The 15 Most Bonkers Things That Happened At the 1992 VMAs

It’s summer time and the living is slooooow. So the next time you have three hours to kill on a Wednesday night and you don’t feel like watching yet another remake of yet another game show the Lil’ Dogg IMPLORES you to (re)watch the 1992 MTV VMAs:

Sure we here at Hi-Top HQ traffic in lots of nostalgia “Remember This” click bait but this here is not your average “remember how crazy that show Small Wonder was????” (Although that show was batshit crazy) type of post.


The 1992 MTV VMAs may just have been the apex (or nadir) of not only American Society but World History in general. The absolute car crash of left over 80s cultural relics into 90s PC awareness is truly stunning and a sight that really needs to be (re)seen. But just in case you don’t have a spare three hours to kill, the Lil’ Dogg is here for you to recap the 15 Most Bonkers Things About the 1992 MTV VMAs.

15. Black Crowes Open The Show

If you had to name a zeitgeisty band of 1992 that MTV would choose to open their biggest night of the year it would be absolutely anybody other than the Black Crowes. Sure the Crowes has hits in 92 but even back then they were viewed as 70s revival wannabes. Certainly not a must see band.

14. Male Chests

You do you Northern Exposurer’s John Corbett.

13. Lame Ass Van Halen

Van Halen won a Moon Man for “Right Here” which is easily one of the vorniest songs ever recorded by anyone ever. Has any Rock Band fallen as far from Cool to UnCool as Van Halen from 82 to 92? Just look at Sammy Hager’s stupid ass suit. Like you really thought that was cool? And poor Eddie. What a train wreck.

12. Bobby Brown

Crack is Whack people. Crack is Whack.

11. Duff

MTV VJ Duff is an All-Time First Ballot Hall of Fame inductee. Duff. That’s all. Duff.

10. Rodney King and the LA Riots

In the middle of recognizing the biggest pop stars in the world MTV takes a moment to bust out a weird ass stop motion thing about Rodney King and the LA Riots complete with Reginald Denny re-enactment. That’s wild.

9. Barkley v Godzilla

Just an unbelievable NIKE commercial. What ever happened to great sneaker commercials? Honestly there hasn’t been a memorable one in what 20 years?

8. Mike Meyers sucked even in 1992

Mike Meyers – too good to show up and support Dana Carvey because of course.

7. Zoo TV

Zoo TV was some weird ass “only U2” 90s bullshit. Ordering pizzas to the White House. Damn Bono you’re truly a genius.

6. The Dice Man

How the hell was the Dice Man showing up to anything in 1992?

5. Def Leppard?????

Of all the performers at the 92 VMAs Def Leppard is sadly the most out of step. The interesting thing about 92 was that a lot of the 80s fluff was still hanging around as the 90s PC angst brigade slowly took over but poor Def Leppard – just look at these guys. You gotta know when your time is up.

4. Denis Leary

Leary was on an absolute heater in 92. No joke those black and white Denis Leary hits on MTV were life changing stuff. The Cindy Crawford bit – talk about Boys II Men – Leary was single handily walking a generation into puberty. Stand up comics as Rock Stars was a real thing in the 80s and 90s and Leary May very well have been the last one.

3. Pearl Jam v Michael Jackson v Guns N Roses

It’s truly mind blowing that at the same awards show you could have Pearl Jam and Michael Jackson performing current “hit” songs and also have GnR getting a lifetime achievement award. Multiple worlds crashing into each other.

2. Scary Ass AIDS Commercials

It’s really easy to forget just how MF’ing scary AIDS was in the early 90s.


1. Nirvana

“Hi Axl!”

The 1992 VMAs are a time capsule of the world literally changing in real time. You have some desperately holding on to the past while others are ripping up everything to change the world right in front of your eyes. Viewing it from the distance of 25+ years is mind blowingly weird. What a time to be alive.

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