This year’s MTV Video Music Awards were so tame that probably the most outrageous thing to happen was when police cited Mos Def outside the awards show for operating a sound system without a permit. You didn’t expect Al Gore to come out in Howard Stern’s Fartman costume, did you?

Mos Def reportedly showed up outside Radio City Music Hall in a pickup truck and hastily set up a portable stage. He was a few verses into the controversial “Katrina Clap” when police showed up.

“As soon as he was made aware of the police presence, he shut everything down,” a spokeswoman for the rapper/actor said. New York law allows public singing, but amplified performances require a permit. Police said Mos Def was able to attend the show, but he was not a part of the scheduled MTV event.

The lack of hipness in MTV’s self celebration can be summed up easily: OK Go and its treadmills – despite a great live performance – were never nominated. Meanwhile, a taped award prelude featuring Britney and K-Fed was deemed so awful that MTV decided to remove it from future airings.

The August 31st award show made winners of Panic! At the Disco for video of the year, with “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” James Blunt won male video of the year for “You’re Beautiful,” and Kelly Clarkson beat out Madonna and Christina Aguilera for female video of the year with “Because of You.”

Gnarls Barkley‘s “Crazy” won awards for cinematography and video direction. All American Rejects took home the prize for best group video for “Move Along.” Black Eyed Peas took home the best hip-hip award for “My Humps,” and Chamillionaire‘s “Ridin” took home best rap honors.

The show was hosted by Jack Black, and featured performances from Panic! At The Disco, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, T.I.., Ludacris, Shakira and Wyclef Jean, and The Killers.