Sunday, August 19, 2018

Revisiting The 1992 MTV Video Music Awards!

Turning the clock back 26 years ago to a simpler time; when Dana Carvey was still funny, MTV actually acknowledged white musicians existed and, for some reason, the monster from Alien was used to sell Pepsi Cola.


By: Jimbo X
JimboXAmerican@gmail.com

We're just a couple of hours away from the 2018 installment of the MTV Video Music Awards, which is kinda' ironic, since I'm pretty sure MTV hasn't actually played a real music video on the network since sometime in early 2002. Of course, you young 'uns are totally oblivious to the fact that people have been busting MTV's hypothetical testes since the mid 1990s about not playing enough actual music, but nowadays, the channel's marquee event seems to genuinely be the only time MTV shows music videos whatsoever. And needless to say, my, how the annual ceremonies have changed over the years.

For the 35th running of the bulls(hit), the nominees for best video have a recurring motif. Go ahead, take a look at this list of contenders and tell me if you notice a trend. Give up? That's right, there isn't a single WHITE artist in the running for video of the year. In fact, Ed Sheerhan, Shawn Mendes and Demi Lovata's vegetable ass are the only white people nominated for anything near the upper deck of awards categories, with the bulk of the white musicians quarantined to the "best rock video" category, which includes such low T-count favorites as Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park and Imagine Dragons as the contestants. Really, this year's MTV awards show might as well be called the MTV People of Color YouTube Circle Jerk Awards, which hell, it probably will be called in about three or four years' time.

You don't have to go back that far to see just how different MTV — and by proxy, the music industry, and by proxy, American culture — was just 26 years ago.

Back then, the awards show wasn't driven by rap or hip hop or pop or techno-electro-autism music. It was a very rock and roll-driven awards show, as evident by that year's list of best video nominees; Van Halen, Def Leppard, Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers — all four of them bona fide Rock and Roll HOFers, and all four of whom played a style of music that is virtually extinct in today's musical landscape.

But as you will soon see, that wasn't the only thing that made the 1992 MTV Music Video Awards a world different from the 2018 tomfoolery. Lucky us, I actually have a three-hour plus video taped the NIGHT the show aired live, complete with all of the original commercials intact right here, just waiting to be rewound and reviewed. So how about we put this sumbitch in the old Sanyo VCR and rock and roll, kids? Yeah, I don't care ... I'm reviewing the show anyway, you fuckin' sods.

The show begins with Dana Carvey impersonating George H.W. Bush. He does some one-armed push-ups that look more like he's humping the floor, then he leads the audience through a half-hearted rendition of "We Will Rock You" before he throws it to those "Georgia Peaches" The Black Crowes, who perform ... I don't know, one of their songs ... to officially kick start the program. Shit, they had Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Guns and Roses and Michael Jackson in the line-up, and THIS is what they used for the curtain jerker?  Sheesh. Anyway, this is obvious fast forward material, so I'm not even going to bother with the superfluous play-by-play.

After all that noise we cut to out animated intro (pretty sure it was from the same guys who did Liquid Television, but that's something I can neither confirm nor deny) and then we throw it back to host Dana Carvey ... who is shedding an electric guitar on his way to the mic stand. He does a terrible Ah-nold impersonation making fun of the People's Choice Awards and wonders aloud what musicians are looking at to the side of the stage during performances. Of course, this being 1992, he also throws in a Rodney King joke and talks about being denied pussy by En Vogue. Then he talks about the show making Japanese people horny as Eddie Murphy (in an unbuttoned shirt) comes out to announce the nominees for best male video. The nominees are Eric Clapton for "Tears in Heaven," John Mellencamp for "Get a Leg Up," Tom Petty for "Into the Great Wide Open," Bruce Springsteen for "That Human Touch" and ... Weird Al Yankovich for "Smells Like Nirvana." Uh ... one of these is DEFINITELY not like the other. Anyway, Clapton wins and, surprisingly, doesn't dedicate the moon man award to his dead child who inspired the song. Well, that was weird.

Cue a video of Carvey pretending to be Johnny Carson while Phil Hartman pretends to be Ed McMahon. Anyway, they're pimping the annual Viewer's Choice Award hotline, and it's time for our first commercial break of the evening.

