Ok, so I naively thought this day would never come, but I have been busted. I mistakenly believed that I could get through my adult life without this being brought up 13 years later, but people are smart and the internet is wide. So after more than a few “Who me? I don’t know what you’re talking about, haha” comment denials, I’m coming clean. My name is
Sherry $herdog, and I was on MTV when I was 17. And it was easily the most embarrassing compilation of moments that could ever be edited together.
I’m an over-sharer, so some folks might wonder why I’d try to hide from this video. And to you I’d say: it’s one thing to invite people into your home and share a video that accidentally features your bra laying out on a bedroom chair or an interview where you flail around nervously or admit that you walk around covered in dog fur and cream cheese smears, but it’s a whole different ballgame to say “Let’s take a time machine back to my most awkward moments as a seventeen year old girl being surprised while life-guarding and told she’ll get to interview Eminem for a show called FANatic on MTV – oh look, I have the whole thing on video for you, let’s all sit down and watch it together.” Now excuse me while I giggle uncontrollably for ten minutes. I do that when I’m nervous.
Allow me to spill a few secrets: shows like this are a smidge set up. It’s not to say that I wasn’t completely Marshall Mathers obsessed (I was) but there are certain things you’re highly encouraged to mention so that you come across as the most deserving fan. Things like “I aspire to be a rapper someday.” I’ll pause while you snort whatever you’re drinking out of your nose. It’s true that my best friend Mariam at high school talent shows (we once donned orange puffy vests and belly shirts and parodied the Eminem/Dre duet Forgot About Dre) but it’s a Jersey thing. You had to be there to understand that it was not meant to be taken seriously. So no, I didn’t actually hope I’d be touring the country as a famous female rapper when I grew up.
Of course the show sets up situations too, like us going to the old burger joint where Eminem used to work before the interview…
… but it was pretty cool as a teenager to see some random restaurant and think “he really worked here just a few years ago flipping burgers?” Fun fact: the people I’m serving at that table in the restaurant are the limo driver and one of the production people who carted us around.
Another fun fact is that I hardly knew the girl who surprised me at the pool and came with me on the entire adventure. See, MTV required that the “friend” of the person being featured was 18 or a parent would have to accompany the fan and the friend (which I’m guessing cramped the crew’s style). So when I was going through the whole “you might be a finalist” phase of the process, they asked me about my friends and I gave a list of all my best 17 year old buddies and they sort of heavily suggested that I list someone over the age of 18. So the girl who worked at the front desk at the Marriott (where I was a lifeguard for years, represent) got listed – and she was the friend they picked to surprise me. And yes, it’s still really cool to be in a limo when you’re 17. Especially if you flash the peace sign with your sleeves rolled up.
Here’s where it gets extra embarrassing. At some point in the interview the word “phat” inexplicably slips out of my mouth. I never said that word before and have never said it since. I can only blame the loss of my whole damn mind at the thought of sitting next to a hip-hop star and somehow thinking $herdog could pull off a term like that. And I couldn’t. It rung in my ears for the rest of the interview while I continued to grin like a crazy person and giggle nervously. Although a lot of this experience is what I like to call “retroactively embarrassing” (since at the time it was really cool and I felt really lucky to be chosen), the moment I realized I said “phat” on national television was the moment that I wanted to punch myself in the face.
Then they asked me to rap. Repeatedly. It’s bad. Very very bad. Oh and about the pigtails, I wanted to wear a ponytail and an arm band (yes, an arm band) but the crew gently suggested the pigtails and no arm band. I’m thankful they nixed the arm band but still a little weirded out by the pigtails. So without further ado…
As for how I even got on the show, my friends dared me to send in a tape since I really was a hardcore fan and they thought I had a shot at being chosen. Meanwhile I believed I had zero chance, hence me doing all sorts of ridiculous things that I thought would never be on TV/YouTube (like sitting in a tub full of M&M’s) because I truly believed with every fiber of my being that I would never make the cut.
