In February NBC aired a show dubbed The Jackson Family Honors, whose real purpose was to demonstrate that the Jackson family--parents Joseph and Katherine and kids Janet, Michael, Rebbie, Tito, Randy, Jackie, Marlon and Jermaine--weren't really as dysfunctional as they seemed. Instead, this excruciating program proved that the Jacksons themselves should have won a trophy--for nerve.
They deserve plenty of other plaudits, too, as the following Jackson Family "dishonors"--drawn from La Toya Jackson's ghostwritten autobiography La Toya--prove. Just in time for the April 24 McNichols Arena appearance by Janet Jackson (the only member of the family who still has a viable career), we give credit where credit is due.
BEST COSTUMES Joseph, who enjoyed putting on grotesque latex monster masks and going outside the family home to tap on his children's bedroom windows in the dead of night. When the children went to investigate the noises, he would scream at them.
MOST SUPPORTIVE SPOUSE Katherine, who responded to complaints from her children about their father's psychotic behavior by leaning back in her chair, laughing, and saying, "That Joseph, he's so crazy."
MOST SUPPORTIVE SIBLING Janet, who responded to Jermaine's request that she serve as the opening act for his late-Eighties comeback tour by sneering, "He hasn't had a hit in years, and he wants me to open for him?"
MOST SUPPORTIVE UNCLE Michael, who saved his nieces' and nephews' first soiled diapers as mementoes.
MOST SUPPORTIVE PARENT Katherine, who told Marlon that he was a terrible dancer and later responded to questions about her opinion of his first solo album, Baby Tonight, with the comment, "Marlon can't sing. Why doesn't he just hang it up? He has no talent."
MOST AROMATIC JACKSON Michael, nicknamed "Smelly" by Quincy Jones because, during the recording of the Off the Wall album, he refused to shower or change his clothes for days at a time.
BRAVEST JACKSON Rebbie, who, responding to news that Michael had received a death threat before a family show, refused to go on stage, saying, "Don't you realize I can get shot? What if they decide to get him while I'm right next to him?"
BEST TABLE MANNERS Jermaine, who would "breathe" on other people's desserts before they could eat them.
BEST SCAPEGOAT Jackie, who was blamed for anything that went wrong. Joseph frequently slapped him in public.
BEST PHRASEMAKER Janet, who referred to Brooke Shields as "Giraffe Butt."
SECOND-BEST PHRASEMAKER La Toya, who referred to having sex with a man as "liking him."
BEST SIBLING RELATIONSHIP Michael and La Toya, who wanted to star together as lovers in one of Michael's videos.
BEST HUMANITARIAN Katherine, who said, "There's one mistake Hitler made in his life--he didn't kill all those Jews."
BEST ACTOR Joseph, who liked to burst unannounced into his children's rooms and scream, "I am the Jo Jo! I am the hawk!"
BEST ACTRESS Janet, who, while performing with her family in Las Vegas, portrayed Jeanette MacDonald and Cher.
BEST LOSER Michael, who, when he didn't sweep the 1980 Grammy Awards, burst into tears and cried, "How can they do this? This is so wrong!"
BEST TASTE IN MEN La Toya, who referred to George Michael as "so cute!" and Julio Iglesias as "so handsome."
MOST OLD-FASHIONED JACKSON La Toya, who was told by Iglesias after a kiss, "La Toya, you kiss like a grandmother!"
BEST TASTE IN MUSIC Katherine, whose favorite musical performer was Floyd Cramer, best known for his 1961 version of "San Antonio Rose."
BEST FAMILY MEN Joseph and Jermaine, who each fathered children with women other than their wives while they were still married.
QUICKEST-THINKING JACKSON Rebbie, who was able to stop her father from beating her mother by hitting him over the head with a shoe.
MOST UNDERRATED SEX SYMBOL Tito, whose career-endangering marriage shadowy, unnamed record company executives tried to prevent by threatening to push or drive his beloved off a cliff.
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BEST-BUILT JACKSON Janet, who Michael declared had the fattest thighs in the family.
MOST BORING JACKSON Randy, about whom even La Toya can't come up with much to say.
BEST RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PRESS La Toya, who says she was glad she posed nude in Playboy because it forever squelched the rumor that she and Michael were the same person.
SECOND-BEST RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PRESS Michael, who stopped granting interviews after a journalist quoted him as saying he enjoyed watching children starve to death.BEST NEWS FOR THOSE HOPING JANET JACKSON'S CONCERT WILL GO OFF WITHOUT A HITCH The rest of her family isn't planning to attend.