December 15, 1979. For Klaus Nomi, his performance as a singer/dancer/weird presence for one single show behind David Bowie that night on Saturday Night Live seemed to be an indication that he was on the right path and he was headed to glory; instead, it was the high-water mark of his brief career.
When Bowie died in January 2016, SNL broadcast one of the songs from that appearance, a performance of “The Man Who Sold the World,” in which Bowie sings in a plastic tuxedo so rigid that Nomi and his co-backup, Joey Arias, were tasked with carrying Bowie to and from his place at the mic. (It was a gift from SNL because no complete, legal, clip of any of the three songs has been available online, as NBC is as legally rigid as Bowie’s tuxedo’s fabric was.) Nomi was so enamored with the plastic suit that he wore a similar one as his costume for the remainder of his career, but his tux was one Nomi could walk in but not sit in or bow to an audience while wearing, which made his own appearances in it similarly awkward.
Here is “The Man Who Sold the World” from that 1979 appearance (SNL/NBC already deleted the official clip; here is one I found):