Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Belated R.I.P.

You know, while I was away for a week and a half, a whole bunch of people up and died. First there was Farah Fawcett, whose death was completely overshadowed by the untimely demise of Michael Jackson just hours later. I was actually among the first to get the news that MJ had suffered cardiac arrest, texting it to my brothers after I happened to see TMZ break the news in the airport while waiting for my flight to Las Vegas. That one really slammed me where it hurt, not that I am a big Michael Jackson fan per se, but because -- say what you want about the freakshow that is his personal life -- MJ is quite simply the biggest star in the world of entertainment of my lifetime. Period. Sure there was Madonna, Whitney Houston, Boys2Men, NSync, Justin Timberlake and others. Yes, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods have been big, bigger than the sports they played in fact. And there was a time some years ago where once or twice a year Tom Hanks would put in a Best Actor worthy performance in making that year's Best Picture winning film. But at the end of the day, nobody, but nobody, was bigger than Michael Jackson was in his heyday in the early 1980s. Thriller is still the best-selling album of all time, and to me the most amazing thing is that, even with 25 years for people to mimic, build on and improve upon his dancing, nobody out there has really even come close to duplicating MJ's moves. Nobody:

In tribute to the greatest entertainer of my lifetime, I showed the above video to my kids while at the beach last week, and I'm not sure their jaws are up off the floor yet. My older daughter hasn't stopped talking about the moonwalk yet and it's been nearly a week at this point. Right at the beginning of the above video are probably overall the two best moonwalk clips ever done, back to back. Typically Michael limited his moonwalk on stage to four or five "steps", but those first two shots basically stretch right across the screen, and they can really wow someone who's never seen it before. Also be sure to check out the less popular but almost equally shocking sideways version, which is best shown in the above at 1:24, 2:00 and again near the end in full robot gear at 2:54. Check it out, this is as close to gravity-defying as I've ever seen a dancer get.

But the other death that occurred while I was away was perhaps the closest to home for me: Billy Mays. As my longtime readers know, I am a huge infomercial guy, and over the past ten years or so, you just can't say "infomercial" without mentioning Billy Mays. And now he's gone. Not that I can exactly say I'm surprised that he had heart trouble given how he's basically always yelling at the camera anytime anybody sees him on tv, but this is still a huge loss to the entire genre of direct-to-television sales. There are a ton of great vids and parodies of Billy Mays available for your perusal, but for some reason the spoof below really cracks me up the most. Enjoy, and R.I.P. Billy Mays:

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Blogger Wwonka said...

Did you mention that part to your children?

I didn't either


3:03 AM  
Blogger Riggstad said...

Why is it so hard to understand that we are not celebrating Michael Jackson the person, but rather the Icon that produced some of our life times best entertainment, music, and culture.

I bet most forget that he was a pedophile while they're listening to, and singing along with Man in the Mirror.

No doubt he was one hot mess of a human being, and yes, I think the memorial service that was held was a little over the top (I didn't watch, just assuming til I see clips tonight), but I don't think it's entirely wrong to have liked his product and want to wish him a peaceful final resting place.

4:54 AM  
Blogger andr3w321 said...

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1:45 PM  

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