And right off the bat we've got a five star find with a one-minute long Pepsi commercial featuring two stereotypical Gen X teens getting chased by the xenomorph from Alien 3. This is followed up by a Taco Bell commercial pimping their new 79 cents supreme nachos.  And proving this truly was a different era, instead of commercials pimping Teen Mom 2, we get a spot in which MTV pats itself on the back for showing more than 1,000 music videos per week. How bizarre. Then there's a commercial promoting condom use because you might get the AIDS. And on cue, that's followed by a P.S.A. starring Jesse Jackson talking about dat ray-cissm to promote "Rock the Vote '92." Strangely enough, they let him say "nigger lover" on air, which would almost certainly get bleeped out in modern broadcasts. 

Back to the awards show. Dana Carvey throws it to Shannon Doherty and that one guy from Northern Exposure, who walk out to the podium to the Screaming Trees. That HAS to be the most 1990s sentence ever written. That one guy tells a terrible joke about Orson Welles and we roll out the list of "Best Director" nominees. I don't even feel like listing this shit, but the winner is the guy who directed the video for Van Halen's "Right Now." LOL at Sammy Hagar not being able to get over the guardrail. Nobody says anything interesting at the podium, but then again, I really don't think any of us expected them to, did we? 

Carvey does a "Church Lady" impersonation to introduce Bobby Brown, who appears to arise from a giant pair of ass cheeks. Also, he's wearing this weird leather get-up that makes him look like a Basham Brother. And if you understand that reference, goddamn, do you need to get out more. Yeah, I don't have much to say about this performance, either, other than the fact it feels like a throwaway performance from In Living Color ... and no, not that is most certainly not a compliment. Oh well, at least that five minutes on stage means for at least five minutes he wasn't beating up on Whitney. Also, he lets out a fleeting "fuck" at the very end of the song and one of the dudes from the Red Hot Chili Peppers tries to give a hostess a nonconsensual hickey on live television. Oh, how I miss the 1990s so.

Commercial break number two. There is a goddamn BIZARRE bumper featuring animated origami recreating the Rodney King beating (basically, it looks like something out of a Tool video) with some sort of abstruse pro-human rights message at the very end of it. Thankfully, this is followed by a Nike commercial in which Godzilla does battle with Charles Barkley, and an even more nostalgia-goading ad for a Sony portable CD player. Hey, scoff all you want now, back in the day that shit was ENVIABLE as fuck for consumers. Then there's a Levi's commercials where I think a dude admits he's gay and a follow-up black and white spot where this dirty dude rubs on skanks to promote Guess cologne. This is followed by literally the ONLY Heath bar commercial I've ever seen in my life, and it is '90-tastic, as anticipated.

We return and now Dana is in full Garth regalia. Yep, he even does the "extreme close-up" shtick and everything. He makes fun of that guy from The Black Crowes for being too skinny and says Wayne couldn't be there because he had diarrhea, so he breaks out a giant Mike Myers cardboard head and cracks a "that's what she said" joke about ten years before The Office was a thing. Then he shakes his dick at Cindy Crawford and says he wants to be "in vogue," which may or may not be a subtle allusion to WANTING TO RAPE THREE AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN. He does a cheap hometown pop for UCLA (the awards show being broadcast from their pavilion, naturally) and he asks what the hell a "bruin" is, naturally and says he can't figure out why USC named their team after condoms. We cut to the Pontiac Silverdome, where U2 is doing a LIVE performance. Bono makes a crack about Garth blowing chunks on Kurt Loder and he asks Bono if he eats Lucky Charms and he says he only eats the blue stars. Bono asks Garth if he wants to play drums on the next song, and sure as sugar, there's a drum set right there on stage for him to join 'em. So you've got Garth playing the drums in L.A. while the rest of U2 performs in suburban Detroit ... all thanks to the magic of television.

Before we had to commercial, there's a skit where Andrew Dice Clay tries to enter the awards show but David Spade won't let him in because he's banned for life from performing there. Yeah, long story, but here's the facts if you really want 'em. Honestly, I'm just surprised MTV was STILL running with that joke three years later. I 'spose people just had longer memories back then, eh?

