Art

Michael Jackson's real legacy: A compilation of bad local moonwalk videos

I could talk about how Thriller was my first cassette and what it felt like listening to those foreboding synthesizers and Vincent Price monologue coming out of my dinky one-speaker tape player. Or I could talk about what it's been like watching my two-year-old son grooving to "Billie Jean" on his Fisher-Price ghetto blaster as of late. But since everyone's already written that treacly stuff about MJ today, I figured I'd focus on the King of Pop's real legacy: He's left behind a planet united not by love or understanding, but by bad moonwalk attempts.

Ever since Jackson first unveiled his signature move to an awestruck crowd on the 1983 special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, people have been attempting to slide their uncoordinated feed across linoleum floors the world over. We've compiled a bunch of attempts from around Denver that we found on YouTube, including the one above at DIA which is priceless for its brilliantly timed let-down. Taken together, the clips are slightly beautiful and slightly awkward -- which, come to think of it, is just like Michael Jackson himself.

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner