Anyone who heard about the death of Michael Jackson flashed back to the time when he was at his best, whenever that was; it seems like when a celebrity dies, our first instinct is to remember that person at his or her best. I suspect most people are flashing back to his ’80s golden age as the King of Pop. His early ’80s stuff is good, but my own flashbacks were to the ’70s; the disco influences of Off the Wall make me like it best because I have to admit that, as John Lennon said, “I like the disco music.” And I think “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” is just a very entertaining song.
And my next instinct was to look for clips of Michael Jackson in the ’70s, performing on the comedy/variety shows that were still very much a part of prime-time TV in that era (and which networks keep trying and failing to bring back). Here are four such clips.
A brief clip from the Jacksons’ own short-lived variety show:
Jackson and the Jackson Five on The Carol Burnett Show:
Jackson on The Flip Wilson Show:
Jackson and the Five on Sonny and Cher: