Celebrate David Bowie’s Birthday with This Bizarre Vintage Video

The year 2014 was a good one for glam rock icon, style avant-gardist, and occasional art collector David Bowie, who turns 68 today. His traveling retrospective “David Bowie Is” has smashed attendance records in Chicago, London, and Berlin, and, despite the decades that have gone by since his heyday, Bowie’s glitter-laden star hasn’t faded one bit.

In celebration, we’ve unearthed this gem of a video from a Saturday Night Live appearance in December 1979. Alongside performance artist Joey Arias and German countertenor Klaus Nomi, he performed “The Man Who Sold The World,” “TVC15,” and “Boys Keep Swinging.”

From the beginning, it’s a great performance, if one that’s a little out there by SNL standards. But then, it is David Bowie. However, as Gizmodo recounts, things get way weirder than expected during the last song, in which Bowie is operating a giant puppet. A puppet that the audience soon learns is very anatomically correct when, during the song’s climax, he removes its penis from its green trousers—not once, but several times.

The funny thing is, the SNL producers edited out the lines “(When you’re a boy)/Other boys check you out,” reportedly claiming they were too offensive for national television (this was only the late ’70s, after all). But somehow, they either missed, or more likely were just completely not expecting, the full-frontal puppet nudity that ensued.

This, of course, is but one reason why we love David Bowie.


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