One of my favorite animated series from MTV in the 1990s – CELEBRITY DEATH MATCH – made its official debut on the channel that used to show music all the time 20 years ago today!

Pro wrestling was pretty hot in the late-1990s. The WWF’s “Stone Cold” Steve Austin had people rocking “Austin 3:16” T-shirts, while over in WCW, the New World Order was still going strong. Just like it did back in the mid-1980s with the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection, MTV decided to jump on the pro wrestling bandwagon in 1998 with a stop animation parody of pro wrestling created by Eric Fogel (who created THE HEAD and worked as a director on episodes of DARIA).

CELEBRITY DEATH MATCH was a half hour show that featured 3 matches pitting famous people who had some sort of connection against each other violently trying to maim, kill or knock the other out. Each match was officiated by an animated version of boxing referee Mills Lane, who would start each match with the phrase, “Let’s Get It On!” After two pilot episodes in January, the show made its formal debut on MTV on May 14, 1998. The undercard of this momentous episode featured first lady Hillary Clinton up against intern Monica Lewinski (MTV was not straying from the controversial stuff there) and Mariah Carey forcing Jim Carey’s head to explode with a high note.

The main event of the first episode, “Seinfeld’s Last Stand,” saw Jerry Seinfeld fighting Tim Allen. Seinfeld’s hit TV show, Seinfeld, had it’s final episode the same night CDM debuted, so this was a pretty timely episode on all counts. Seinfeld didn’t survive the encounter, though, as Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Michael Richards stormed the ring and killed him as payback for ending their cash cow.

Of course, a cursory glance doesn’t bring up video of the first official episode, so take a gander at the second, featuring Sylvester Stallone vs. Arnold Schwarzenegger:

What was your favorite Celebrity Death Match fight? Let us know in the comments!