Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Michael Jackson's inspiration

In a 1999 interview with MTV, Michael Jackson revealed that one of the driving forces behind his video concepts was the Three Stooges. “My dream was to always make short little films, because I’m a big fan of the Three Stooges, and I love watching Curly, who I think is wonderful. They make these 15-minute shorts, and I said, ‘I’d love to do something like that some day,’ and ["Thriller"] was my opportunity.”

In the recent MJ memorial, Marlon Jackson said growing up they always watched the Three Stooges. MJ wrote a somehow revealing foreword of a book about Curly. Here is MJ's foreword from Joan Howard Mauer's 1985 book, 'Curly':

"My memories of the Three Stooges, and especially Curly, are still with me to this day. In my childhood, around our house in Indiana, it was a daily ritual for me to watch the Three Stooges on television. All my brothers loved them then and even more so now. Chaplin and the Stooges are the greatest to me--their humor survives each generation. Even my mother love to see us have fun watching them. Rehearsing as a team and watching the Stooges were the only times we got together as a whole family.

The Stooges' craziness helped me to relax and to escape life's burdens. They influenced me so much that I even wrote a song about them.

Curly was definitely my favorite Stooge. He was unquestionably a comic genius who understood ad-libbing better than anyone. I loved the Stooges' slapstick action and especially Curly's funny noises and his silly, child-like mannerisms and attitudes. He should be honored much more than what has been done for him in the past, for everyone who loves him.

As a kid, I imitated Curly all the time, and I enjoyed feeling superior to and smarter than those three, silly grownups. I owe so much to them that I feel they belong to me. That's why I had to write the Foreword for this book.

Joan, the author, asked me whether I thought that Curly had suffered when he had to shave off his wavy head of hair in order to become a Stooge. My answer was that I was sure he did, that underneath the smile may have been a tear--after all, he was a clown. But it is our duty as entertainers to satisfy the people--to give of our souls even if it hurts.

Curly had a magic. He was God-gifted--a natural. Even when he didn't intend to be funny he was magic.

Today, thirty-three years after his death, Curly still has legions of fans because he was a natural. Such people appeal to the masses young and old--like the color blue.

I love everything about Curly and I would give anything to really know what he was like.

Thanks to the author, this book will clear up much of the mystery of Curly for me and his millions of devoted fans."

Michael Jackson

Even in just the foreword of a book about another celebrity, MJ allowed us a glimpse of his suffering amid his heart-felt duty to entertain. The words MJ used - greatest, genius, child-like, suffered, magic, God-gifted, natural, entertainer,  mystery, millions of devoted fans - are the same words he could have used to write his autobio. I am sure many books about how he became an inspiration will come out, but none will clear up the mystery of Michael Jackson for his millions of devoted fans.

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