It wouldn’t be the MTV Video Music Awards if Eminem didn’t kick up a fuss.
This year’s ruckus began when the flaxen-haired rapper was caught off-guard by the taunting of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, on leave from his night job as the resident pantomime sadist on NBC’s “Late Night With Conan O’Brien.”
The cigar-chomping puppet rottweiler (on the arm of satirist Robert Smigel) narrowly avoided a pummeling at the hands of Em and his entourage after the canine’s traditional round of celebrity taunting met with a less than enthusiastic response from the hip-hop star.
Leaping into the audience later in the show, Smigel/Triumph was undeterred. “I could have taken him,” growled the hound.
After the show, a throng of revelers braved the misty rain for a soiree hosted by Island Def Jam Records and music mag Blender at the Café St. Barts in Midtown. Luminaries on hand included rappers Jay-Z and Ja Rule, divas Pink, Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears, James Brown, VMA host Jimmy Fallon and IDJ topper Lyor Cohen.
Across Town, Levi’s pulled the late-night crowd into the cavernous Milk Studios on 15th Street for sets by New York natives the Strokes and rapper Mos Def’s rock combo Black Jack Johnson. Aud included a who’s who of the Gotham indie scene, including Debbie Harry, Moby, Sean Lennon, as well as members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Mooney Suzuki.