Bill Bailey is a British comedian and musician known for his unique style of humor that combines surrealism, wordplay, and music. In his famous sketch, “The First Moonwalk,” Bailey takes on the role of an astronaut who claims to have been the first person to perform the iconic dance move known as the moonwalk. In this article, we will take a closer look at Bailey’s hilarious portrayal of the first moonwalk and explore the origins of this iconic dance move.
Bailey’s sketch begins with him dressed in a space suit, standing on a mock-up of the moon’s surface. He then proceeds to demonstrate the moonwalk, claiming that he invented the move during his time as an astronaut. The sketch is filled with Bailey’s trademark wordplay and surreal humor, as he explains the origins of the moonwalk and how he perfected it during his lunar missions.
While Bailey’s portrayal of the first moonwalk is obviously fictional, the origins of the dance move are somewhat shrouded in mystery. The moonwalk is often associated with Michael Jackson, who popularized the move in the 1980s, but the dance itself predates Jackson’s performance of it. The move is believed to have originated in the early 20th century, possibly in African American communities in the southern United States.
The moonwalk was initially known as the “backslide” and was a common dance move among tap dancers. It involves sliding one foot backwards while keeping the other foot stationary, then reversing the motion with the other foot. The move creates the illusion that the dancer is gliding backwards, hence the name “moonwalk.”
The moonwalk gained widespread popularity in the 1980s thanks to Michael Jackson’s performance of the move in his music videos and live concerts. Jackson’s version of the moonwalk was different from the original backslide, as he incorporated a slight bend in the knees and a forward-leaning stance. This added to the illusion of the dancer’s weightlessness, making the move even more mesmerizing.
Bailey’s sketch pokes fun at the idea of someone claiming to have invented the moonwalk, but it also highlights the enduring popularity of the dance move. The moonwalk has become synonymous with Michael Jackson, but its roots in African American culture and tap dance history are an important part of its story.
In conclusion, Bill Bailey’s sketch “The First Moonwalk” is a hilarious take on the origins of the iconic dance move. While Bailey’s portrayal of an astronaut claiming to have invented the moonwalk is obviously fictional, the history of the dance move itself is rooted in African American culture and tap dance tradition. The moonwalk has become a cultural touchstone thanks to Michael Jackson’s performance of the move, but its true origins and evolution are a fascinating part of dance history.