Schlock The Vote: A Look Back At Rock The Vote’s Most Awkward Ads

In 1990, the youth-voter advocacy group Rock The Vote launched, one of many allegedly non-partisan coalitions that popped up during the early ’90s. The PSAs that flooded youth-culture outposts like MTV every election season were notable because of their feel-good, content-free messages; the action of voting, not the motivations behind said action, was what mattered. It made for a lot of strange, all-noise ads that were slightly more effective than your average McGruff commercial.

In honor of Election Day, we’re offering a look at Rock the Vote’s weirdest stabs at reaching out to the youth of America.

The next time someone says to you, “Remember when MTV used to play music videos?” you can use this clip as a reminder that they also used to take Donny Osmond seriously as an artist. Even when he was dressed up like the policeman from the Village People.

This clip is too long by half–ah, the old days, when people had three-minute attention spans!–but we’re pretty sure that if Madonna had defended her botched adoption using the accent she puts on above, the world would have been a lot more endeared.

Not to be too nitpicky, but are we really supposed to believe that Slaughter drummer Blas Elias’ setup would fall silent without the benefit of amplification? Because that is so weak.

Lady Miss Kier wants you to know: The polling places in downtown Manhattan are a lot more fabulous than the sock-stinky elementary school gym you’ll be heading to later today.

Listen to these lyrics: “Blacks protested to the polls / Women marched for more than casseroles,” sung by the whitest acoustic guitar-wielding man who isn’t a member of The Fray. When the revolution comes, we’re totally seeking this dude out.

Never let it be said that Diddy isn’t afraid to use a dead guy to make a point. We’re just surprised that he didn’t try and insert a shot of Biggie in between the clips of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X.

Apparently, things have gotten so bad for Macy Gray that she can’t afford a place without gunshots going off outside. Or a voice coach.