Jan
Once upon a time, PJ Jazzy Jan hosted YTV’s Rec Room, their late-night show. Later, she hosted the channel during afternoons and famously did this rap, which was pretty on-brand for hip-hop at the time. These days, you probably know Jazzy Jan as Janis Mackey Frayer, an NBC journalist based in Beijing. She’s had a long career in journalism in places such as New Delhi and Jerusalem and has won awards for her reporting.
Okay, so technically, Snit was just a TV screen robot created with spare metal parts and chewing gum, but he was as much a host as anyone else, mostly thanks to puppeteer Atul N. Rao. Demented and strange, Snit was a fixture on the show until he was blasted off into space as part of a surprisingly emotional retirement. Goodbye, Snit. We miss your random craziness.