CULVER CITY, California — Good thing 17-year-old host Lindsay Lohan ditched her chaperones at the start of the 2004 MTV Movie Awards, because Carmen Electra and Paris Hilton locked lips, the Wayans brothers grabbed Brittany Murphy’s booty, and countless celebs cracked sex jokes in a night as much about the big shock as the big screen.
“The Return of the King” ruled, “Kill Bill” killed, and neither escaped the famous spoofs that tend to steal the show at the annual laid-back Hollywood gathering, taped Saturday at the Sony Studios lot.
Will Ferrell, who’s been a part of several memorable past Movie Awards moments, returned for more fun in the form of Ron Burgundy, his already popular “Anchorman” character. And as proof that nothing is off-limits, even “The Passion of the Christ” got the spoof treatment.
Lohan took the stage at the top of the show flanked by her “parents,” who looked remarkably like Andy Richter and Rachel Dratch, but she was able to shake them with the help of Omarion and Marques Houston. The “Mean Girls” star brought a new spin to the traditional opening musical number with a hip-hop dance routine less for laughs and more to show the girl’s got moves.
“It was fresh,” Omarion said backstage later. “We only had a couple days to rehearse, but we laid it out onstage. Lindsay did good. She’s my girl.”
Going into Saturday’s taping, Houston was one of the lesser-known stars scheduled to take the stage, but after showing up in what looked like a clear plastic spacesuit, his name will certainly be plastered in fashion-police columns for weeks to come.
“I wanted to do something different ’cause it’s MTV and it’s wild and crazy,” Houston said. “No rules. I wanted to do something no one would have on. It gets a little sweaty under all the lights, but I have ventilation holes.”
One of the first to comment on Houston’s outfit was Dave Navarro, who, along with Ashlee Simpson, served on the fashion panel for MTV News’ preshow.
“The difficult task was to be politically correct and speak your mind without hurting anyone,” Navarro said later. “If I pointed out something that wasn’t working, I pointed out something that was. You know, ’Love the bag, hate the shoes.’ The idea of the Movie Awards is to have fun and be loose.”
Most of the men lived up to that idea by dressing down for the night (Jack Black in a “Vote Kerry” T-shirt, Adam Sandler in shorts, Leatherface in a … well, you know), but the ladies came with class, with MTV News guest reporter Paris Hilton in an orange Elsie Katz Couture gown, and Kate Beckinsale, Scarlett Johansson and Carmen Electra among those in eveningwear.
During the big show, Electra did her best to top the Madonna/Britney/Christina love triangle at last year’s Video Music Awards by smooching with Paris and Snoop Dogg.
“It was pretty innocent,” Carmen said backstage. “It was just a peck. It was fun. And Dave approves, so that’s all that matters.”
It’s safe to say Carmen had more fun onstage this time than Christina, who tripped as she entered with fellow presenter Sharon Stone. “That sucks,” Stone commented.
What didn’t suck was the Beastie Boys’ return to an MTV stage after a five-year hiatus, as well as a powerful Yeah Yeah Yeahs performance in front of a Spike Jonze-designed backdrop.
To announce the final award of the night, Kirsten Dunst and Spider-Man took the stage, and the webbed one finally revealed the face behind the mask — and it wasn’t who you’d think.
Find out who is Spider-Man as well as the winners of the 2004 MTV Movie Awards on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT.