Ascended Fanon: Jackson's PR team would often confirm the more ludicrous (and false) rumors about him, such as the hyperbarbaric oxygen chamber and buying the elephant bones. However, according to his brother Jermaine, Michael wasn't aware of this campaign and he didn't approve of it when he found out.
He approved "Weird Al" Yankovic's parodies and Alien Ant Farm's cover of "Smooth Criminal", among other things, because he did have a healthy sense of humor about his work. Yankovic and Jackson got along rather well — not only did he allow Yankovic to parody his songs, but also to use the set for the Bad video for "Fat". To return the favor, Yankovic made a cameo in Jackson's "Liberian Girl" music video. There is an interview with "Weird Al" Yankovic in the early nineties where Al said that Jackson liked his work and tried to get him to tour with him once (which Al didn't do because he was filming a movie).
MJ only denied an Al parody once — "Snack All Night" for "Black Or White" — and it wasn't a full refusal, he just asked Al not to put it on an album (he was fine with Al singing it at live shows instead.) as Jackson thought the message of the original song was too important to be parodied. In fact, Al was given blanket permission to parody any of his songs, with the exception of "Black or White." Al has since credited this refusal for preventing him from having the first single from Off the Deep End be another Jackson parody and making him wait to see what would be the next big thing, leading to "Smells Like Nirvana".
Author Existence Failure: Just as he was about to put on This Is It, a massively hyped series of London concert tours and his first significant concert event in 10 years.
Ten years earlier, "I Want You Back"— The Jackson Five 's debut on Motown Records—hit #1 and was followed by three more #1 singles. Michael's pre-Off The Wall hits included "Got To Be There," "Rockin' Robin," and the chart-topper "Ben."
Creator Breakdown: The new material on HIStory: Past, Present And Future, Book I came in the wake of the 1993 child molestation allegations, and much of it is very bitter and/or depressing as a result. "D.S.", a bludgeoning attack against the investigating District Attorney Tom Sneddon, is probably the most extreme example.
Edited for Syndication: Several of Michael's mid-80s videos have been edited when rebroadcast on television, leaving the full videos only available on his DV Ds.
"Bad" was an 18-minute short film by Martin Scorsese, which was shot nearly entirely in blue tones. This entire story portion (about a kid proving he's just as badass as the thieves and drug-pushers in his college through an elaborate subway dance performance, including The Reveal that it was an Imagine Spot) is cut from TV replays, leaving just the dance sequence, which is filmed in full-color.
"The Way You Make Me Feel" featured a three-minute intro of Michael trying to fit in with supposed friends in a black street gang, only to be rejected and be told by an older gentleman to just be himself. Then the woman Michael plans to share his affections for walks on screen.
"Smooth Criminal"'s 10-minute video is excerpted from the 40-minute segment dedicated to the song in the film Moonwalker. Two short versions were compiled from this, that fit the length of the song: one was simply edited, while the other had the footage manipulated to look like it was sped up and blurred.
"Black and White" featured a well-remembered extended intro featuring Macaulay Culkin, Tess Harper, and George Wendt. The infamous four final minutes of the video feature Michael dancing on a dark street while fearlessly vandalizing property.
Likewise, the framing stories of "Jam", "Remember the Time", "They Can't Care About Us", "Ghosts" and "You Rock My World" are also removed for television broadcasts.
Sony cut the Invincible promotional effort short in the spring of 2002 after spending $20 million on it by their estimation with little return. It probably didn't help that Jackson informed Sony he would quit doing business with them just before its release. Also, he refused to do an U.S. concert tour to support it, took a long time to record it, and the costs of production totaled about $30 million. He probably assumed that two Madison Square Garden concerts/tributes to himself and a subsequent TV special edited together from them were enough, and they might have been if they hadn't been held on Sep. 7 and 10, 2001 — just before much bigger news for all media to cover broke.
Michael Jackson wanted Bad to feature "Streetwalker" instead of "Another Part Of Me". ("Streetwalker" was added to a 2001 re-release.) It came down to a tie-breaker vote when putting together the album: Producer Quincy Jones preferred "Another Part of Me". They eventually brought the choice before Jackson's manager Frank DiLeo who, and as Quincy tells the story, shook his butt more vigorously to "Another Part of Me", hence it made the album.
When shooting the music video for "Cry", the director intended for Michael to not be in it because it was supposed to be focused on the American people and if he appeared, the camera would have to focus on him and it would break the flow. Michael thought otherwise at first, but he ended up accepting the decision.
Fan Nickname: Positive ones are "MJ" and "Bambi"... but the most infamous one is "Wacko Jacko", due to Michael's increasingly bizarre and erratic antics and appearance.
Michael's children are collectively known as "MJ3" (due to all three having some variation of "Michael Jackson" as part of their names) or "P3" (Prince, Paris, and Prince II.)
Friend To All Animals: Michael would get in trouble for feeding the rats and mice who lived in his home as a kid.
Incestuous Casting: His love interest in the music video for Say, Say, Say is played by his sister LaToya.
Loony Fan: Billie Jean was reportedly inspired by a fan who claimed Michael was the father of one of her twins, when Michael ignored her she sent him a photograph of herself and a gun, that she told him to use on himself on a certain date. Michael was so scared of her he carried this woman’s photo everywhere, memorizing it in case he ever saw her.
After the song came out another mentally unstable fan would change her name to Billie Jean and spend her entire life stalking him, staging regular break ins to both Encino and Neverland, suing him for spousal support and even after his death, suing and demanding custody of his children.
Mistaken for an Imposter: In 2008 while at a Halloween party with his kids, people thought he was a Michael Jackson impersonator and played "Thriller" when he walked in.
Stan Lee has said that Michael was a friend of his and described him as “one of the nicest guys ever.” Not only that, Michael even once had plans to buy Marvel because he was such a huge fan of the company.
In one interview, when asked who was his favorite superhero, he mentioned Batman and Morph.
The music video for "Scream" has, in order of appearance: a Cool Starship, Anime clips, and him and his sister Janet playing futuristic Pong.
Photographic Memory: Many people claim he had a photographic memory. He could remember names, stories, info relating to encounters with people many years before.
Michael loved video games, and after a SEGA exec showed him a build of their upcoming rhythm game Space Channel 5, he was so enthusiastic about the project, he wanted to be a part of it. Although the game's near-finished state limited him to just a couple of lines, he had a much larger participation in its sequel. Of course, he already his own SEGA game years ago with Moonwalker and had briefly worked on the soundtrack for Sonic the Hedgehog 3 before his personal issues removed him from the project.
Reclusive Artist: Notoriously so from the 1980s onward, becoming a well-crafted part of his public image.
So My Kids Can Watch: Akon said was a reason for the This Is It series of shows was that Michael's kids had never actually seen him perform. (He stopped touring after 1997 and made few appearances afterward.)
What Could Have Been: This is It in spades; some of the more elaborate things that would have been in the final show are only talked about. In particular, a scene is shown of Michael's outfit for Billie Jean being designed is shown, and the designers promise that it will be the most epic rendition of the outfit the world has ever seen. The final outfit isn't shown or worn by Michael at all. As well as the entire show.
Michael originally wanted Whitney Houston to sing the duet "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" off the Bad album but her label wouldn't allow it, fearing she would be overexposed. Barbra Streisand turned him down.