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8 Sexiest MTV Moments Of The 80s (VIDEO)

Posted: 10/29/11 09:34 AM ET

MTV's top-rated show, "Jersey Shore," is often described in terms normally reserved for "The Jerry Springer Show" or disgraced congressmen: vulgar, exploitative, raunchy, mindless, gratuitous. It's proudly all of those things, which means it has more in common than you think with the fabulously racy music videos MTV used to air around the clock back in the 1980s. Snooki, we watched Tawny Kitaen's Whitesnake videos. We knew Tawny Kitaen (or at least pretended to). Snooki, you're no Tawny Kitaen.

Our new book, "I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution," tells the wild story of the first ten years of MTV and music videos. Certainly the music videos from this golden era of MTV were a varied lot, promoting more than just blatant sexuality: sometimes they promoted the wonders of dry ice, sometimes they showcased advances in modern pyrotechnics, and sometimes they taught kids what can be achieved with just a comb and a case of Aqua Net. But mostly, MTV loved charisma and sex, and when the two combined, we were star struck: Van Halen, Prince, Duran Duran, Madonna, Motley Crue and others are indelibly linked to MTV in the 1980s, and they have their libertine sexual attitudes (and hairdressers) to thank. In chronological order, and with apologies to all the exhibitionists who didn't make the list, here are the eight sexiest moments on MTV in the 1980s.

Hiring Martha Quinn (1981)
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Fresh out of NYU, Martha got the gig as one of the five original VJs only when another hire bailed at the last minute. Cast as the mousey girl next door in contrast to bedhead vixen Nina Blackwood, she instead became an accidental sex symbol, the quintessence of adorkable. She went on to date a rock star or two, and break hearts within and without the MTV offices. "Everybody in North America had a small crush on Martha Quinn," says "Weird Al" Yankovic.
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