MTV Video Music Awards 2012: Host Kevin Hart Takes THR on Tour of Set, Backstage (Video)

With the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards less than 48 hours away, The Hollywood Reporter got a special pre-show treat: a tour of the stage, set and the underbelly of Staples Center from this year's host, Kevin Hart.

The actor and comedian, whose 2011 breakout standup performance Laugh at my Pain has been certified five times platinum, also opened last year’s VMAs and hosted this summer's BET Awards. Viacom discount, anyone?  

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But in all seriousness (which is nearly an impossibility for Hart), the 32-year-old has more than earned his spotlight moment, having appeared in such films as Scary Movie 3, 4 and the forthcoming 5, and 2012's The Five-Year Engagement and Think Like a Man as well as TV hit Modern Family.

So what's his hosting philosophy? "I want to basically set myself apart from the pack,” says Hart. “How do I make this event mine? How do I make this event talked about for years to come? The only way to do that is to offend people. ... That's what people remember.”

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To that end, MTV, he adds, "basically gave me a list of things not to say -- and I basically said, 'That's what I’m going to say!' This is a live show, you can't tell me what to do."

With performances from Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Pink, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and Frank Ocean on deck, there's certainly plenty of material to mine. Or, as Hart likes to describe his situation, "[I'm] like a kid in a candy store." 

Watch video of Hart's hilarious tour above and tune into the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards live on September 6 at 8 p.m. EST.

Twitter: @THRMusic