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October 7, 2015

Remember the good times we had with (at) Michael Jackson('s expense)?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 9th 2009 5:04PM
South Park poking fun of Michael Jackson
A lot of memories have surfaced of the good times that pop icon and musical genius Michael Jackson provided the world in the wake of his untimely and unfortunate death. However, an elephant in the room has wedged its wide butt in between the happy memories that range from "Billy Jean" to "Rockin' Robin," other than the eye-bleedingly bad Moonwalker movie.

Jackson's life outside of the recording studio and in the blood-soaked pages of the supermarket tabloids provided a lot of fodder for comedies and comedians that turned the man into a punchline just as fast as the radio waves turned him into a legend.

Michael Jackson jokes gradually moved from the dark corners of the elementary school recess yard to permeate nearly every part of the TV landscape. Some shows managed to rise above the overly juvenile jokes by mining material from other aspects of Jackson's life, while others ran with the seedier details and packed more punch than a swallow of Jesus Juice.

The second Michael Jackson trial (legal name: "Jackson Trial 2: Electric Boogaloo") started just after the dawn of Jimmy Kimmel's late night show on ABC. It also spawned his creepy press conference gatecrasher Jake Byrd, played by writer Anthony Barberi. The character not only brought an Ali-G style of guerilla warfare back to late night comedy, but also a badly needed dose of reality to placard toting fanboys willing to sacrifice their time and potential job prospects for a meaningless protest.

Cartoon Network's Robot Chicken took a less, shall we say, hands-on approach to turning MJ into a target. The first season featured a sketch in which the young Jackson escapes from the evil clutches of the short-tempered aliens to reveal their plans for world domination by replacing him with the new pale-faced, baby balcony-dangling Jackson. The sketch ends in Robot Chicken's inimitable style: a completely over-the-top fight, loud gunfire, and at least two dead bodies.

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South Park's
stab at a Michael Jackson episode seemed like your TV would feature nothing but wall-to-wall molestation jokes, but the "Meeting Mr. Jefferson" took a novel and satirical approach to the stained legacy of the King of Pop. The episode took Jackson to task for his obsession with reclaiming his lost childhood and alleged lackidasical parenting skills. Show creator Trey Parker also delivered an eerily good musical impression of the pop star that makes me wonder what he has in store for the latest (actually, last) chapter of MJ's life.

Even the media circus that circled Jackson's life got the sharp end of the gag writer's mechanical pencil. The Daily Show turned themselves into the official media watchdog with their coverage of the coverage of the trial.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Back in Black - E! Channel's Re-enactment of the Michael Jackson Trial
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Economic Crisis

However, the balliest attempt at turning Jackson's troubles into entertainment goes to Robert Smigel and the staff writers of Late Night with Conan O'Brien for sending Triumph the Insult Comic Dog to interview the more clueless, stingy and downright angry supporters who hung out at the LA Courthouse during the second molestation trial. The very thought of so many people spending so much time in front of the courthouse staggers the mind and makes me wonder if the Cheesecake Factory ever survived the huge employment shortage during the length of the trial.

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Remember "good times" when you were demonizing him danny? You can be so pathetic. Something tells me MJ is resting in more peace than other dead people. So atleast I can take comfort in that Jon Stewart and Joel McHale have shown the most class throughout the coverage of his death showing how unreliable the media really are and what lengths they'll go to exploit, sensationlize, slander and speculate so much for their own stupid ratings.

July 12 2009 at 9:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like that the blood soaked pages.....its only fair to add the blood stained hands of the people who purchased that trash as well....

July 10 2009 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I remember those hilarious Michael Jackson Puppet Theatre skits on MSNBC Countdown. Keith would use Popsicle sticks with paper faces to renact the trial. Go look it up on YouTube. Whoo-hoo-hoo!

July 10 2009 at 2:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's very interesting to witness the media backlash with MJ's passing. Prolly will make for good case studies in college media communications classes. He'll likely end up like Elvis: the music industry will deify him, while pop-culture will remind us of his tragic flaws that lead to his early demise. And this is probably as it should be.

July 09 2009 at 11:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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