Kathy Griffin: I Was an Extra on Michael Jackson Pepsi Commercial

Entertainment Jul. 17, 2009 AT 9:30AM
Griffin and Jackson Credit: Mike Coppola/FilmMagic; Barry King/WireImage.com

Kathy Griffin reveals she was an extra on Michael Jackson's ill-fated 1984 Pepsi commercial.

SEE USMAGAZINE.COM'S EXCLUSIVE, NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN FOOTAGE OF THE HARROWING ACCIDENT.

"I was happy to be an extra. I was just part of the crowd scene," the comic explains to Extra. "I will just never forget seeing Michael Jackson from a distance and just thinking, 'Oh my God, that's Michael Jackson.' You kind of can't believe it." Griffin says she remembers the scene -- shot in L.A.'s Shrine Auditorium in front of 3,000 fans -- "vividly.

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"Jon [Lovitz] was there. They were taping it. We really didn't notice [his hair on fire at first]," she says. "When it actually happened...he was literally spinning, and then there was smoke and a bunch of people kind of jumped on him.

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"They didn't tell any extras what was going on. Then rumors kind of rippled through the audience," Griffin goes on. "By the time I got home that night, it was the biggest news story on the news. It's fascinating somebody had that tape.

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"And we never knew how serious the injury was," she says. "I could only imagine that [it] was very painful." Pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now, to learn more about how the accident led to Jackson's addiction to painkillers, obsession with plastic surgery and ultimate downfall.

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