Commercial break 3. First we pimp Liquid Television, then there's a commercial for the 1993 Toyota Corolla. LOL, now that shit's a hunk a junk today. Then there's a spooky commercial for TDK that shows an up-close dilating eyeball. Very Un Chien Andalou-like, for sure. Then there's a Pepsi commercial where these two old bitches lez out over Cindy Crawford and there's a bumper lamenting the death of free expression in the U.S. and then there's a dramatic recreation of an Anais Nin poem, of all things. Believe it or not, the whole thing was to encourage literacy, even though it was telling a narrative about some chick trying to distract her husband while her adulterous lover flees the house. How weird.

...come to think of it, this is probably the best thing Pinhead has been featured in outside of the first Hellraiser movie.

Back to the show. Presenting the award for best rap video is Ice T and ... Kirk and Lars from Metallica. Holy shit, Ice T is STILL the lightest skinned person on stage, somehow. Lars rants against "the family values" crowd and Ice T makes an oblique reference to "Cop Killer" before we roll out the list of nominees — "Tennessee" by Arrested Development, "The Choice is Yours" by Black Sheep, "Jump" by FUCKING KRISS KROSS, "Good Vibrations" by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot. Holy shit, that is the WORST list of nominees imaginable. Lars says the award goes to Barbara Streisand, then Kirk says it goes to Bill Clinton before Ice T says Arrested Development won. Well, it was a shitty list overall, but that was clearly the best song out of the five, without question. They thank "god, the creator," which I'm pretty sure is the only time you'll hear the Judeo-Christian religion referenced this evening, and then it's back to Dana Carvey.

Our host has returned in his civilian wardrobe as he throws it to DEF LEPPARD, who perform a rousing rendition of "Let's Get Rocked." Well, I, for one, had no clue that Def Leppard was *still* that big as late as '92. I mean, wasn't hair metal supposed to be dead in the water by this point? Fuck, who are they gonna' wheel out next, Trixter and Firehouse?

Next up we've got a couple of ADD vignettes starring Dennis Leary talking about how much Seattle's music sucks and the Bay City Rollers and Billy Idol having community service, for some reason. Then Cindy Crawford pimps House of Style in a very Leary-like promo and then there's a blue jeans commercial featuring more homosexuals playing hacky sack. There's that Taco Bell ad for the 79 cents supreme nachos again and, about an hour into the show, we FINALLY get our first vintage Sega ad. Let' see — I spotted Sonic 2, The Amazing Spider-Man, Taz-Mania, Kid Chameleon, Streets of Rage 2 and Joe Montana II, among others. Charles Barkley pretends to rap to Public Enemy for a black and white commercial for Nike. Jeez, what was it with Gen X and all of that monochrome shit, anyway?

Dana Carvey introduces Jean Claude Van Damme and Halle Berry to give out the award for "best music video from a film." Which I take it they mean "best music video featuring a song that was included in a movie," but I suppose that shit is pretty unwieldy. The nominees are "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton, "Try a Little Tenderness" by The Commitments (fuck, you are OLD if you remember that movie), FUCKING "ADDAMS GROOVE" by MC Hammer and "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen — which, of course, won because it was featured in Wayne's World. Yeah, who'd thunk THAT song would've won with fuckin' Dana Carvey hosting the awards ceremony?

And that's our segue to a performance from Nirvana. You know, the one where Kurt Cobain started off singing "Rape Me" but then he pussed out and they started doing "Lithium" instead. All I can say is it is fucking WEIRD realizing that Kurt Cobain and Def Leppard were still considered genre contemporaries this late into the '90s. Anyway, this is your typical live Nirvana performance, which means, yep, it's not very good.  The set concludes with the band destroying their equipment, letting this one dude stage dive and the bassist (I forget his name, but he looks like Andy Kaufman) grabbing the microphone and saying "Hi, Axl" over and over again. Yeah ... long story.

We throw it back to Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman pretending to be Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon, and there's a great bit where they make fun of Nirvana's lyrics for being a bunch of nonsense.

Here's another commercial where MTV pats itself on the back for playing 1,000 music videos a week. And there's that Alien 3 Pepsi commercial, and En Vogue singing about the ingredients at Taco Bell. Eh, I prefer Johnny Cash's ode to the fast food franchise, personally. This is followed by a Sony compact disc commercial and a teaser for Bruce Springsteen Unplugged. And hey, why not another condom commercial, and a PSA where Rosie Perez decries racism and AIDS and gun violence so people will vote George H.W. Bush out of office in the fall. Yeah, things really haven't changed over the last 28 years, have they?

