In an exclusive passage (courtesy of hollywoodreporter.com) from her latest book ‘Celebrity Run-ins’ the comic tells that she was there in 1984 when the music icon was badly injured while during the filming of his Pepsi commercial. And, her experience of being an extra on the commercial. Kathy Griffin was an extra for the Pepsi commercial in 1984 where Michael Jackson’ hair caught fire.
“Back then, I did as much work as an extra as I could because it was the closest I could get to feeling like a part of show business. On a side note, not only was I never destined to be an overnight success, but I also spent years as an extra for $35 a day just to have the opportunity to try to get my foot in the door. I did this while I was taking acting classes, improv classes, and keeping my day job at whatever nine-to-five office would have me, considering I have absolutely no office skills. Needless to say, I was excited when I got the call in late January for a two-day shoot in downtown Los Angeles at the Shrine Auditorium. Two days at $35 a day was $70!
Not only was the money fantastic, but when I learned it was to work on a commercial with the Jackson 5, I was the first in line. I was one of a thousand in a standing-only crowd that day, watching Michael Jackson do take after take of his big stairway entrance onto a glitzy rock ‘n’ roll-like set and jamming with his brothers to a reworked version of “Billie Jean,” incorporating “You’re the Pepsi Generation” into the song. It was fascinating just to be in that audience watching how a really big commercial is made with one of the biggest stars in history.
At one point, I noticed my buddy Jon Lovitz in the crowd. We were both in the Groundlings then, and when I asked why he was there, he introduced me to his pal Miko Brando, son of Marlon and one of Michael Jackson’s bodyguards.”