Why Chris Rock Took VMA Gig: "Music Just Seemed More Exciting"

When the always-original Chris Rock takes the stage at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards, he'll be revisiting a role he manifested when he hosted the show's 1997 edition.

Rock passed on hosting last year's extravaganza, however (the hosting gig instead went to Ben Stiller), and when MTV News' John Norris asked him why, the actor-comedian had a rather surprising reason.

"The only reason that I didn't do it last year was 'cause I felt that music hadn't changed that much. 'Cause I felt that I would end up doing the same exact show," Rock explained to Norris. "Like, Puffy was big for two years in a row. Actually, Puffy may be big this year. But I mean, nothing had really changed. So this year, I just saw [more] things happening in music... I was like, 'Come on, I'll do it.' Between the Ricky Martin stuff, to the Backstreet Boys, the Limp Bizkits, and the Chili Peppers are back. Music just seemed more exciting this year than it was last year."

You can catch Rock's razor-edged take on the past year's chart-toppers when he hosts the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards on September 9, which broadcasts live from New York City's Metropolitan Opera House starting at 8:00 p.m. (ET).

Catch all the sizzlin', star-packed VMA action direct from Miami on August 28. MTV News' preshow kicks things off at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT, followed by big show at 8 p.m.

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