During the Adam Driver-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live, the long-running sketch comedy series paid tribute to David Bowie by having former cast member Fred Armisen return to reminisce about a memorable 1979 episode of SNL where Bowie served as musical guest.
“When I was in high school and living in Long Island, I stayed up to see David Bowie play on Saturday Night Live. Watching him, for me, was a life-changing experience,” Armisen told the audience. “David Bowie transformed whatever space he was in, whatever medium he was using, and that night for me, he transformed live television.”
In addition to the on-air tribute, SNL dug into its vaults and posted all three of Bowie’s visually stunning performances from that Martin Sheen-hosted episode from December 1979. For that musical guest spot, Bowie delivered Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias-assisted renditions of “The Man Who Sold the World,” Lodger‘s “Boys Keep Swinging” and Station to Station‘s “TVC 15.”
Bowie made two other SNL appearances during his lifetime: In 1997, he brought “Little Wonder” and “Scary Monsters” to the Studio 8H stage, and two years later he was back again with “Thursday’s Child” and “Rebel Rebel” for a Jerry Seinfeld-hosted episode.
Check out Bowie’s 1979 SNL visit below:
“The Man Who Sold the World”
“Boys Keep Swinging”