Saturday Night Live paid tribute to David Bowie this weekend (January 16) simply and effectively, by playing archive footage of the music legend’s 1979 appearance on the live comedy show. That was one of Bowie’s three appearances on the programme in his lifetime – the others being in 1997 and 1999.
It’s clear why 1979’s performance of ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ was chosen to remember the late star. In the below clip introduced by that episode’s host, Martin Sheen, Bowie is an utterly watchable figure – the 2016 introduction to the footage by Portlandia‘s Fred Armisen says it best:
“When I was in high school and living in Long Island,” he says, “I stayed up to see David Bowie play on Saturday Night Live and watching him was for me a life-changing experience.”
He continues, “David Bowie transformed whatever space he was in, whatever medium he was using and that night, for me, he transformed live television.