Well, in that get-up, he's DEFINITELY not "turtley" enough for the Turtle Club.

Get ready for maximum LULZ as Vanessa Williams and Mark Wahlberg come out and Wahlberg is in pure-D Marky Mark wigger mode, complete with a University of Michigan sweater and a New York Mets hat. Shit, he DOES look like John Cena. Alright, here's the nominees for breakthrough video of the year: "Silent All These Years" by Tori Amos (and you already know how I feel about her), David Byrne's "She's Mad," the Chili Peppers' "Give It Away," and Van Halen's "Right Now" — i.e. "The Crystal Pepsi Song." Anyhoo, the Chili Peppers win and Flea hops on the podium and he immediately begins to simulate masturbating on the audience. Then Anthony Keideis or however you spell it starts talking about how true art can't be qualified with an award, but then I remember he's also a Bernie Sanders supporter, so like fuck he has any idea what he's talking about.

Now Elton John's doing a performance and his glasses make him look cross-eyed as a motherfucker. Anyway, Elton John has never been my musical cup of tea, so I just kind of fazed out for about five minutes. Way to be a showman, guy — as crappy as Bobby Brown's music may be, at least he had the decency to distract us with a bunch of half-naked hoochies shaking their asses in front of the camera during HIS performance.

And if you thought the Alien 3 Pepsi commercial was a weird horror crossover, just wait until you see David Spade COCKBLOCK Pinhead from Hellraiser at talent check-in desk. Even better, I'm pretty sure the brought in Doug Bradley himself for the skit. Eh, it's not as good as watching Jason freak out Arsenio Hall, but it's still pretty entertaining stuff.

Time for another 1993 Toyota Corolla commercial and a Taco Bell commercial highlighting their 59 cent burritos. And just when you think things can't possibly get any more early 1990s, here's a commercial for Singles, a movie so bound to its chronological roots that I'm pretty sure the reels of the film itself REFUSE to convert to DVD. Then there's a commercial for TDK video cassette tapes. Kids ... you might have to ask your parents what that is.

Dana Carvey returns to do a Ross Perot impersonation and throw it to Pearl Jam, who then proceed to play a very lachrymose (if not wholly uninspired) rendition of "Jeremy" — complete with Eddie Veddar doing his best Stephen Hawking impersonation in front of the microphone. Shit, of the big four grunge frontmen, who would've thunk that *this guy* would be the only one still alive in the year 2018? Also, I love how Veddar improvs and says "I don't need no mom and dad!" and pantomimes HANGING himself with the microphone cord at the very end of the number. Think you'll be seeing that in the 13 Reasons Why era? 

And that's a lead in to another musical performance, this one from the Chili Peppers, who do the opening of "Under the Bridge" before seguing into "Give It Away Now" while a buncha' hoochies in cheerleader costumes and dudebros in Rasta beanies headbang in the background. Meanwhile, Ice-T is just hanging off to the side, mean-mugging the camera and it's fucking hilarious. Then again, this *was* right around the time of the whole "Cop Killer" controversy, so just having his face on TV, I guess, constituted some kind of subliminal "fuck you" to the system. Or, uh, something like that. 

Alright, time for more Sony CD player equipment commercials. And more black and white Guess Jeans commercials and Mountain Dew spots where people windsurf. Yeah, that was a thing in the 1990s, believe it or not.

Hey, who's ready for a short film based on Kafka's "Metamorphisis" about a dude getting turned into a cockroach to promote literacy? Yep, nobody. 

Back to the show. Dana Carvey does a Casey Kaseem impersonation before throwing it to a live video feed of Michael Jackson performing "Black or White" in London. Which, I suppose, is as good a time as any to remind our readers here at IIIA that Michael Jackson used to hold marriage rituals with underage children and show them pornography at the Neverland Ranch. Yeah, what a loss for the world of the fine arts, I know.

