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Fred Armisen Helps Honor David Bowie on ‘Saturday Night Live’

by Elizabeth VanMetre 10:31 AM PST, January 17, 2016
Photo: NBC

Saturday Night Live alum Fred Armisen returned to the sketch show Saturday night to honor late singer David Bowie.

The Portlandia star paid tribute towards the end of the episode, which was hosted by Girls actor Adam Driver. Armisen got emotional as he described watching Bowie on live TV for the first time -- which happened to be on SNL, back in 1979.

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"When I was in high school and living in Long Island, I stayed up to see David Bowie play on Saturday Night Live," he said. "And watching him for me was a life changing experience. He had these backup singers that were like choir singers from the future and a toy poodle with a TV monitor in his mouth."

"David Bowie transformed whatever space he was in, whatever medium he was using, and that night for me, he transformed live television," Armisen added, before introducing three clips of Bowie performing during the Martin Sheen-hosted episode, which included the song, "The Man Who Sold the World."

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Bowie performed on SNL three times over his career -- in addition to his debut, he took the stage in 1997 and 1999.

The music legend died on Jan. 10 at age 69 after an 18-month battle with cancer. On Thursday, Bowie's family posted an update on his official Facebook page, telling fans that they were going to hold a "private ceremony celebrating [his] memory," though no date was mentioned.

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