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"We’re actually planning a steel-cage match between the lawyer from the Anna Nicole Show and our MTV corporate attorneys. I’ve got five bucks on Anna’s team."
——Van Toffler
TEN QUESTIONS FOR VAN TOFFLER
MTV/MTV2 Topper Talks About Upcoming
Video Music Awards
This year’s MTV Video Music Awards will take place at New York’s Radio City Music Hall Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). MTV/MTV2 President Van Toffler took some time out from his busy day auditioning supermodels to be Sumner Redstone’s escort to the ceremony in order to answer a round of questions regarding this year’s gala event, hosted by Jimmy Fallon.

1. Why is this 19th annual 2002 Video Music Awards different from all other VMAs?
Let me just mention a few things that might be included in the big show this year, and I’ll let you be the judge—elephants, monkeys, massive pyrotechnics, Rockettes, a bungee jump, mud-wrestling, the mob, plus more supermodels and rock and rap stars than you can shake a stick at. It’s going to be a night to remember.

2. Any special 9/11 tributes planned for the event?
For this year only, we moved the Video Music Awards up to Aug. 29 and kept the show in New York because we felt strongly that we should celebrate the city by bringing the best artists, entertainers, fans and celebrities to New York for one huge, end-of-summer party. As we move toward Sept. 11, MTV will do a NewsNow special to air Sept. 3, which will take a look at the much-changed pop-culture landscape post-Sept. 11, and the role entertainment has played over the last year in our country’s healing process. And beginning Sept. 10 at 11 p.m., MTV will commemorate the one-year anniversary of the attacks by preempting our regularly scheduled programming, providing our viewers with a destination where they can reflect on the past year and hear from their peers and various recording artists.

3. Will Anna Nicole Smith mud-wrestle with Kelly Osbourne?
We’re actually planning a steel-cage match between the lawyer from the Anna Nicole Show and our MTV corporate attorneys. I’ve got five bucks on Anna’s team.

4. What do you think American Idol judge Simon Cowell will say about the 2002 Video Music Awards performers?
He’ll be there, so he can say whatever he wants, but he better bring some muscle since the American Idols don’t travel with entourages.

5. Is it true Bruce Springsteen’s contract rider calls for backstage food grown only in New Jersey?
Actually, Bruce—being the avid Jackass fan that he is, requested "vomlets" for his entire posse since it promotes recycling. (Jon and Barbara, if you actually read this piece-of-shite rag—this is meant to be a joke—Bruce can really have whatever food groups he and the Big Man enjoy. Oh yeah, thanks for doing the show.)

6. How can you tell the difference between Jimmy Fallon and Adam Sandler?
Same way you tell the difference between Trakin and Pollack...by smell.

7. Is there any truth to the rumor Eminem, Pee-wee Herman and Lisa Marie-Presley will be sharing a dressing room?
That’s not a bad idea, and perhaps we could film it for a new reality show. We could call it the PeeMliSa show, brought to you by Midol.
8. For your VMA evening wardrobe, Van, are you thinking Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss or Fubu?Actually, I’m thinking of something from the Levi’s Co. topped off with a splash of the Osbournes merch line.

9. What are you looking forward to most on VMA night?
At every VMA, there is a moment that happens totally out of the blue, is always unplanned, irreverent and totally amazing, and makes me soil my diapers.

10. Do you insist on holding the VMAs in New York every year just to make sure there are as few HITS weasels as possible in attendance?
Actually, that’s why we moved the show this year to the Thursday preceding Labor Day, since we know all the HITS kids would still be at their beach houses, as opposed to their work stations.

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