'SNL' Remembers David Bowie With Quietly Powerful Tribute

"David Bowie transformed whatever space he was in."

Thank you, David Bowie. http://bit.ly/1Pj86d6

Posted by Saturday Night Live on Saturday, January 16, 2016

The "Saturday Night Live" stage has witnessed some truly iconic performances over its 41-year history, including the likes of Elvis Costello, Ashlee Simpson's lip sync track, Nirvana and, of course, David Bowie.

The first "SNL" episode of 2016 took a moment between the laughs to remember the Starman, who died last Sunday after an 18-month battle with cancer.

Former cast member Fred Armisen returned to introduce a clip of Bowie's first performance on the late-night sketch show in 1979.

"When I was in high school and living in Long Island I stayed up to see David Bowie play on 'Saturday Night Live,'" the "Portlandia" star remembered in an unexpectedly moving tribute.

"Watching him was for me a life changing experience," Armisen continued. "David Bowie transformed whatever space he was in, whatever medium he was using and, that night for me, he transformed live television."

His performance of "The Man Who Sold the World" showcased the "Blackstar" singer's artistic vision in full force. Dressed in a Dada-inspired costume and flanked by performance artist Klaus Nomi and drag queen Joey Arias, Bowie commanded the stage, treating all who watched to a spectacle never seen before on live television.

Bowie made his next "SNL" visit in 1991 with the band Tin Machine. He returned as a solo musical guest again in 1997 and 1999.

Watch his full performance below.

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Photo of David BOWIE; Davie Jones (Davy Jones), posed, c.1965, playing Framus 12 string acoustic guitar.
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Portrait of David Bowie photographed in 1967.
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Portrait of David Bowie photographed at the Studio of artist Dante Leonoli in Hampstead, London in September 1969.
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British rock singer, David Bowie, poses beside his Rolls Royce in May 1973.
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British singer David Bowie.
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A pre-glam David Bowie jams at a party thrown by publicist and future nightclub impresario and DJ Rodney Bingenheimer at lawyer Paul Figen's house in January 1971, in Los Angeles.
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Singer David Bowie being interviewed at home in Beckenham, London on April 24, 1972.
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Musician David Bowie performs onstage during his 'Diamond Dogs' tour in June 1974.
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David Bowie attends 17th Annual Grammy Awards on March 1, 1975 at the Uris Theater in New York City.
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British rock singer David Bowie with American-born actress Sydne Rome.
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In this Sept. 17, 1980, file photo, David Bowie listens during a news conference after a rehearsal at the Booth Theater in New York.
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David Bowie performs on stage on the Serious Moonlight Tour at Feijenoord Stadion, de Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands, in 1983.
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David Bowie performing at The Cat Club in 1987 in Hollywood.
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David Bowie is seen with Iman smiling in 1991. The couple married in Lausanne on April 24, 1992.
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David Bowie performs live on stage with Tin Machine at Paradiso in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1989.
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David Bowie
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David Bowie and Iman during The Color Purple Broadway Opening Night in New York City.

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