His epic videos and giant hit singles are being thoroughly analyzed, listed, poked and prodded elsewhere. So, now, for a bit of Michael Jackson marginalia: a look at notable guest appearances, random shout-outs, and Lando Calrissian cameos from the sidelines of MJ’s career.
The Simpsons Appearance
Jackson voiced Leon Kompowsky, a mental patient convinced he’s MJ who helps Bart get back in his sister’s good graces with the tune “Happy Birthday, Lisa” (actually sung by Jackson impersonator Kipp Lennon). He also co-wrote “Do the Bartman.”
Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker
A spin-off video game from the Moonwalker movie in which Jackson, with help from his dance skills and Bubbles the chimpanzee, has to rescue children kidnapped by the evil Mr. Big.
Back to the Future
When Marty McFly enters Café 80’s in Back to the Future II, we see a video simulation of Jackson ticking off the specials: “Try our La Bamba fajita tortilla pita. It’s got a hot salsa, avocados, cilantro mix, with your choice of beans, chicken, be-be-beef, or pork.” In Back to the Future III, Marty moonwalks for his life.
A 3-D film that was shown for a time at Disney parks, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, executive produced by George Lucas, and starring Jackson as a space captain.
The video for this Bad single features pretty much everyone we’ve ever wanted to hang out with, ever: Billy Dee Williams, Carl Weathers, Mayim Bialik, Bubbles, Steve Guttenberg, Don King, Lou Ferrigno, Malcom-Jamal Warner … the list goes on. If you were a celebrity in 1987 and you weren’t in this video, we are not accepting your phone calls.
“Black or White”
Sure, everyone remembers the face-morphing and the white shirt and everything. But what about the extended version, where Jackson dances to no music in an alley, smashes the shit out of a car with a tire iron, destroys a hotel sign, and then transforms into a panther?