Chris Rock’s turn as the ringleader of MTV’s 20th annual Video Music Awards was marked by his unsparing barbs at some of the music world’s most famous faces.
The comedian, who unflinchingly took aim at Jennifer Lopez, ‘N Sync and Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs during his previous hosting stint in 1999, had fresh abuse ready for this year’s performers, presenters and nominees.
Among his most memorable lines of the night:
“Our next presenter saves a lot of money on Mother’s Day. Give it up for Eminem,” he said in his introduction of the Detroit rapper famous in part for his recorded rants against his mother, Debbie.
“You’ll be hearing those songs at strip clubs for years to come,” he remarked after a performance of “Dirrty” by Christina Aguilera.
And after a particularly somber performance by the British group Coldplay, Rock commented: “Wow, I hope you didn’t slit your wrists to that one.”
Rock also didn’t spare the feelings of one of his former marks, hip-hop mogul P. Diddy. “Our next presenter is being sued by more people that the Catholic Church. Give it up for P. Diddy!” he crowed.
Even MTV itself was a target for Rock as he suggested the irony of handing out video awards on a channel that barely plays music videos anymore.