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RSVP / INTO THE NIGHT

Not Much Was Down to Earth About It

June 10, 1996|BILL HIGGINS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Scene: Saturday's MTV Movie Awards at a sound stage on the Disney lot in Burbank followed by a neon-lit, Vegas casino-style party. With categories including best villain, best kiss and best fight, these are the Oscars From Another Planet. "What's nice about this is you're being recognized by people who actually pay to go to the movies," said Lela Rochon of "Waiting to Exhale." "I'm still waiting for my invitation to the Oscars. It's probably in the mail."

Who Was There: What one guest described as "the MTV crowd. They're hidden in record company mail rooms by day and emerge only at night." The famous among the 1,700 guests included co-hosts Janeane Garofalo and Ben Stiller, performers Whitney Houston, Adam Sandler, the bands Garbage and the Fugees with Roberta Flack; plus Mel Gibson, Gabriel Byrne, Jamie Lee Curtis, Shaquille O'Neal, Jon Voight, Patricia Arquette, David Spade, Garry Shandling, Kelly Klein, Billy Norwich and MTV execs Tom Freston, Judy McGrath and Andy Schuon.

Best Contract Rider: In their performance agreement, the Fugees asked to be treated like Garbage. The lawyers must have loved writing that.

Best Warning: On the invitation to the party, "All cameras and videotaping equipment will be gleefully seized at the door, so don't bother bringing any."

Best Backstage Drama: As part of a segment for another MTV show, there was a headband-wearing impostor claiming to be fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi. With a film crew in tow, he greeted guests, air kissed celebrities (Faye Dunaway was thrilled to see him) and generally pulled off the deception--until he got to Whitney Houston. She embraced him, suddenly realized it was a con and was definitely not amused. Neither was her bodyguard. In lieu of having his head unzipped, "Isaac" handed over his videotape and slunk away.

Dress Mode: The usual short/tight/black selections predominated, though incalculable hip de jour points went to anyone wearing something from a Kathie Lee Gifford sweatshop.

Overheard: "I'm here to get my Christmas card. It's the easiest place to be photographed with stars."

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