The 2010 VMA Countdown: Andrew Dice Clay Earns Himself A Lifetime Ban

The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards are only a few weeks away. The biggest party of the year features nominated clips by Lady Gaga, Eminem, Jay-Z, Ke$ha and Katy Perry and will feature performances by Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Drake, B.o.B and Florence and the Machine (with many more to be announced). In order to properly prepare yourself for what’s to come, every day the MTV Newsroom Blog will deliver a classic moment in the history of the MTV Video Music Awards. Today’s installment: Andrew Dice Clay pushes the Moonman too far.

In the history of the MTV Video Music Awards, there have been plenty of controversial moments that have given the censors pause. There was Howard Stern’s buttocks-bearing appearance as Fartman at the 1992 show, Marilyn Manson’s revealing girdle at the close of the 1997 installment and Madonna’s eyebrow-raising performance of “Like a Virgin” at the very first VMAs in 1984. But there has only been one performance that ultimately pushed the boundaries of good taste and earned the artist a lifetime ban. That distinction belongs to comedian Andrew “Dice” Clay, whose stand-up proved to be too blue for Mr. Moonman.

The 1989 show was a fun, loose show that took place in Los Angeles and was hosted by Arsenio Hall. In many ways, it was a strange year, as Neil Young took home the prize for Video of the Year (for “This Note’s For You,” probably the least well-known of any winner of the top prize in VMA history) and the performances were a mixture of loud rock (Def Leppard, the Cult), funky pop (Bobby Brown, Paula Abdul) and esoteric stuff like the Cure and the odd tag-team between Tom Petty and Axl Rose. There was also a strange appearance by “Weird Al” Yankovic. But the thing that everybody remembers is the brief stand-up set by Andrew “Dice” Clay, who showed up in one of his trademark loud leather suits and rolled through some of his naughty nursery rhymes (which by today’s standards seem rather tame). That was apparently too much for the powers that be, which lead to Clay’s lifetime ban from the network. In fact, the concept of stand-up on the VMAs (previously a regular thing) was tabled until Dane Cook broke the streak at the 2005 show.

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET.