As an added touch to make the network more like a televised radio station, the early years of the network featured jingles in their bumpers produced by JAM Creative Productions in Dallas, who had previously made jingles for radio stations worldwide.
The format left room for occasional ad-libs by the VJ, a godsend for emcees such as Imus and O'Donnell.
For a time, even country music videos aired in a one-hour block during the afternoons.
In true Imus style, he used a 1985 segment of his VH-1 show to jokingly call smooth-jazz icon Sade Adu a "grape" for her oval-shaped head.
Typical of VH1's very early programming was New Visions, a series which featured videos and in-studio performances by smooth jazz and classical and new-age bands and performers, including Spyro Gyra, Andy Narell, Mark Isham, Philip Glass, and Yanni.
During this time, they also had some non-music programming, such as a comedy hour hosted by Rosie O'Donnell with various amateur and veteran comedians, called Stand Up Spotlight, Long blocks of music videos by a particular artist or band, theme, or years were also very popular in this era.
One popular weekend program was called Video Rewind, in which blocks of 1980s videos from one particular year would play for an hour.
At first many different musicians guest-hosted the program, but eventually musician/songwriter Ben Sidran became the permanent host.