We would have had a blast with Madonna's 'Like A Virgin' performance.

By Jessica Goodman
Updated August 25, 2015 at 05:00 PM EDT
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Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

The best part of an awards show in the year 2015? Probably the GIFs: looped footage of Miley’s foam finger, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ e-cig, and Jack Nicholson video-bombing Jennifer Lawrence make gala events like the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, and VMAs worth watching (and watching again). In honor of Sunday’s VMAs here’s what the first-ever MTV Video Music Awards, which aired in 1984, would have looked like if we had GIF’d them in real-time.

Look it’s the first Moonmen!

Just kidding, it’s your hosts, Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler.

Rod Stewart takes the stage for the first-ever VMA performance.

Michael Jackson wins the first award of the night, Best Performance in a Video for “Thriller.” Diana Ross picks up the Moonman on his behalf.

New York City mayor Ed Koch shows up to declare Radio City Music Hall’s new name, Video City Music Hall. (That didn’t stick.)

Cyndi Lauper wins Best Female Video for “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.”

ZZ Top performs, and everyone wears a beard.

Huey Lewis and the News were there too. (They played “I Want A New Drug.”)

Mick Jagger gives a video statement to celebrate the inaugural event.

The Beatles win the first Vanguard Award.

David Bowie appears via tape from London.

Quincy Jones is here!

David Lee Roth has some thoughts.

And Madonna makes history with her legendary “Like A Virgin” performance.

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