Michael Jackson and Eddie Murphy Sing “What’s Up with You?”
This 1992 duet with Eddie Murphy is a hypnotic disaster — it’s just so truly aesthetically awful. From Eddie Murphy clutching a dove at the beginning (reflected in a pool of water) to the skipping schoolboys to the animated butterflies, a tackier piece of art has not been seen since. Like so much of Jackson’s life, it’s impossible to look away.
Almost Hired by Amusement Park Firm in the United Arab Emirates
Though Neverland Ranch’s sprawling amusement park slowly fell into disrepair over the last few years of his life, in 2006 Jackson’s reputation as a theme park aficionado earned him the attention of Bahrain-based firm AAJ Holding. The company wanted to hire Jackson (who was living in Bahrain at the time) as a consultant on their amusement park and music academy projects throughout the region, though nothing ever came of it.
On Vacation with an 11-Year-Old Macaulay Culkin
It is not normal for a 35-year-old man to go on a vacation to Bermuda with an 11-year-old boy. It is also not normal for a 35-year-old man to be afraid of “fire” (a match). Culkin would later take the stand in 2005 as a character witness on Jackson’s behalf, stating that at no point did he ever feel threatened by Jackson, and that he certainly was never molested. The fact that Culkin is clearly the alpha male in this clip, though not surprising, is deeply troubling.
Oh Hey, it’s Captain Eo
A testament to the pop culture power Jackson wielded at the height of his career, the pop superstar starred in this short 3D space opera directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas. The story is something like a Jackson 5 music video seen through sci-fi and fairy tale filters, whereby Jackson (Captain Eo) and his rag-tag group of friends have to deliver some secret gift to an icy space queen played by Anjelica Huston (The Supreme Leader).
MJ Makes a Guest Appearance on The Simpsons
Second only to infamous recluse Thomas Pynchon’s appearance on The Simpsons, Jackson’s 1991 guest appearance as delusional Leon Kompowsky is both weird and delightful (we almost included it in the Wonderful section). The highpoint is the song Jackson sings, “Lisa It’s Your Birthday,” which is probably the best song ever written for a cartoon sitcom. The clip below is a still-montage with the song, but you can go here to watch the full episode.