Steve Martin parodies Michael Jackson and the 'Billie Jean' video

If, as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Steve Martin must have really liked Michael Jackson. Here, from 1984, is Martin doing an impeccable parody of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” video, from a short-lived tv series called The New Show:

The New Show lasted only one season, was produced by Saturday Night Live‘s Lorne Michaels, featured SCTV vets like Dave Thomas (who appears in the video above) and Catherine O’Hara, and, in an odd coincidence, featured guest spots from Jeff Goldblum, who was the object of a death rumor last week. But it’s Martin’s deft footwork (remember how good he was in his underrated 1981 version of Pennies From Heaven?) that makes this spoof a fond homage.

What do you think?


Comments (16 total) Add your comment
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  • Harry K

    I remember this. Steve Martin was one the funniest guys ever, it’s too bad he had to ruin his career with “Pink Panther” films.

  • Chris

    Any chances of The New Show making its way to DVD? It has great guest hosts and cast.

  • darclyte

    Shouldn’t that have read, “But it’s Martin’s deft footwork…WHICH makes this spoof a fond homage” instead? Since it’s Martin’s “footwork” and not “Martin” that is said to make that a fond homage.

  • Linda

    I love it, I think Steve Martin did a great job.
    It’s always refreshing to see that the grammar police are still making the rounds, isn’t that right, darclyte?

  • Butters


  • Matt1

    That was stupid.

  • J.C. Rede

    I actually remember watching this on TV the night it aired. I thought then, as I do now, parody is a sincere form of flattery.

  • malcolm

    i wonder if Steve Martin is looking for a sugar momma….

  • Mattie

    Darclyte, next time you want to play grammar police, get it right. “Who” is wrong, but so is “which,” which would only introduce a clause inessential to the meaning of the sentence. For this, the writer should have used “that.”
    And great video!

  • Stella Cadente

    That was awesome, thanks for the memory. Steve Martin moved pretty well for an old white guy.

  • lovemichaelforever

    Very cute-a little slow on the footwork but very cute.

  • Melinda65

    In 1984, Steve Martin was 39 years old–white, but not “old.” I actually remember watching this when it first aired.
    As a card-carrying member of the Grammar Police, I have to side with darclyte’s intent, if not his execution. :-) I avoid, for the most part, correcting the grammar of other posters (unless something is really egregious) but correcting grammar or spelling in a professional writer’s article is fair game.

  • Youtuber

    Go to Youtube and watch
    its such an adorable video!

  • taylor

    Steve had moves!
    I laughed when he ran back to the one tile to light it up LOL

  • ia

    Thanks, Steve Martin. I’m sure MJ is laughing from heaven. My family gathered to celebrate The 4th Of July and, of course, MJ’s music was part of our celebration. We played Michael’s “Thriller” and “Off The Wall” music; dancing with our sparklers and
    putting our own tribute to The King Of Pop.
    MJ had to be smilin’ down on us, too!! We’ll miss you, Michael. Thanks for your out-of-this-world talent!!!

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