About the Show

Saturday, June 08, 1996

Hosted by Janeane Garofalo & Ben Stiller

They always say that "anything can happen at the MTV Movie Awards," and you're always like "yeah, yeah, marketing, next..." But friend. It's true. And we got proof. Listen to this: at the 1996 MTV Movie Awards, two of our most highly coveted trophies were awarded to… wait for it... Ace Ventura II: When Nature Calls . That's right. With his performance in that totally forgettable sequel, Jim Carrey topped Mel Gibson (Braveheart), Tom Hanks (Apollo XIII), Denzel Washington (Crimson Tide) and Brad Pitt (12 Monkeys). Unreal! And he wasn't even the night's biggest winner. That honor went to spooky biblical horrorshow, Se7en , winner of Most Desirable Male (Brad Pitt), Best Villain (Kevin Spacey) and top bragging rights, Best Movie. Clueless also won big. What a night.

Presiding over the surreal events was the appropriate Reality Bites tag team of Ben Stiller and Janeane Garofalo. In keeping with MTV Movie Awards tradition, they opened the night with a spoof, sending up laugh-out-loud action flop, Twister . The spoof featured cameos by Jay Leno and Jon Voight and introduced Stiller's Tom Cruise obsession, a running joke that reappeared throughout the night. The night's real Tom Cruise joke: Nicole Kidman ( Batman Forever ), Cruise's 'wife' at the time, losing Most Desirable Female to Alicia Silverstone (Clueless). Harsh. In other upsets, Braveheart lost Best Action Sequence to Bad Boys and Seal's "Kiss From A Rose" (Batman Forever) lost to Brandy's "Sittin' Up In My Room" (Waiting To Exhale). That song was everywhere!

Speaking of songs everywhere, they were all over the 1996 MTV Movie Awards. Whitney Houston performed "Why Does It Hurt So Bad," Garbage ripped through "Only Happy When It Rains," Adam Sandler performed a tribute to a pre-crack-up Hollywood leading man called "Mel Gibson," and the Fugees were joined by Roberta Flack on their cover of her "Killing Me Softly." Needless to say, the crowd was impressed. But they didn't really freak out until KISS appeared in full make-up to present ... what else? Best Kiss. The award went to Natasha Henstridge and Matthew Ashford for their Species spit-swap.

But the night did still have moments of class. A then brand new face, Wes Anderson, was awarded Best New Filmmaker for his hilarious Bottle Rocket (good eye, MTV!) and Steve James, director of landmark basketball documentary Hoop Dreams, won a Lifetime Achievement Award. Other than that it was knock down, drag out and dirty. But what else do you expect from the MTV Movie Awards? Anything goes.