With his legendary career in the entertainment industry, Michael Jackson is supposed to be the master thespian, spinning his webs of seductive drama. However, Jon Lovitz could have done better than Jackson with this cheesily choreographed entrance into court this morning in his pajamas.
For one thing, even Jon Lovitz as the Master Thespian would not have been as hammy nor as hamhanded in his presentation. As to hammy, Jackson was less subtle in his affectation of pain than the Master Thespian. Lovitz couldn’t have made much more show of suffering pain with every step across the steps to the courthouse. MJ looked like poor suffering Jesus, about to break under the strain of being forced to carry this cross.
Particularly, he made a really bad play with the 100 minute late entrance, made under threat of bail revocation and incarceration. Being fashionably late to make a big entrance generally rates a poor strategy in criminal courtrooms. Even if you feel you must make the late entrance, even Norma Desmond wouldn’t keep the audience waiting for HOURS. This does not garner sympathy from the judge nor likely from jurors. Bad strategery to make the audience wait even nearly that long.
Still, he was mostly giving a pretty convincing walk across the steps, wincing so gently and subtly with each ginger step. I might be inclined to give him a least a grade of B for the acting performance.
However, he significantly blew the affect away with a dumb mistake. A few steps into his walk from the car to the courthouse, he responded to fans by pivoting and waving first to the left and then the right. See, that right there is the type of thing that an insurance company would pay a private investigator to secretly videotape to disprove a fake disability claim. C’mon, you couldn’t be spinning around like that if you were suffering the crippling back pain you’re trying to convince us of. I have to dock the whole performance a letter grade to C for this dumb performing mistake.
Now, this would be a good performance if Michael were onstage with a little community theater group, such as our local Rush County Players. Even if he’s cheesily overacting, Michael Jackson still undeniably has some star charisma that’d wow ‘em in Rushville, Indiana.
Of course, Michael ain’t playing the bush leagues. He’s the King of Pop, and he’s one way or another put his fool self into a pickle. This Jimmy the Chin tactic with the jammies is the best you can come up with? Who’s buying this as anything but cheap sabotage? You’re not making the sale there, Michael.
By hamhanded, Jon Lovitz would probably not have picked out these ridiculously over the top costumes and props. An instantly infamous moment in his shattered career, Michael Jackson showed up for court in frickin’ pajamas. What was the point, here? Was he in too much physical torture to slip on a simple pair of trousers? The PJs and house shoes were just WAY over the top. He might be overstepping the bounds of stage worthy drama even for the humble Rush County Players.
Also, enough with the stupid umbrella. That schtick has outlived it’s usefulness as a property bit so far that it is not even a little bit amusing anymore, not even if you’re stoned and zoning. Not even with Thriller playing in the background. Lose the umbrella. Really, that alone is enough to make people hate you.
I rate his costuming and staging a D. It could be even worse. Perhaps he’ll show up nude for court if the going really gets tough. That would get an F.
He does, however, give a pretty convincing performance as a self-pitying child molester. I have no special personal knowledge of his specific guilt or innocence here, but he sure manages to make himself look utterly, profoundly and believably guilty.
It’s a bit, perhaps, like the predicament that Saddam Hussein found himself in. We haven’t found any stockpiles of WMDs since we run in on him, but if he did not in fact have them, he certainly did a good job of convincing everyone that he did.
Likewise, Michael Jackson might not be guilty of diddling this little cancer patient or any other underaged boys. He’s done a pretty good job, though- years of publicly doing everything possible to convince everyone that he likes little boys in inappropriate ways.
In fact, Michael really sells his “child molester” character ten times better than any of his gentle Jesus crap. He puts the pathetic predator character across very convincingly. Heck, this would be good enough for Law & Order SVU, even.
Indeed, at this point, if Michael Jackson really was not diddling boys, then he’s done an incredible job of convincing us he has on Court TV. He really would be the Master Thespian. I give MJ’s child molester performance an A. This would outdo any bit of “hostility humor” performance art by Andy Kaufman, ten steps more evil than wrestling women.
That strong Chester the Molester character brings up his whole overall score considerably. Putting them all together, and being a little generous, I’d give the Michael Jackson Court Arrival show for March 10, 2005 a grade of B-.