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Why the Hell Is Aerosmith Closing Out the VMAs?

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Steven Tyler of Aerosmith performs on Day 1 of the Calling Festival at Clapham Common on June 28, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)

Did you know that the MTV VMAs are happening tonight? You’d be forgiven for failing to notice, as the once-essential awards show has been in steady decline lately. Last year, marquee performer The Weeknd decided he just didn’t feel like coming, and the biggest headlines of the night came from the fact that Milo Yiannopoulos somehow snuck in. This year doesn’t seem any more promising—there’s not even a host—but MTV may have an ace up its sleeve: Aerosmith! Come again?

Rumor has it that the Honkin’ on Bobo boys will be closing out tonight’s show with a performance of “Walk This Way.” It’s frankly difficult to imagine a major artist less likely to impress MTV’s teen audience. (Eric Clapton? Ruben Studdard?) TMZ spotted the band outside of Radio City Music Hall, where the awards are taking place, and peppered them with questions that they mostly declined to answer. But the gossip site seems confident that the performance is happening.

Drummer Joey Kramer and guitarist Joe Perry both hinted that Post Malone may join them onstage to fill the role historically occupied by Run-DMC in “Walk This Way,” which makes a certain sense given that Posty clearly aspires to Aerosmith’s level of rock stardom and is generally just a few pashminas short of channeling Steven Tyler. And for a network that’s increasingly drawing on reboots of its legacy programming in hopes of bringing viewers back, it might seem like a logical move, considering the impact of the original “Walk This Way” video. But with Post onboard, the performance will inevitably feel more like a nod to the 1999 VMAs, when Aerosmith played the song with Kid Rock. Whether that’s a moment worth reliving is up for debate.