Michael Jackson On ’70s Variety Shows

When ‘The Greatest’ was at his best

Anyone who heard about the death of Michael Jackson flashed back to the time when he was at his best, whenever that was; it seems like when a celebrity dies, our first instinct is to remember that person at his or her best. I suspect most people are flashing back to his ’80s golden age as the King of Pop. His early ’80s stuff is good, but my own flashbacks were to the ’70s; the disco influences of Off the Wall make me like it best because I have to admit that, as John Lennon said, “I like the disco music.” And I think “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” is just a very entertaining song.

And my next instinct was to look for clips of Michael Jackson in the ’70s, performing on the comedy/variety shows that were still very much a part of prime-time TV in that era (and which networks keep trying and failing to bring back). Here are four such clips.

A brief clip from the Jacksons’ own short-lived variety show:


Jackson and the Jackson Five on The Carol Burnett Show:

Jackson on The Flip Wilson Show:


Jackson and the Five on Sonny and Cher:


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