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Series / That Metal Show

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"It's your home for all things hard rock and heavy metal. It's That Metal Show, and it starts right now."

That Metal Show is an hour-long Talk Show focusing on Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music, hosted by radio host/metal guru Eddie Trunk and stand-up comedians Don Jameson and Jim Florentine. The show ran for fourteen seasons on VH1 Classic, debuting in 2008 and running through Feb. 2015. On January 19, 2016 Eddie Trunk announced that VH1 Classic had decided not to order a fifteenth season, but indicated that a search for a new host station was underway with no objections from VH1 Classic.

The show mainly focuses on the three hosts shooting the breeze over the latest news in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music, and interviewing musical guest stars. It also features a famous guest musician (usually a guitarist, but bassists and drummers have occasionally appeared) who plays as a segue to the commercial breaks and sometimes is interviewed along with the regular guest(s).


The show's content includes a number of themed segments. The five at the top of the list were used for most (if not all) of the seasons; the rest were introduced in the twelfth season, with some coming back in the thirteenth:

  • TMS Top 5: Eddie, Don and Jim (and starting with the tenth season, an occasional guest) pick their personal top 5 of a particular theme, and a comprehensive Top 5 is made from their choices. The Box of Junk Girl works the chalkboard that this segment uses.
  • Stump the Trunk: Eddie tries to answer music trivia questions from the audience. If he misses one, the audience member draws a prize from "Eddie Trunk's Box of Junk", carried by the Box of Junk Girl. This happens in the latter half of the show, except for the twelfth season, where it was moved to the end of the show taking the place of The Throwdown. Sometimes the musical guest will give someone who successfully Stumps Eddie an instrument.
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  • What's Going On With...?: Don reads a question from a viewer about a musician or band that's fallen out of the public eye, and the three discuss said musician/band's current goings-on. Formerly named Whatever Happened To...? This segment was phased out in later seasons.
  • Pick of the Week: A CD, DVD/Blu-ray, or book by a musician are discussed and lauded.
  • The Vault: Guests are shown old video clips of themselves, usually to try to make the guests cringe.
  • The Throwdown: The hosts and guests debate which of two (and sometimes more) competing options is their favorite; the final decision is made by the audience. It has a two-minute timer, although this is only loosely followed. It's been the last segment of the show for every season except the twelfth, when it was briefly retired due to the hosts being tired of it.
  • Metal Modem: The guys speak with a musician or two via Skype.
  • Take It or Leave It: The guys discuss a current music topic, giving it a favorable ("take it") or unfavorable ("leave it") opinion. This was featured in the latter half of the show in the twelfth season but was moved to the opening discussion in the thirteenth.
  • Put It on The Table: The guys ask their guest(s) a series of "What if?"/"What's your favorite __"/etc. questions.
  • Underrated/On The Fringes: Each of the hosts talks about an album that they think is deserving of more press.
  • Rank: An artist ranks some of a band's albums from least to most favorite. In the twelfth season, this was the artist's own band; Zakk Wylde was asked to rank Van Halen albums in the thirteenth season, and Dee Snider was asked to rank Led Zeppelin albums.
  • Q's From the Audience: A few people in the audience ask questions of one of the guests.
  • Origins: A musician talks about his start in music and some other personal information about himself.
  • Behind The Music Video: A video from one of the guests gets a minute or so of airplay and is discussed.
  • Landmarks/TMS Worldwide: A musically important location is discussed.
  • The Rant: Jim or Don steps up to a podium and goes off on something that's pissing him off. This is an old, infrequently-used segment that was resurrected for the twelfth season.

This series provides examples of:

