Kid Rock and Tommy Lee have thrown fists at each other, Luke Campbell and his 2 Live Crew pals performed “Banned In the USA,” Madge and Brit did their infamous lip lock thing — there’s always something big happening at MTVs annual VMAs show. We decided to corral some of the great, silly, or dubious moments that stick in our mind. They may not be the most outrageous ever, but they’re all quite memorable. After the jump, take a look back at these moments and tune into MTV Sunday at 9PM EST to watch the 2008 Video Music Awards.
1. Andrew Dice Clay: The Day the Laughter Died (1989)
The young VMAs were better known for music than controversy. So why not invite Public Enemy No. 1 to the party? The perpetually swearing sexist was slapped with a lifetime ban after dropping nursery rhymes like “Mother Goose? I f*cked her.” Dice tried to gatecrash the 1992 event-only to be turned away by David Spade.
2. Howard Stern: Total Eclipse of the Fart (1992)
Shock jock Stern made a rare public appearance in his Fartman guise, complete with exposed ass-cheeks and rectal retorts that shook the stage. Co-presenter Luke Perry couldn’t help giving the titanic tuckus a goose; the rest of us preferred to pluck out our eyeballs.
3. Madonna: Like an Aristocrat (1990)
In 1984, our girl gave the inaugural VMAs party a brush with notoriety by humping the floor during “Like a Virgin.” What a difference six years and many, many, many hits had. Long before Kristin Dunst strapped on a corset, Madonna dressed up as Marie Antoinette to perform a royally erotic version of “Vogue.” Let them eat Madge.
4. Poison: Open Up and Say “Sh*t” (1991)
Poison was ready to wow the crowd with their hit “Let it Play.” But nobody told C.C. DeVille. At that point, drugs and booze were controlling the guitarist, who dyed his mane pink for the occasion. He played “Talk Dirty to Me.” Fists flew backstage and the next day, Mr. DeVille was out of the band.
5. Michael Jackson Smooches Lisa Marie Presley (1994)
She’s the daughter of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. He’s the King of Pop. And in 1994, they got married. Nobody believed that anything sexual could be going on, until Jackson and Presley made a public display of their affection onstage. After that, we KNEW nothing sexual could be going on.
6. Flea: Blood, Sugar, Sex, Frottage (1996)
Ahh…the Chili Peppers. They’re nuts, always going full tilt on the annual show. When Flea won his first Moonman, he was so overjoyed that he humped the podium. In 1996, the dude was at it again, performing a striptease for a bemused Claudia Schiffer. And we won’t even mention what Anthony Kiedis did to a bagel in ’93.
7. Busta Rhymes & Martha Stewart: Rub Me With Your Spatula, Baby (1997)
The VMAs always manage to come up with strange pairings – Eminem and Moby, RuPaul and Milton Berle, and, one of the weirdest, the “Whoo-ha!” rapper with the kitchen queen. Buss upped the ante by wearing a frock that looked like a cross between a parachute and Motel 6 curtains. Stewart quipped backstage, “I could teach you how to sew.”
8. Fiona Apple Freaks Out (1997)
In the era of Alanis, Fiona Apple was a genuinely sensitive soul. When it came time to accept an award for Best New Artist, it all got too much. “This world is bullsh*t!” she cried, slamming both MTV and the music biz. Host Chris Rock was impressed, dubbing the tearful firebrand “Fiona X.”
9. Eminem: It Takes a Detroit of Millions (2000)
In 2000, Marshall Mathers literally invaded the VMAs. During a performance of “The Real Slim Shady,” he led hundreds of Eminem look-alikes into Radio City. Eminem even shook Carson Daly‘s hand while claiming the TRL host had shared Christina Aguilera with Fred Durst. A class act.
10. Britney Spears: Shake That Asp (2001)
For a while, no VMA was complete with out Brit-Brit. In 2000, she shocked everybody who grew up with the Mickey Mouse Club by stripping to a flesh-colored body suit. What to do for an encore? Dance and writhe in an equally suggestive manner while rubbing a snake and purring her erotic anthem “I’m a Slave 4 U.” PETA wasn’t amused. — By Charles Bottomley