This is Ann extremely silly clip from Conan O’Brien’s show. The premise is that celebrities reveal “secrets” that turn out to be ridiculous. I’ve also seen Harrison Ford do one of these. The skit should have been funnier than I think it turned out to be, but it is amusing. There is one small enduring moment here, when Bowie says, as if he’s about to tell a tale of woe, “You’d think that a rock star being married to a super model would be one of the greatest things in the world,” then he pauses, looks up and says, “It is.” That’s funny!
Bowie made this appearance in 2002 during the period in which he took on what I have come to think of as the “Jonesie” persona. Bowie comes across as talkative, funny, self-depreciating, happy and nice. He wants us to think that this, finally, is the real David Bowie, or more accurately, David Jones. Leah Kardos makes the point that “the real David Bowie” is a character, whether sincere or not. It was not Bowie’s last persona. Bowie would disappear from public life about a year after this clip for a decade, only to reemerge in 2013 with The Next Day. Unlike the early 2000s, Bowie was remote during his last three years of life, presenting himself exclusively through two albums, some videos, the play Lazarus and…I’m sure I’m forgetting something but not a lot more. I don’t think he gave any interviews during this period and he performed no concerts. Jonesie was gone, replaced by a sphinx.