Then the surviving members of Queen come out to give the "Video Vanguard" award to Guns N Roses. Well, say what you will about their music, but considering videos like "November Rain" and "Don't Cry," you really can't say they didn't do their part to advance the music video art form. Shit, there's no denying "Estranged" holds up a lot better than a good 95 percent of the videos that came out in the early 1990s ... lest we forget the likes of Gerardo and C&C Music Factory, naturally.

Dennis Leary does a promo about whether or not there's a band from Seattle called "Aneurysm" and then Michael Jackson does a "Rock the Vote" spot where he commands viewers to vote for "the children." Sometimes, they just make it too easy, don't they?

Now cue a Spike Lee directed commercial for Nike where black and white basketball players do a parody of the famous racial slur montage from Do The Right Thing. No, for real, and here's the evidence.

Time for a Bryan Adams performance. Again, he's not my cup of tea but you at least have to give MTV credit for offering a pretty diverse array of musical acts on the show. I mean, we've had a pretty healthy mix of alternative, hard rock, hip-hop and pop, which is certainly a better, more diverse mix than what you'll be hearing at the 2018 VMAs. Fuck, do they even HAVE a "Best Rock Video" category for non homosexuals any more?

Luke Perry of "90210" fame comes out and introduces Howard Stern ... who, in case you didn't know it by now, comes out dressed as "Fartman." Yep, this is the same scene that was recreated for Private Parts right down to Stern showing his craggy, cottage cheese-looking butt cheeks to cable viewers all across America. Naturally, that's a segue to the nominees for "Best Metal/Hard Rock Video," which is a genre MTV hasn't acknowledged exists for at least the last 15 years. Anyhoo, the nominees are "Let's Get Rocked" by Def Lep, "Enter Sandman" by Megadeth (J/K), "Everything About You" by UGLY FUCKING KID JOE and Van Halen's "Right Now." Considering Metallica is the only band that can even remotely be considered "metal" or "hard rock" in that lineup, let's consider it a partial win for cosmological justice that they ended up taking home the Moon Man trophy.

What the ... Howard Stern, being controversial just for the sake of being controversial? I DON'T BELIEVE IT!

Then Howard Stern flies over the crown on an Owen Hart-like cable and continues to fart all over the audience. You know, I never thought I'd miss stupid, juvenile horse shit like this ... but compared to all of this holier than thou, SJW "Best Fight The System" Award culture, I'd be ECSTATIC if the worst Viacom was throwing at us was Howard Stern's exposed anus.

We get another Johnny Carson/Ed McMahon skit, then a weird Claymation PayDay candy bar commercial and a Sega commercial featuring a cameo from Saddam Hussein (no, really) and a trailer for Hellraiser III. Well, that's about the most early 1990s sentence I think I'll ever write in my life, probably.

Madonna does a "Rock the Vote" spot where she says voting is "better than sex" while draped in an American flag. And yes, even in 1992, her ass already looked all shades of used-up.

Now it's time for a performance from En Vogue ... or, as we call it in my native tongue "a great time to go take a piss."

Curious about the videos that won MTV's international awards? Well, over in Asia top honor went to Chrristina for "Jring Mau Glua," and from the looks of her, I wouldn't mind her Jringing mai glua, if you catch my drift. MTV Australia's winner was "Man Alive" by Diesel (who somehow looks even gayer than Kevin Nash.) The Cure's "Friday I'm In Love" wins in Europe, and the winners in Brazil and Panama are ... eh, like anybody gives a fuck.

Dennis Leary and Cindy Crawford are on stage and Leary says the first thing he does every morning is "shave his ass." They're here to present the award for Viewer's Choice. This leads to a brief Ren and Stimpy cartoon, which causes the audience to MARK THE FUCK OUT. I mean, they probably got a louder pop than Kurt Cobain and Elton John, and I'm not even joking. Anyway, the Chili Peppers win it for "Under the Bridge" over Van Halen, Nirvana and Def Leppard. The lead singer thanks Satan and Luis Bunuel in his acceptance speech, but he totally lost me when he thanked Rollins Band. I mean, even joking around, there's a way to make things TOO absurd. 

David Spade tells Ringo Starr to take a hike in another vignette that really isn't that funny at all. 

Then Aerosmith gives us a lesson on free expression in a P.S.A. that also involves dogs licking each others' balls and a dude pissing all over a canvas, which concludes with these two skanks in bikinis holding a giant condom. Then we get another Heath bar commercial. Yeah, I know ... you don't really need this commercial play-by-play, but what kind of neo-archeologist would I be if I simply fast forwarded through them?

