17 Reasons “Say What? Karaoke” Was MTV’s Most Painfully Awkward Show

Please don’t make them sing “Bawitdaba.”

Say What? Karaoke was an MTV show that first aired in 1998. In the early years, Dave Holmes hosted the competition, but in later incarnations, Joey McIntyre and Danielle Fishel served as hosts. It was a karaoke competition for REAL PEOPLE. So, like, basically a TV show where everyone thinks they are an awesome singer, but NO ONE CAN SING FOR SHIT.

Let us examine why this show was just so painful:

1. People came on dressed like this. Willingly. On television.

2. Boys wore belly tops and puka shell necklaces. And this was considered acceptable.

Boys: Your secret past is on YouTube. Just a heads up.

3. Girls performed amateur bedroom choreography while singing Destiny’s Child in the wrong key.


4. Men in shiny shirts chose “Who Let the Dogs Out” as a song that would supposedly show off their vocal bravado.

5. A lot of the guys who came on the show were Backstreet or NSYNC fans. AND THEY COULD NOT HARMONIZE FOR SHIT.

All you people can’t you seEEEeeEEEeeeIiIIida;ljfslajflaaeeeeeee can’t you seeeee.

6. Even worse, this was a time when dressing up like A.J. McLean was ::barfs:: sexy.

::Mega puke into toilet::

7. It was the interpretation of boy-band moves that was perhaps the show’s most horrifying aspect:

8. Although, any time someone humped the floor, that was also a tragedy:

9. Then you had celeb judges weighing in on “style,” “accuracy,” and “performance.” And they almost always gave high marks because you had to feel bad for these people who put themselves and their average voices on TV.

Translation: I’m trying to be nice.

10. Although when Funkmaster Flex was on the show, he could be a bit critical. Which was also just as awkward.

Translation: This was horrible why am I here.

11. There was a part in the show where those who made it past the first round had to go into a closet and pick costumes for a wardrobe change.

12. And then there was the “KARAOKE WHEEL OF DEATH.” SPIN AND YOU WILL PROBABLY DIE. (Of shame.)

13. MTV just had to pick songs that people could only really remember the chorus to. So watching people start singing the verse was like watching a newborn calf try to stand for the first time.

14. No one ever knew the words. This guy is literally: “Blah di blah blah blah don’t know the words!”

15. Or sometimes weird games that you had to solve before being thrown into a mystery song. Spoiler alert: 25% chance you’ll get Chumbawamba!

16. People who were champions or won the show thought they were HOT SHIT. This girl is all “I AM THE MANDY MOORE.” Her father weeps somewhere off camera.

Children! These people on the show were CHILDRENNNN.

17. But perhaps the most awkward is when hardcore wannabes met the people they were impersonating. “Oh hi, I’m no one and I’m going to sing your song and it will stink.” “Oh hi, I’m Marc McGrath and don’t you dare think you’re better than me.”

Then Mark McGrath has to be all, “OMG man, you were so good … ” ::Crosses his fingers behind his back::

In conclusion: Let us thank the gods that Say What? Karaoke is no longer on the air. Our eardrums may have been damaged in the early 2000s, but now they are saved.



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