MTV does a really cruel thing to make you think you weren’t chosen (at least it felt cruel at the time) in order to get that completely surprised ‘surprise shot’ when they sneak up on you. They’re in pretty constant contact with you for a while to collect things like “what you would ask if you were chosen” and “who you would bring as a friend if you were chosen” and then they say you’re a semi-finalist but it’s not a done deal, and then they cut off communication for a few weeks. Total radio silence. So you go from being hopeful that you might get picked to completely and utterly bummed out that you didn’t make the cut after thinking “dude, I might actually get flown to Detroit to meet Eminem.” Which is a pretty cool concept as a 17 year old.
This is of course when you forget about the footage of yourself in a tub of M&Ms and it sounds like it could be The Coolest Thing You’ve Ever Done and not The Most Embarrassing Thing Ever a decade or so later. But I have to admit that as a teenager it was an amazingly fun time. I got to fly somewhere with a camera crew and without my parents, they put us up in a cool hotel, and Marshall was actually a really nice genuine guy (now I’m going to get weird and tell you that he had the best looking hands I’ve ever seen in my life). And he did kiss my neck, which at the time made me believe we would soon be married and we’d go on to have three bouncing babies named Slim, Shady, and Stan (kidding). Dude, I took a picture of my neck after it happened. I’m that girl (can you believe I managed to bag a guy like John? I still can’t).
So I’m extremely grateful for the experience. It just felt like… let’s not all watch it together on video and relive my teenage awkwardness together. But I guess now my “secret past” is out. In summary: it was pretty amazing (it made “the morning announcements” at my high school – haha), but the fact that the footage from a defunct show from over 13 years ago is now somehow on YouTube is something I never imagined. Oh well. The
cat phat is out of the bag.
Now you tell me your most embarrassing secrets so we’re even. Go.
Hilarious! I have an embarassing letter published in Vegetarian Times when I was 16, which I’d completely forgotten about until I googled my name last year. Yikes!
Haha, no way! I love it.
I’m so glad my little stint on mtvU never aired anywhere but online. I was picked to be filmed as a “superfan” of Alabama football, and another student and I were tasked with a “fan makeover” of a punk rock-ish type guy who supposedly knew nothing about football. (Of course that was for the cameras. It’s kind of hard to find someone at UA who DOESN’T know anything about football, but he looked the part.) It was fun, but yeah…I’m glad it’s not on youtube to be mocked. (At least not that I’m aware of! You’ve got me kind of scared now.)
Oh man..$sherdog got the Jerzy accent going on.. But you are so natural on the camera even then..no wonder you are so good in front of the camera now :)
Yeah- I hear the phat jerzy accent representin’!
This is the most fabulously hilarious thing I have ever read/seen. Thank you for the comical relief! Amazing. Awkward. Wonderful.
I have a whole new respect for you $herdog! My name is, my name is slim sherry.
Oh my gosh you guys I am literally lying at my desk with head on the desk and my arms over my head. I’m hiding. You can’t see me.
Um, hella yes. ;D
no No NO! it’s: my name is, my name is: SHER DOG!!!!!! :o)
Shannon @ Bungalow960 says
I honestly cannot stop laughing right now. I am crying. I think I just died laughing and am writing this from the grave.
I just died from embarrassment so I might see you there.
We all had embarrassing obsessions as teens, you know. You were just lucky (?) enough to have yours videoed by MTV. And now it’s on YouTube. Oh lovely social media, how you haunt us…
I keep saying (to my 14 year old stepson, mostly) that I’m SO glad Facebook wasn’t around when I was in junior high. Can you imagine? All the drama out there in the open? I so would have been the girl to state that I was in a “complicated” relationship when all it meant was that I was obsessed with some boy who didn’t know I existed.
Anyway, all that to say, you were adorable in that video. And of course you’ve grown up and gone beyond that. We all understand that. Right, $herdog? ;)
I would have totally been the same girl, and just had this conversation with some friends the other day!!!
Alice H says
Ellen – I so agree with you about it not being around then. Ha! I could only imagine what some people could have posted of me. Geez, scary!
I have so had that conversation with my friends too! Thank God for the lack of technology through our teenage years!
My friends and I also say that we are so glad Facebook wasn’t around in our day. I would have spent way too much time stalking my crush. Instead, I got to stalk him in real life by driving by his house! BTW, the comment about wanting to be a white rapper was hilarious.
Seriously – I’m so glad I grew up in the 70s. No incriminating evidence – even well into the 80s. I would be so mortified if any of that had been filmed…
Christy G. says
Ha ha! :) I like your current career WAY better than the rapper career you once aspired to have. Thanks for sharing Sherry!!
