Talk Show Throwback! Watch '90s Hosts Jenny Jones and Ricki Lake Lose It Over Teens' 'Goth Style'

Jenny Jones and Ricki Lake couldn't handle their guests' black lipstick and torn fishnets on episodes of their shows in the '90s

<p>Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty; Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> Jenny Jones in 1995; Ricki Lake in 1994

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty; Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Jenny Jones in 1995; Ricki Lake in 1994

Last week happened to mark World Goth Day — a celebration dating back to 2009, offering fans of the subculture a chance to honor what they love most about it.

Between the moody synth pop and black eyeliner, it’s all spooky, melodramatic fun, right? Well, tell that to the daytime talk show hosts of the ’90s!

It wasn’t exactly the Satanic Panic, but back in the day hosts like Jenny Jones and Ricki Lake routinely fretted over teens in black lipstick, ripped fishnets and spiked collars, inviting concerned parents and their Robert Smith-look-alike kids on TV for interventions and normie makeovers.

In one Jenny Jones Show clip that has surfaced on TikTok, the host flashed childhood photos of 14-year-old Amy, inviting her studio audience to coo over how sweet she looked as a tot. But more current (at the time) snaps of the girl in her preferred wardrobe of black dresses and pasty make-up elicited cries of dismay.

“What do you think, Mom?” Jones asked her guest’s parent of her daughter’s look. “It’s not what you wanted is it?”

Not willing to take Jones’s tone, the self-assured Amy cheerfully snapped back, “I look better now.”

And Jones wasn’t the only daytime host tackling goth style. In another clip from Lake’s eponymous chat show, the host offered a slightly more diplomatic take on one teenage goth’s appearance.

“I gotta say, it’s extreme, but she’s still a very attractive woman,” Lake said of 19-year-old guest Giana’s look.

“If she didn’t dress like this, she could go far,” the young woman’s mother responded.

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For her part, Giana seemed delighted by both her mother and Lake’s pearl-clutching. “I’m having so much fun,” she said, beaming. “I am a child of this universe. I am playing! This is wonderful! Life is too much fun to be cooped up in a conservative box.”

Even better, Giana went on to reveal that she actually had a telemarketing job despite her — gasp — nine piercings. Though, she did go on to shock her mother by mentioning her female “master.”

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“She just pulls me around by this chain and she whips me at clubs, it’s fun!” Giana explained.

“This makeup is just hiding me the way makeup hides everybody else,” Giana argued. “It’s just for fun.”

Here’s hoping both Amy and Giana had a fabulous World Goth Day in 2024, wherever they are!

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