The MTV Video Music Awards is tonight. The show, which has been broadcast since 1984 (although MTV probably doesn’t want you to know that as it would make them seem very old to their target audience) is usually a pretty entertaining watch, although lately it’s been more for the train-wreck factor than for…you know, good music.

I will be sitting this year’s broadcast out! Normally, I’d be up in front of the TV with some beer and popcorn live-blogging my little heart out. However, I have tickets to see Vampire Weekend tonight. No way in hell I’m missing that shit to see Kanye make an ass out of himself again. I would DVR it and then live-blog it on tape delay, but…I don’t have DVR anymore. So I’m screwed. But I’m not losing any sleep over it. I definitely feel like I got the better end of the stick in this situation. Besides, MTV will be re-airing the damn show every hour on the hour for the next two weeks, so I can always catch a rerun if I feel so inclined.

In honor of MTV actually turning into Music Television for two or three hours every year, here are some of the award show’s most memorable moments over the years. Some moments were legit funny. Some moments made me suck my teeth. All of them were newsworthy for some reason or other…

The term “hot mess” was damn near invented for Britney Spears. For the five of you who might have missed her deer-in-the-headlights, show-opening performance of “Gimme More” back in 2007, here it is. This chick must have been doped up to the high heavens, because her weave is fucked up, her lip-synching is off, and she can’t keep up with the choreography. She looked less like Britney Spears than a second-shift Denny’s waitress who resembled Britney enough that she could sub for her during her performance.

Britney had already been the subject of several widely-reported VMA moments, with the most memorable being her open-mouthed kiss with Madonna at the 2003 ceremony. Madonna then swapped spit with Christina Aguilera, all while performing Madge’s non-starting single “Hollywood”. It’s worth noting that Missy Elliott, who was also on the stage, did not participate in the kiss, although she’s probably the only one of the four who makes out with chicks on a regular basis.

Look, I don’t know whether Michael and Lisa Marie’s marriage was fake. I do get the vibe that Lisa Marie is a very strong-willed woman and she wouldn’t get roped into doing anything she didn’t want to do. I do know that Lisa Marie was not enjoying that kiss, although many accounts say that she was pissed off at MJ because he didn’t reveal that he was gonna kiss her on stage until right before they walked out. Shades of baby sister Janet at the Super Bowl a decade later: “oh, by the way…when you rip my top off, there’s gonna be a piece of material under it!” (WINK!!)

There’s Lil’ Kim’s outlandish purple pasty outfit from the 1999 show-and Diana Ross’s titty grab. Wouldn’t be difficult to reason that J. Lo’s barely-there dress at the Grammys the next year would not have happened had the Queen Bee not set the bar outrageously low just a few months before. Also…how high was Mary J. that night? Not only is she struggling with the teleprompter, but she has no reaction to Diana’s titty-jiggle.

One of my favorite shocking VMA moments (and probably one of the earliest) occurred in 1992, when Luke Perry presented an award with assistance from Howard Stern as Fartman. Was there ever a Fartman movie?

Oh yeah, and some dude did something during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech last year.

If you feel so inclined, watch the show tonight because I’m sure there will be some controversy, manufactured or otherwise. And then you can tell me all about it.

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