You have just made my day! This is GREAT! It must have been so crazy to get to do that in highschool!
Oh wow, this just endeared me to you so much!
The best part is the Jersey in your “awesome”, lol.
Stephanie N says
I have to agree!
Aw man, can’t quite top that one! But when in high school, a friend of mine and I were caught for a curfew violation (in AZ at the time minors were not allowed out of the house after 10pm, crazy right!) and we were interviewed by John Stoskle of 20/20 right there in the detention center while waiting for our rents to pick us up. I’ve blacked it out as best as I could, but I do recall going on and on about the US turing into a Russian communist state, and taking away all our freedoms. My dad was actually proud of me, and made sure all the relatives tuned in when it later aired.
Hahaha, that’s so funny. My dad is totally the same way. Get this: he shows a VHS clip of this entire FANatic debacle to his students (he’s a math teacher) EVERY YEAR on a half day. How embarrassing is that?!
Nothing says I love you like a VHS tape of your daughter shown to a room of teenagers.
Julie, that’s a pretty great story!
ha! maybe it was one of your dad’s students who uploaded it to the youtube
Julie: This is a super awesome story! :)
From, Another Julie
Katey B says
Seriously, I didn’t think this post could get any better, but the VHS thing is the icing on the cake! Probably my 2nd favorite post over the past 3 years!
I didn’t think YHL could get better, but it just did.
This. Is. Hilarious.
N Shirley says
Don’t be embarrassed- the clip was great! So funny it emerged after all these years! Better that it came out now instead of Clara finding it some years down the road! (M
om tell me that isn’t you!?)
Hahahah, I can’t even imagine HOW UNCOOL Clara will think her mom is when she sees this. Haha.
Hehe, I was one of the people who sent you an email saying, “Hey Sherry, isn’t this you?” But I promised, on my honor, that I wouldn’t tell another soul about it after you refused to come clean and by golly I held my tongue. Scouts honor.
Haha, at least your “most awkward moment” also involved meeting an idol and celebrity. Most of us just have to blame doing something really, really embarrassing on something really, really boring. For instance, mine just might be the time I tried to do a “really cool” move on the gymnast rings at a playground and ending up splitting my lip, cheek and chin open. With out of town guests watching. Pride goes before a fall…
Oh Katherine, at least only some out of town guests were watching. Haha. I wish I was a turtle right now. I would totally hide in my shell for at least a week.
P.S. I love how confident you were even back then — I spent years building up confidence you already had at that age!
Aw thanks Katherine – all that grinny giggling stuff was what I did when I was nervous, so I was totally trying desperately to hold it together.
Courtney May says
I knew I lurved some $herdog but this is too much! You are just so freaking awesome for being on the show and now sharing. THANK YOU!
I was in a First American Bank commercial when I was in the 8th grade with a girl named Temi Epstein and I thought she was SO famous because she was in a Friday the 13th movie (I realize now there are few people who have NOT been in those movies, as about 800 were made). I think I will Google the whole thing and her, for my little trip down memory lane! The embarrassing part was during the audition, when they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered “a star”. Really? A Star? Dying. How they did not all burst out laughing, not sure, but that is just one of many cringe worthy things I think of in my past!
This whole thing is not embarrassing or cringe-worthy! This is incredible and you should be so proud for not having ever been plain or boring!! You are a total achiever and that is one of the reasons we all love you!!
Haha- a star is kind of a hilarious answer! Like something straight outta Glee!
This is totally amazing. Way better than my I was almost a contestant on the show hosted by Mark Curry called “Dont Forget Your Toothbrush”, and the only reason we werent selected in the pre-rigged show was because my friends passport was expired. They loved us and had decided in advance that we would win the trip to Ireland. So lame…at least you met him. Thats so awesome.
Oh man you totally should have won that!
Amy S says
Oh Sherry! I love that you posted about this! I saw this on a forum, and didn’t want to email you about it (in case you would be embarrassed), but you totally embraced it!
We all have weird moments from the high school days….ugh, that was an awkward time for me, too!
