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Interview With Mo Rocca

Aired August 29, 2003 - 15:46   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Adam Sandler tries to out-rap Snoop Dogg. Madonna and Britney and Christina smooch. And MTV hopes it's a night to remember.
Joining me now to post-game the always outrageous Video Music Awards, Mo Rocca, senior correspond on "Comedy Central's Daily Show." Mo, how you doing today?

MO ROCCA, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, "DAILY SHOW": Good. Thank you, Heidi. How are you?

COLLINS: Recovering, I'm sure.

ROCCA: Yes, exactly.

COLLINS: Let's talk a little about this. Tell me what stood out in your mind?


ROCCA: ... first of all say I thought the evening was surprisingly flat. I was hoping for something more in the spirit of Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1977 "Oui" interview. In fact at moments I became so bored I kept going back to that interview. I have it on microfiche, so I can access it at any time.

The -- I suppose the Madonna, Britney, Christina kiss in their mock sort of wedding little setup there was the big highlight for everybody. This was Madonna, once again, being political. This was her rebuttal to Justice Scalia's rebuttal to the Texas Supreme Court decision. Sort of her way of stepping out there and making a statement.

COLLINS: Yes. And do you recall what they said at the very end of that little routine? Do you remember they were standing there holding hands and said something about radio stations and right and wrong? Did you catch that?

ROCCA: No, I just -- I actually missed that part. I just saw, you know, Justin Timberlake giving a very brooding look. We must remember that J.T. has dated both Britney and Christina. It's a classic love triangle. I couldn't help think of Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds in their 1950s love triangle. I'm sure I was the only person thinking that.

(LAUGHTER) COLLINS: Do you think, though, that he is the envy of a lot of guys in Hollywood?

ROCCA: He probably is. But he certainly looked envious of his former girlfriends, or of Madonna. I'm not sure which he was envious of.

But I think from there, it went a little bit downhill. I mean, there were so many promises. At one point Nelly, the R & B star, quite eloquently said about Christina Aguilera, "She brings the beauty and the booty and keeps it real dirrty, and that's with two 'R's." And it just didn't pan out. And that quote's wonderful and it's destined for Bartlett's, I'm sure.

COLLINS: Now wait. Was that about Beyonce or about Christina Aguilera?

ROCCA: That was about Christina Aguilera. She's the "dirrty" one, it's D-I-R-R-T-Y.

We're looking at Beyonce here, though, suspending herself.

COLLINS: That was quite the arrival, don't you think?

ROCCA: Yes, that, I thought, was great. And Beyonce is undoubtedly bootylicious. So I thought that was definitely a crowd- pleaser.

COLLINS: OK, I bet it was.

We have to talk, though, if we could for a minute about Johnny Cash. What do you think about all of this? A little bit different of a person to be put in with all of the other entertainers.

ROCCA: Well, Johnny Cash is sort of the father of rock minimalist, and I then think the White Stripes and a lot of other current big bands, popular bands credit him.

You know, unfortunately the kids, a lot of the kids don't know who he is. They think "Johnny Cash" is slang for money paid to a prostitute, I think.


ROCCA: It's just, you know, they're not getting who he is.

COLLINS: Oh, that's a shame.

ROCCA: I know, because he's amazing. I mean, he's a genius.

But I'm glad that Justin Timberlake gave him his props. And I'm glad that he didn't say that Johnny Cash was cooler than bubble gum, which is something that J.T. said at one point about receiving the Best Dance Award video.

COLLINS: Mo, what do you think, though? What does it say about sort of where these video music awards are going, or at least music videos themselves when someone like Johnny Cash produces a music video like this?

ROCCA: Well, in fairness, I mean, I think that Missy Elliott's video from "Work It" is a fantastic video. So I suppose it deserved to win. And I'm not so sure how much these awards matter anyway.

But I suppose it's remarkable that Johnny Cash got all those nominations. And people sincerely seemed to be in awe of him and revere him. Although Snoop Doggy Dogg did call him, quote, unquote, "my nephew." I'm not quite sure what that meant.

And I should say that Snoop Dogg disappointed because I was hoping his stage act, he did something with 50 Cent there I was hoping it would kind of devolve into a kind of big "Snoop Doggy Dogg: Girls Gone Wild Doggystyle" melee. And that didn't quite happen.

COLLINS: Well do you think they've raised their outrageous bar a little bit too high that they just can't seem to out do themselves?

ROCCA: Well I that I that may be the case. There's so many awards show. The one aspect in this which this award show exceeds all others is the jewelry part of it. 50 Cent was wearing all of Harry Winston on his left arm.

COLLINS: Everything in the collection.

ROCCA: Exactly.

COLLINS: All right. Mo Rocca, we certainly do appreciate your comments today. Senior correspondent from Comedy Central.

ROCCA: I've got to go home and get that worm out of my computer. That evil nerd from Minnesota is ruining my e-mail.

COLLINS: Now careful.


ROCCA: In this country, guilty proven until innocent. I like the French system.

COLLINS: Mo Rocca, thanks so much, as always.

ROCCA: Oh no. It's great to see you.

COLLINS: We'll have you back another day.


ROCCA: We'll talk until then. Call me. Call me.

COLLINS: Thanks, Mo.



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