  • Berserk Button: Eddie has three big ones:
    • The yearly Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snub of several artists that should be in their Standards. Eddie will always go off on it, usually about Deep Purple being one of the biggest snubs, now with Rush, Alice Cooper, and KISS inducted. The consistent failure of the Grammys to properly recognize metal acts is also a very sore spot with Eddie, although he notes that this is due to ignorance of the genre where the R&RHoF is deliberate snobbery.
    • Requesting [insert band name here] to be on the show (addressed on the show sometimes, but more often on his Twitter). Usually the band is so well known that of course they want them on the show and have tried, but there are factors for why they can't do it (scheduling usually). As the show has gone so many seasons, people began asking for bands that have already been on, which just drives Eddie further crazy.
    • Stump the Trunk questions that require him to do laundry lists of albums, band members, song tracks, etc., often sequentially to boot. He feels these questions aren't very fair or in the spirit of the segment (more amazingly, he still gets about half of them right).
  • Butt-Monkey: Don and Jim take the piss out of Eddie every chance they get.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jim Florentine seems to exist in a perpetual zone of low-key dry zingers.
  • Flipping the Bird:
    • Eddie did this to the R&RHoF in one episode featuring Alice Cooper, lambasting them for not nominating Cooper. The next year, Cooper was inducted.
    • During Ted Nugent's appearance, when he was asked how he was able to stay drug- and booze-free during the 60s and 70s, he raised the bird toward the audience and said "I learned how to do this at an early age."
    • When Darryl McDaniels was on, he talked about the group getting the bird from Lou Reed fans when they opened for him, complete with demonstration, and then Reed chastising the fans for acting like that.
  • Foil: So far, both Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne have declined to appear on the show, much to Eddie's annoyance. In Ozzy's case, Eddie claims that Sharon Osbourne will not allow Ozzy to appear on the show because she doesn't like Eddie for some reason. In the case of Gene Simmons, he simply went on Twitter and said "No" in response to Eddie's invitation to appear on the show. When asked why, Simmons simply replied with "It's not that important."
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: In season 9, That Metal Show managed to get the first televised interview in over a decade with Axl Rose. The show's entire one-hour runtime was devoted to that single interview.
  • Gag Penis: When Sebastian Bach was on the show, he mentioned a time when he and Phil Anselmo were at the urinals. He glanced over and...
    Sebastian: Jesus Christ! What the fuck is that?!
    Phil: You should see my dad's.
  • Jumping Out of a Cake: In the season 12 episode featuring Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony (which was also Eddie's birthday), a big fake cake was wheeled onto the set during Stump the Trunk and former Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler popped out of it.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Eddie can come off as this when he fails a question during Stump The Trunk.
  • Large Ham: Several musicians known for their boisterous, over-the-top personalities have been guests, with Phil Anselmo, Zakk Wylde, and Ted Nugent being some of the best examples.
  • Lovely Assistant: The Box of Junk Girls: Keri Leigh Tucker (seasons 2, 3) and Jennifer Gottlieb (season 4 through the end). They serve a Vanna White-type role on the show, acting as a beautiful female contrast to the less-than-handsome hosts, working the TMS Top 5 and Stump the Trunk segments, and being a sort-of representative for the female rock/metal fanbase.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Jennifer's standard attire is a pair of stiletto boots, tight leather pants, and an often-belly revealing tank top fashioned out of a cut-up band t-shirt (except for the Dee Snider episode, where the shirt was from Eddie's own merchandise).
  • Old Shame: invoked Artists often see the clips used in The Vault as this, sometimes humorously, sometimes not. Former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan was shown a clip of himself giving a tour of his house during his early G n' R days, during which he was obviously wasted. McKagan, whose substance abuse nearly killed him, was visibly disturbed by the clip, and when asked about it afterwards, the only response he could offer was, "Cocaine."
  • Retool: For the first four seasons the show was taped in New York. It then moved to Los Angeles, but returned to New York in season 13.
  • Running Gag:
    • Jim's snarky comment about the show that precedes the opening theme. In the fourteenth season, this includes an after-bit showing him bantering with the sound guy recording him and occasionally the producer.
    • Don's proclamation of the Fate Worse than Death that will befall other lists in comparison to the TMS Top 5.
    • Jim sneaking a gag question into Stump The Trunk to poke fun at Eddie. These are almost always prefaced with "Eddie, I don't know how this got in here..."
    • Jim pointing out someone in the audience who looks like a musician just before one of the ad breaks. This was played with in the episode featuring Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, when editing was used to go back and forth between Anthony on stage and in the audience pretending to be a look-alike, and also in the episode featuring the members of Living Colour, where Jim said "[...] we're honored to have with us tonight: A bunch of pussies who didn't come out in the snow!"note  The "guest in multiple places" gag was recycled in the 14th season episode featuring Dave Lombardonote  where musical guest John 5 was not only on stage but in the audience asking the Stump question and working one of the cameras.
    • References to Eddie's love for the band UFO.
    • Making fun of Eddie for not knowing many bands that came after 1989. Jim and Don are much more hip to the current metal scene. In the same vein, pointing out that they're on VH1 Classic when people ask why more modern bands aren't guests.
    • Lamenting that they are shot in HD but broadcast in SD, as VH1 Classic has not converted to HD.
    • Trying to get Eddie to get a tattoo. He's chickened out every time. They even had a member of the band Crowbar get the tattoo (the UFO logo) that Eddie was too scared to get, just to shame him.
    • The participants in Q's From the Audience having to talk into a really tall microphone in imitation of Motörhead's Lemmy.
  • Shout-Out: The Raccoon Lodge banner on a back wall in early seasons.
  • Sore Loser: ZigZagged. Eddie's cool with being legitimately Stumped, but he can't stand anything that comes off as a trick question or something similarly unfair and gets bent out of shape over it.
  • Spiritual Successor: Some consider TMS to be this to the original Headbanger's Ball.
  • Studio Audience: And interactive at that; the audience sometimes sways votes in the TMS Top 5, and the final result in the Throwdown is determined by which choice the audience cheers more for.
  • Top Ten List: Most episodes have the three hosts debating and then deciding upon a "TMS Top 5" list for a hard rock- or metal-related topic (for example, "Top 5 Iron Maiden Songs" or "Top 5 Judas Priest Albums"). Starting with the 14th season, people can vote for the Top 5 topic on the show's Facebook page; their picks are read by Don after the hosts set their list.
  • Unwanted Assistance: invoked Eddie can't stand when the others "help" him when he's trying to puzzle out a Stump answer, mainly because said "help" is anything but.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The three hosts all have this relationship with each other; they're great friends but will argue like crazy at times, and Don and Jim love to needle Eddie. Occasionally they'll be like this with the guests as well (such as the 2/28/15 episode with members of Anthrax).
  • Viva Las Vegas!: "That Metal Special" took Eddie, Don, and Jim to Las Vegas to interview Vince Neil.