Steve Martin’s lost 1984 parody of Michael Jackson
If you blinked in early 1984, then you may have missed The New Show, which was a primetime comedy oddity that Lorne Michaels produced during his brief stint away from the reins at SNL. And how did this show open its first telecast? With a dance parody of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," performed by Steve Martin (and also Dave Thomas). It's, um, yeah. Filled with laugh track. Kinda cute. But everyone in January 1984 was wanting to be just like Mike (before Michael Jordan made everyone want to be just like Mike again, but that's for another post). As Martin explained over the weekend on The New Yorker's blog: "I‚Äôm not sure whose idea it was; it might have been Lorne‚Äôs. Pat Birch choreographed it. The hard move was that little leg twist that he did. You really have to throw your leg. I did it a thousand times in about three days. And a couple of weeks later I noticed‚Äîer, I have a pain here. The pain lasted about two years, then it went away on its own."
So here's that video opening to the series. Stay through the end for the cast intros, which looked as though Michaels rounded up spare parts from SCTV, SNL and added a couple of newcomers (Jeff Goldblum!). Does anyone actually remember this show?