Did you expect Kanye to talk for so long when accepting the Video Vanguard Award?
We originally thought Kanye was going to do a medley. Then we thought he was going to not do music and talk. Then, about two acts into the show, we thought he would do a couple-song medley. This is after the show started. Then, about an act before, we found out that he might not do music and just speak — but we had to be prepared for both, so we had a track cued up. We were in the truck and we heard this 10 minutes before he was to accept the award.
Is that the latest someone’s thrown you a mid-show change-up?
I think part of the magic and the unpredictability of the VMAs is that probably no other producers in TV would go into a show not knowing what their biggest award winner was going to do. We decided to be open to whatever Kanye wanted because he’s given us so many moments—unexpected ones. So we weren’t sure whether he would break into song or not. We had a track—he would have rapped to his biggest hits.
The track was ready, the speech was ready, and he just went on?
I’m not sure the speech was ready! He didn’t rehearse. I saw him on the red carpet beforehand, but he didn’t tell me what direction he was going to go in. We’ve learned to expect the unexpected. Someone from his camp was with us in the truck and he was surprised too. Nobody knew what he was going to do — or announce that he was going to run for president. We were all surprised. Even Taylor Swift.
Wow, how ’bout that? Did ‘Ye spontaneously come up with the idea to run for president?! This video shows a fan yelling it out to him moments before he made it public.
And even better, and unrelated to the above, some genius spliced Kanye’s speech and spun it into a very feasible Seinfeld opening. Hahaha. Best thing I’ve seen from the internet in a minute.