I am such a nerd about the show Top Chef, that when I met a contestant (Stefan), I promptly started rambling about how he “skinned an eel like nobody’s business.” Uh, what? I also once had the opportunity to interview Ina Garten for a magazine that I was writing for, and for some reason I spent the whole interview nervously rambling about maple syrup (I live in Vermont). Oh and then there was the time that I corrected the grammar of one of my favorite writers (David Sedaris). Should I go on?? :-)
Haha, high fives girl. We’re two awkward peas in a pod.
Oh my gosh I’m the same way with Survivor. I was at my best friends bachelorette party at a hotel here in Louisville and a TON of survivor people were there for a reality benefit dinner thing. I got my bridesmaid hat signed by a bunch of people from survivor. The bad thing was though none of my girlfriends knew anything about them and we got into the elevator with a guy named Yao Man and to say I was freaking out would be putting it mildly haha. Picture a 21yr old girl jumping up and down yelling oh my god oh my god its yao man, to a 60 year old asian guy. Yao man literally ran off the elevator. Oh man
Haha, nice and smooth. Just like me.
But good for us for owning these cringe-inducing moments, right?? :-)
Haha, I guess. Still cringing though! Haha.
I would die a little if I met Ina Garten. If it was videotaped, forget it. Not only do I sound like a horsey man on video, but I’m insanely obnoxious and awkward. I would keel over a little for Ina.
Agreed. If I met Ina Garten (or Giada de Laurentiis) I would just die on the spot. Thank heavens for my dignity that it hasn’t happened!
Ahh hilarious! If it makes you feel better, I totally wanted to be on that show to meet NSYNC. And I probably could have. But I was too ashamed to let anyone know exactly how obsessed I was!!
A Long Far View says
And this is where I am very very grateful that I never did make it on any of those shows! Love that you shared this :)
OMG I remember this!! I was so jealous! LMBO! Hrm embarrassing..I was on tV once too. ..It featured a judge. I’m not telling anymore.
Bwahahahaha, now that I want to see. Judge TV = a good time.
Shanee, it wasn’t that bad.
Okay, maybe it was. But I still love you. lol.
You’re my freaking hero. I love this video!!!
Funny story, the same thing happened to me, only it was only 2 years ago, and it was Slash…
I’m still really embarrassed by some of the stuff said on there, but hey! Life experiences! (And I still love the man.)
Oh my gosh that’s so exciting! And you’re not wearing pigtails or an arm band! Success!
I loved your video, Linda! And, I think during your interview, that’s the most of Slash’s face that I’ve ever seen!
[email protected] says
Oh my goodness. I just don’t even know what to say, this is hilariously awesome. I want to feel bad that you got outed…but…I….just…can’t…
You’re a good sport $herdog
Thanks for sharing that’s awesome (and a nice flashback to high school).
I can understand why it’s embarrassing to watch yourself (and the “phat” slip would drive me crazy too) but you come accross much more together than a lot of the FANatics I remember. Good questions.
Since we all know it’s a very small world, I live about 3 miles from Gilbert’s Lodge…and completely remember when MTV was there way back when. Hysterical that it was you!!! Way to be famous in multiple arenas and truly living up to your $herdog nickname!
That’s hilarious! Say hi to Gilbert’s for me. Is that weird bear still on the wall?
[email protected] says
There’s a YouTube video of me singing my little butt off as Annie in high school. I am scared every day that someone that reads my blog will find it.
Because I like, can not sing even a little bit, they only gave me the role because I was VERY enthusiastic about it.
I even dyed my hair bright red.
Bright Red – also the color of my face as I type this.
[email protected] says
Also, this post just made me like your blog even more if that’s possible.
Hahaha, I love it. I could go for some good Annie action. Don’t make me google it…
[email protected] says
Oh my gosh don’t you dare!
You probably wouldn’t be able to find it anyway, you would have to know the name of the production company that put on the show.
And that, I will never tell.
Haha, yeah I’m already stumped.
HAHA! I read your blog!! :)
Nikki L says
Um, I read both of your blogs religiously, and didnt’ think I could like either Sherry or Lauren anymore, and now I do. I really want to find the Annie video now.
Also, I’m in a commercial for Grout Bully that was filmed last year. They didn’t even pay me, just strolled into my then job and my boss made me do it. I figured no one would see it but about once a week for the last year, someone (including my new in laws) sees it on TV and texts me/facebooks me about it. Lovely.