Carvey returns and he introduces us to the next batch of presenters ... Magic Johnson and KRISS KROSS. Fuck, now that's a name I haven't thought of in FOREVER. Anyway, it's a hoot watching Magic try to read the teleprompter en route to announcing the nominees for best female video, which is preceded by a short clips from Aeon Flux. The nominees are Tori Amos for "Silent All These Years," Annie Lennox for "Why?", Madonna for "Holiday (Truth or Dare)" and Vanessa Williams for "Save The Best For Last." LOL at Magic Johnson being unable to read the cue card and one of the little kids from KRISS KROSS having to say "it's Annie Lennox." She comes out looking like the dykiest dyke of all-time and acts nervous as hell on stage. She is still alive, isn't she?

Well, speaking of things that most certainly are NOT alive, Eric Clapton is up next to perform "Tears in Heaven," which really, is the greatest ballad ever written about window latch awareness. 

 We get another cavalcade of Taco Bell and Mountain Dew commercials and then there's another pretentious, black and white P.S.A. to promote literacy. Nobody turns into a cockroach monster, so it's nowhere near as entertaining as the last one. But it does include a guy calling his infant daughter a "bitch," which I suppose ought to count for something.

Dana Carvey says this is the longest award show ever before going to the presenter-less best alternative music video nominees. We've got "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana, "Alive" by Pearl Jam, "Give It Away" by the Chili Peckers and The Soup Dragons with "Divine Things." Holy shit, one of these is most definitely NOT like the others. Nirvana wins and a Michael Jackson impersonator is escorted to the podium by two cops. He announces he is retiring as the "King of Pop" and now wants to be known as the "King of Grunge." Well, that was weird as fuck; even Dana seems downright befuddled. 

Boyz II Men and Wilson Phillips come out to announce the next whatever the fuck is going to be announced. OK, it's the award for best new artist. This should be fun. It's Tori Amos for "Silent All These Years" (again); "Tennessee" by Arrested Development; "Teen Angst" by Cracker; and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." How is Nirvana a "new artist" when their first album came out almost four years earlier? One of the soulful negroes from Boyz II Men plugs their new Christmas album and what do you know, Nirvana wins this award, too. This time, they actually take the stage to pick up the Moon Man statuette. Dave Grohl is smoking a cig and wearing a hoodie for the band The Obsessed. Kurt Cobain thanks his family, the record label and tells the audience to not believe everything they read before making big bug eyes at the camera. Long story, short? Kids, don't ever do heroin.

Peter Gabriel and Annie Lennox (I think that's Peter Gabriel, anyway) are out to name the nods for best group video. Following a pre-Beavis and Butthead Mike Judge short of some guy screaming for Lynyrd Skynrd, the nominees are read. It's En Vogue, RHCP, U2 and Van Halen. And U2 wins it for "Even Better Than The Real Thing," even though it's easily one of the shittiest music videos made for anything, ever. We cut to U2 backstage at the Pontiac Silverdome, where Bono is dressed like Macho Man Randy Savage in WCW circa 1999 and he tells Peter Gabriel he can't wait to hear his next album and he lets Annie Lennox know she sounded great on The Arsenio Hall Show a few nights ago. Then he calls Gabriel a "mad bastard," which I think is a compliment in Ireland, somehow. Then Bono sprays champagne all over the place, thus making him the first Mick in history to ever WASTE a bottle of alcohol.

There's a "Choose or Lose" P.S.A. and that commercial where Charles Barkley plays basketball against a Godzilla pastiche plays again. 

Mick Jagger is our next presenter. Yep, even 26 years ago he looked old as fucking shit. He thanks Woody Allen and Mia Farrow for making "rock and roll marriages look so blissful." Get it, it's funny because Woody Allen was probably molesting his own daughter at the time! Anyhoo, he's here to dole out the big "Video of the Year" award, which is weird because there's still 30 minutes left of TV time left. The noms: "Let's Get Rocked" by Def Leppard (featuring some truly horrific CGI); "Smells Like Teen Spirit"; "Under the Bridge"; and "Right Now." And the winner is ... white men, because not a single woman or minority was nominated! I keed, I keed. But for real, though, Van Halen won and shit. Sammy Hagar explains how "Right Now" is really about "the appreciation of reality" and right now is indeed "reality" happening. Then he says "fucking" and the mute him a second too late so you can still hear it.

