It was just a matter of time before Lindsay Lohan started poking fun at herself on a national stage. She just happened to choose the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night for the we-can-laugh-now surprise cameo.
This surprise cameo is all part the new Hollywood forgiveness pact with the public -- screw up and then make fun of the screw-up as soon as possible on television. Americans, we're told, just love it.
In Lohan's version, she appeared in the show's pre-taped opening number, surprising VMA host Chelsea Handler as she came around the corner.
The troubled starlet quizzed Handler about whether she had been drinking before going on stage.
"Do you think anyone wants to work with a drunk?" Lohan asked mock-angrily. "Take it from me, they don't."
No slight humor or subtle winks here. But it didn't work. Lohan seemed to be trying too hard to be game about the scene.
There was just a little too much brow-sweat in pointing out that this was the attempt to poke fun at her recent jail time and rehab. The anger, even if it was for the sake of humor, seemed noticeably too much and off-color.
The only true laugh was when Handler showed her ankle-bracelet, looking like the one Lohan had been forced to wear by a Los Angeles court.
"That just means my table is ready at the Cheesecake Factory," Handler said as the scram lights went off.
And then she was off to host the show, receiving one last attempt at laughter from the scene -- Lohan smacking her butt for good luck. A continuation of a pretty lame joke from earlier in the skit.
All in all, it was a shaky step in Lohan's attempt at image rehab.