Haha, niiiice. You’re famous!
Haha you have been foiled Alex/Lauren/Nikki/Sherry!
I just went to find my video again on YouTube and COULDN’T!!
Maybe it got taken down after I emailed the person that posted it the following sentence: “GAH take it down take it down take it down take it down!!!”
But thank you lovely people for reading my blog. I will try to convince myself to post my parents’ home video of the play at some point. After I finish hyperventilating at the very thought of anyone seeing the video.
Haha, you have narrowly avoided internet embarrassment. Congrats, girl! It’s a feat!
Oh, the shame. Ah well, we’ve all had embarrassing stuff turn up. Note to self: never google yourself. Ugh. I had that experience as well. It was perfectly crap-tastic. Really google should allow you to block all pre-24 photos. ;)
Thank you for the name of the tile, btw, it worked really well. It didn’t turn out as prefect as your, but I like it!
Will the real Slim $herdog please stand up?
I can’t stand up. I’m crouched over hiding behind my desk.
Nicole @ Chic Cheap Nursery says
Hilarious! I probably saw you on tv! I was a big fan of the show- but I didn’t live in the US so I couldn’t apply :-(
This….this was awesome. I was dying over your use of “phat.” I think you tried to cover it up super fast because you said “it was phat. It was really good.”
LoL. you were adorable. The Real $herdog, for sure. Question: are you still just as in love with Slim?
Hah, yes I totally backtracked! Like I didn’t just say phat, I said good.
As for my Eminem love, I have this protective thing about him where I want him to be healthy and ok (he was really a genuinely funny and nice guy) but I’m not crazy obsessed anymore. No more screensavers and posters of him, haha. But I do buy all his albums (the clean versions now that we have a wee one).
Ann L. says
Hahahaha, no seriously. I SAW this before. I used to watch that show all the time in middle/high school. I even filmed an audition tape for Blink 182 but didn’t get picked! :(
Oh how I wish my most embarrassing moments were from years ago. No, mine was on the news this winter. I was asked, in a coffee shop by a reporter, about technology and etiquette in business. I had 2 cell phones, a laptop, a camera (was working on projects). Will spare you the boring stuff. All that ended up on the air was my quip that texting makes it easy for men to be lazy when dating!! It was a joke! I talked about how tech made business easier (insert intelligent examples) and often can be a hindrance in our personal life (insert intelligent examples). But nooooo all they did was qoute the one joke, which sounded so weird out of context that my friend texted me wanted to know if I was drunk or something. Ya, I wanted to DIE. At least you were young??? :)
Haha, that’s hilarious. So sorry to laugh, but I’m doing the nervous laughing thing right now so pretty much everything is funny.
I don’t think I could possibly love you any more than I do right at this very moment. That is all! :-)
You are sweet. I however, am dead of embarrassment so I can’t come to the computer right now.
This is exactly how I feel! Also so glad my antics from when I was 17 aren’t on youtube (that I know of). Well done for sharing $herdog!
Well said, Kristen!
Debbie C says
Wow Sherry! Does your brother still say, “Adam and Eminem”? Hopefully John gets his name in there somewhere now… ;D
Haha, he’s all grown up now (in college! I can’t believe it) so I think it’s all a vague memory for him. So glad. Haha.
I don’t remember you ever mentioning your brother Adam before….how many siblings do you have?
He’s my half-brother (my dad remarried and had him with his wife Nina). I also have a brother and we were raised with two of our cousins who were like brothers to us (we all lived together because their mom has MS so she can’t walk). Yup, it was me in a house full of boys!
Heidi P. says
Never knew about your family :)
I love how those set-up two men you served were wearing suits and bowties in that obviously fancy shmancy pizza joint! Hahaha.
And when is that apron going to get featured in a frame?! Haha.
p.s. You were in my dream last night – we were really good friends and I had been to your house lots of times, but never had you come to mine b/c I didn’t want you to see how un-designed it was! Haha. Can this count as an embarrasing moment – me telling you this?
Haha, I love it.
your video is phat.
please tell me you still have the apron?!
HECK YEAH I DO! Haha. The thing they didn’t show is he drew a big middle finger in the middle of it. Haha. Not seen on TV.
