November 10th, 2004 Taylor Clark | Special Section Stories
 

THE VEEJAY

Kennedy, MTV personality

     
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In 1993, Kennedy was MTV's grating ambassador to grunge as the VJ host of Alternative Nation.
If you were a teenager in the 1990s with a pathetically empty social agenda every afternoon, chances are you spent some quality time with MTV video jockey Kennedy.

Like the annoying friend you endured in order to hang out with his hot sister, Kennedy was the chafing gateway to the coolness of the Nirvana generation. With both hands clutching a microphone and curly brown hair bobbing crazily about, Kennedy introduced videos with a voice that could cut glass.

But long before she was regaling a nation of transfixed teens, Kennedy was sneaking into Satyricon and hitting the mean streets of Lake Oswego.

Lisa Kennedy Montgomery moved to Portland with her parents from Indianapolis when she was 3 years old. When she hit high-school age, it was off to the suburbs. As a student at Lakeridge High, she says, her teachers didn't recognize her awesome potential to introduce rock videos.

"I remember my guidance counselor saying that at the rate I was going I would amount to nothing," Kennedy, now 32, recalls. "At the same time, my calligraphy instructor believed in me, and guess who ended up getting an invitation to my wedding?"

Kennedy left Portland in 1990 and wound up as a disc jockey at Los Angeles' KROQ at the tender age of 19. Two years later, MTV scooped her up to host Alternative Nation, making her the envy of the flannel-clad masses.

In four years as a veejay, Kennedy picked up a reputation as something of an annoyance (Rolling Stone readers once voted her "Most Hated" veejay) as well as an outspoken conservative (she was a big fan of then-VP Dan Quayle). Today, she says she's more of a "small 'l' libertarian."

After leaving MTV, Kennedy went on to host several radio and television shows, including Friend or Foe? and Who Wants to Be Governor of California? on the Game Show Network. But it's her current work as a panelist on the VH1 show Best Week Ever that gives her a chance to rehash the older, more boisterous Kennedy.

"Being loud is something that has never left me," she says. "I'd be really bummed out if someone was, like, 'Be wackier.'"

Kennedy now lives in Los Angeles and continues to pursue TV projects. She's also a senior at UCLA, where she's majoring in--steady yourself--philosophy.

While the Dialogues of Plato may seem a far cry from the discography of Pearl Jam, Kennedy takes her metaphysics very seriously. She even took a recent trip to Greece to bask in the intellectual glow of the discipline's birthplace.

"I actually went into the cell where Socrates drank hemlock," she says. "Pretty cool, eh?"


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Intro | Tonya's Mob: Tonya Harding, Jeff Gillooly & Shawn Eckardt | The Crusader: Gordon Shadburne | The Meteor: Billy Ray Bates | Satan's Pilgrim: Rex Diabolos Church | The Firebrand: Ron Herndon | The Bad Boy: Frank Peters | The Broken Halo: Michael Stoops | The Crack Mother: Anita Nichols | The Veejay: Kennedy | The Girl from Electra: Treva Throneberry | The Perfect Victim: Azalea Cooley | The Grappler: Dutch Savage | Wonder Boy: Pat Gillis | The Ex-Files: Marcia & Steve Moskowitz | The Witness: Dave Mazzella | The Prankster: Igor Vamos | The Intern: Monica Lewinsky | The Runaways: Diane Walden & Peter | Top Cop: Mark Kroeker | Sprawl Kitten: Kate Schiele | Authority Figure: Rocky Balada | The Hulk: Dry Dock 4 | The Candidate: Gail Shibley | The Super: Ben Canada | The Organ Grinder: Dr. William J. Brady | Pillars of the Community: The Lovejoy Columns | The Survivor: Giles Thompson | The Contender: Andy Minsker | Space Invader: The Phantom Dialer | The Red Menace: Ma Anand Sheela

 
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