Gone Too Soon (Funny Blog from Comedy Central’s Dwayne Perkins)


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I’ve purposely let some of the dust settle before addressing Michael Jackson’s passing.Well, the initial dust at least.Combine someone at the pinnacle of talent with someone also at the pinnacle of work ethic and you get Michael Jackson.I could watch rewind and watch one Michael Jackson spin over and over.As I’m sure he did that very move over and over until it was a spectacle unto itself.Most famous entertainers know they are lucky to have their fame and fortune.The best rapper knows there are at least a handful of rappers who, if given the right opportunity could take his spot.The same is true for writers, comedians, singers, athletes.But Michael Jackson has no peer.Being great and at the same time non-derivative and completely original is an amazing feat that can not be overstated. You can argue that Michael Jackson stood on the shoulders of Elvis, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, James Brown, Jackie Wilson.These men were all great in their own right.But Michael Jackson ascended to heights never before seen.It was Michael’s gift that made all his odd fashion and style appeal to us not the other way around.Michael Jackson’s kind of appeal that spans race, culture and age takes more than marketing and hype.It takes magic.It takes an ability to be so pure with your art that you touch people, captivate them and keep them entranced.

It goes beyond music, beyond dancing.MJ’s brand of greatness inspired hope. Just knowing that that kind of greatness existed in the world made people happy.Of course everything comes at a price.And to be that great for that long from such a young age definitely takes a toll.Huge notoriety is usually accompanied with equal depths of loneliness.Imagine having not one person who can truly empathize with you.Imagine being too famous to walk the street…in any country…even the non-industrialized ones.Imagine having scores of people alter their face to look like you.Imagine those same people altering their face again…to look like you.


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As for his legacy, I’m not sure it’s for me or anyone else to say but the fact that there is even such a great debate speaks to his enormous impact. I can’t begin to psychoanalyze someone I never met but I will say I’ve known people who’ve let something silly as winning a comedy contest go to their head.A comic can go from saying hi to not saying hi overnight.Or how about the person who loses weight and is all of a sudden cocky and aloof.We suffer these people because we know the human condition can be kooky.Now imagine being the most famous entertainer on the planet and one of the richest.You don’t think you would do some things that might seem odd to the broke masses. We’re talking about a guy who from age 10 would have his clothes ripped off by people he never met if he walked alone in public.

We forgot that he was a person.Maybe he forgot too.He belonged to the public.He was ours to emulate, spy on, question, make fun off. I’m not saying he should be absolved of wrong doing.I’m saying you can’t fully judge a man until you moonwalk a mile in his penny loafers.I don’t have a comment on the child thing except to ask, who are the parents who would let their children spend a minute with an accused molester?Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, and maybe I’m using my kid as bait.

Also lost in the discussion is the fact that he was a great singer, especially as a child.Don’t let the glove fool you.His singing voice and vocal arrangements were as captivating as his dance moves.You ever wonder how Michael Jackson came up with “cha-mon?” Even something as simple as saying “cha-mon” instead of “come on” is brilliant.

QSN:Even before Michael’s passing I had decided to start saying “Cha-Mon” instead of “Come-on.” Now that MJ is no longer with us I think it’s even more apropos.“50 dollars for this chair?! Cha-mon! You gotta be kidding me.

I think the real debate should be what decade of his work is the best.Most would say the 80’s.I say go Youtube Mike in the 70’s with his brothers as a child and a young adult.It’s mind bending. The 90’s gave us Heal the World, You are Not Alone. Remember the Time, the Free Willy Song. He even “Rocked My World” in this decade.

His legacy?Well…Name one other person who can encourage a whole Filipino prison population to do a choreographed group dance to his music*.We’re talking prison where even the slightest sign of weakness will be exploited within an inch of death. And scores of grown bad asses can lift the tough guy code for a few minutes to join in on a Michael Jackson video reenactment.I’m going to stab you with a makeshift knife I made out of cardboard…right after our Thriller rehearsal.

Just think, Bad, Dangerous, History I & II all came after Thriller.So after he made the most listened to album ever he followed it up with another 3 classics!It’s sad to see a true icon and public servant go but luckily for us he left us with such an expansive catalogue of music, and videos that even generations to come will know his greatness and flip out over his work.

*The famous Filipino inmates have now done other songs and artists. But like always, the other dances can’t come close to the Michael Jackson one.

2 thoughts on “Gone Too Soon (Funny Blog from Comedy Central’s Dwayne Perkins)

  1. me!

    Dwayne–

    That was a moving and entirely appropriate tribute. Very well done.

    As for Michael Jackson's excesses and eccentricities (I'm talking about the quirks, not the allegations), I think Dave Chappelle made an excellent point in one of his later concerts, when he said to the audience:

    "He did it for you."

    I find myself going back to the early Jackson 5 stuff on YouTube. There are just no words to describe what he could do on a stage.

  2. Jackie Hudson

    Your right up of Michael's life challenges is truly profound. What you wrote about Michael, is what the world needs to know. So many of us walk around with rose colored glasses on, till we can’t see the light from the darkness.

    Since I know you watched or at minimum listen to his memorial service, I hope that you can appreciate what his brother said at the end, “Maybe now they will leave Michael alone". Michael sang about these very words in one of his songs, yet no one truly listened to him. Hopefully we all are listening now, "Leave him alone".

    Love the right-up D, what's next on your mind?

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