Rebecca @This Nest is Best says
I was going to ask the same thing! It should definitely be framed and hung up in the hallway ;)
Vidya @Whats Ur Home Story says
LOL! That is super funny.
I’m glad to know that some of it was scripted. I always figured stuff like that was.
Isn’t it crazy to look back at how MTV used to be? I miss TRL and all the fun shows they had before reality tv set in.
This just made my day! You are too cute :) hilarious
haha this is hilarious!! I also love Eminem. Would have never guessed you were an Eminem fan lol
Tiffany @MomNom says
Oh my god. I just died a thousand deaths of embarrassment for you, while laughing uncontrollably at my desk. Holy sh•t, that’s good stuff. Because of you, I am now forever grateful I didn’t get selected for the nearly million contests I entered in the 90s. NO ONE could have predicted what YouTube would do to that decade. LOL.
Thank you SO much for that good laugh. I’ll be beet red for you all day.
Ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com says
OHMYGOD. I am at work hysterically dying of laughter!!!!! I love you Sherry Petersik! Thanks for the Friday laughs!! :)
Ahhhhmazing!!! This totally made my day. I’m surprised I don’t remember it because I used to watch that show all the time!
K (Barking Babymama) says
Ooooooooh Sherry…that video sure was phat. :) You aspiring white rapper, you. That will have me smiling all day.
i love this. probably more than i should. it’s hilarious…and what’s better is that i’m certain i watched it and was jealous of you…fo sho. so i guess i’m also a nerdy rap enthusiast…way to go $herdog!
OMG! I SAW THAT EPISODE! lol Actually one of the girls in my HS was on that show and met Sarah Michelle Gellar.
OMG that is HILARIOUS, I remembering watching this as a teen!! LOVE IT!!!
Kate C. says
OMGOMG – I actually remembered this episode. As soon as I started reading this post, I thought – THAT WAS THE GIRL IN THE BATHTUBS OF M&Ms!!
OH MY GOSH, YOU REMEMBERED THAT? I’m dead.
dont be! I think it is great. It is like realizing that the Mickey Mouse Club cast I watched growing up turned out Justin, Christina, Britney, Ryan Gosling, etc…It is awesome to connect things from your past to your present. What a cool experience and I think it is fantastic that you shared it with us!
hahah! I was just going to write the same thing “oh! sherry was that girl in the bathtub of m&ms! I’m about the same age as you sherry, so I definitely remember watching this and being jealous you met him :)
Oh my gosh, I’m dying over here. I cannot believe you guys are all watching that video. I think I hoped no one would see it even though I posted it. Total denial.
I have to admit I had no clue it was you either but when you started talking about Fanatic I thought, “The only thing I remember about that show was that girl who was in a bathtub of M&Ms.” It could be a million times worse. You could have been on Singled Out or made a jerk out of yourself for weeks on end on the Real World, or God forbid, been booted off Next in record time. (Am I showing my age/love of bad MTV shows here or what?)
Our brother-in-law was on Singled Out! He got eliminated in the second round or something, though.
Kalyn Mace-Guilloux says
HAHAHAH I love it. So funny, Sherry. I seriously didn’t even notice when you said phat, so no biggie. Just a Jersey girl superfan-every teenage girls dream. ;)
OMG…I die! This is great!! I totally wanted to go on that show when I was in high school, except to interview *NSYNC. (Yes, I had to put the * in there….it’s the right way to spell *NSYNC.)
No Way! In 2001 I was also on MTV, mainly for the free trip to Key West, and appeared on the show Sink or Swim. I have no clue if there is video footage (and hope there isn’t) My friends and I dressed up as “thug midgets” with gold chains, visors and kneeling in high tops (not sure if that was even politically correct at the time) but we did it for the sake of comedy and we made up a dance routine to a Will Smith song the night before! I try to block out any embarrassment as we were instantly “sunk” but the producers had us convinced we were hilarious – I still like to think we were.
Am I the only one who wants to know who Adam is? We have never heard about him over here on the blog.
He’s my half brother! He’s in the pics on our wedding page (sitting next to my dad eating in one of the scenery pics). He just went off to college this year. So proud! He wants to be a writer- so I might be linking to some of his work someday!