Dana Carvey tells the audience that Sammy said "clucking" and that's our cue for the big night cap performance of the evening — a piano duet between Axl Rose and Elton John for "November Rain." I've never been the biggest Guns N Roses fan, but I've always been partial to the song. Probably because I got a blow job to it way back in the day, but still. Also, it's hard to hear this one and not eventually think about the old ECW November To Remember shows, and if that don't put a smile on your lips, quite frankly, you can go fuck yourself. 

And that's when Dana Carvey comes out one last time to tell us the University of California "rocks" and that the show's over. The end credits roll, and the highlights include the boys from Def Leppard showing off a guitar with Bela Lugosi's face on it and Dana Carvey busting Pauley Shore's balls while in character as Garth. But just you wait! We stll have the official VMA POST-SHOW with Kurt Loder and Anna Soren to churn through! She notes how many of the speakers had their shirts open during the awards, which, yeah, is exactly the kind of thing you'd expect a THOT to notice, no matter what decade it is. Then Kurt interviews Sammy Hagar and he chides Howard Stern for ruining the show with his Fartman antics. In probably the only legit LOL moment of the night, Loder asks Hagar if he didn't think Stern was "a happening guy" and he replied "no shit." Remember, this was back in the day when profanity was SUPER forbidden on broadcast TV, so I'm sure the censors were having a fucking FIT backstage during this one. Also, I totally forgot how much Hagar looked like Dee Snider back in the day; shit, can you imagine how balls out Van Halen would've been with DEE on vocals? Just a thought, ya'll. Just a thought. To be honest with you, the rest of the post-show isn't much to talk about. I'd say about half of it is just a replay of the performances from earlier, and the interviews with the likes of Peter Gabriel leave a LOT to be desired. We get one more commercial break, and then the awards show restarts from the beginning, which, obviously, is my cue to call this project a DONE DEAL.

You can tell it's not the 2018 awards show because they're not making out while a morbidly obese Eskimo transsexual makes a stand against Donald Trump and "alt right Nazis" in the background.

That was way weirder than I expected it to be. It's pretty bizarre to think that at one point Van Hagar and Def Leppard were overlapping with Nirvana and Pearl Jam as musical equals in terms of popularity, but what really struck me about the whole were two things. First things first, the obvious one: damn, did this show have a LOT of white people on it. Indeed, outside of the rap/hip-hop/R&B category (which was pretty much used here as a catchall for black music, and even then it had Marky Mark in there fucking it up for everybody else), there just weren't that many bruthas or sistahs on the program. Alas, in today's hyper-multiculturalist society, the awards show in 2018 has turned into the exact opposite, with a good 61.3 percent of the total U.S. population getting completely ignored in this year's top awards category. But hey, when has anybody ever given a shit about the under-representation of Caucasians in anything?

Secondly, I was taken aback by how depoliticized the whole product was, which is pretty surprising considering it was an election year. Granted, the thing did have a pretty pronounced liberal bias, and it was crystal clear that the suits at Viacom were trying to push some sort of political agenda with all of the ads about Rodney King and Rosie Perez screaming at stuff. But by and large the identity politics stayed out of the music, and Dana Carvey did a pretty admirable job keeping the hot button social topics of the day out of his rantings and ravings. This ... I doubt will be the case in 2018. Just call it a hunch.

Of course, the real reason to even bother rewatching the tape — available here, if you're curious — is to just wallow in the ephemera of it all. To be fair, the musical performances are pretty forgettable, but goddamn, is it reassuring to see all of those old school Taco Ball and Pepsi commercials. That, and there was some pretty high quality WTF value there, what, with the guest appearances from Pinhead and the eponymous Alien for no real reasons. 

Was the whole three and a half hour show really worth rewatching? Eh, probably not, but at least it reminded me of how different things are now compared to how they were a quarter century ago.

And as obvious by the lineup at the 2018 VMAs ... well, I'll let you tell me which general epoch in society was more enjoyable to be enmeshed in.

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