June 26, 2009 Steve Martin: My Attempt at Moonwalking
As a dancer, Michael Jackson was great. He was like Fred Astaire. This video, a parody of the “Billie Jean” video, was done for “The New Show,” which was a prime-time NBC program that Lorne Michaels did in 1983-1984, when he wasn’t producing “Saturday Night Live.”
This was the opening—it was the first piece on the first episode of the show. Michael Jackson had recently done what I consider to be his life-changing performance on the Grammy Awards, where he did the Moonwalk and threw his hat offstage. He was just brilliant. Then the “Billie Jean” video came out. And this was a parody of that.
I’m not sure whose idea it was; it might have been Lorne’s. 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—er, I have a pain here. The pain lasted about two years, then it went away on its own. Steve Martin: My Attempt at Moonwalking: News Desk: Online Only: The New Yorker