David Bowie made a number of memorable appearances on Saturday Night Live during his lifetime, and the show paid tribute to him this past Saturday night by showing one of those performances.
Portlandia star and musician Fred Armisen, a former cast member who returns from time to time, took the stage and told the audience, “When I was in high school, and living in Long Island, I stayed up to see David Bowie play on Saturday Night Live, and watching him was a life-changing experience. He had these backup singers that were like choir singers from the future and a toy poodle with a TV monitor in his mouth.”
“David Bowie transformed whatever space he was in, whatever medium he was using,” added Armisen. “And that night, for me, he transformed live television.”
Armisen then introduced a clip of one of Bowie’s performances from that night in 1979: he performed “The Man Who Sold The World” while encased in a fake suit; he had to literally be carried to the mic by his bizarrely-dressed backup singers, performance artists Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias.
NBC.com is also hosting videos of Bowe’s other equally odd performances that night December 15, 1979 of “TVC15” and “Boys Keep Swinging.” For “TVC15,” he performed in a skirt, while for “Boys Keep Swinging,” his head was superimposed on a life-size puppet.