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'Saturday Night Live' airs David Bowie tribute: Watch Fred Armisen introduce 1979 clip

During its first episode since David Bowie's death, "Saturday Night Live" aired a touching tribute to the legendary musician.

"SNL" alum Fred Armisen returned to the show to remember the artist and introduce a clip from Bowie's 1979 performance of "The Man Who Sold The World" on the show.

"When I was in high school and living in Long Island, I stayed up to see David Bowie play on Saturday Night Live," Armisen said toward the end of the episode hosted by Adam Driver. "And watching him was, for me, a life-changing experience."

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Armisen reminisced about the performance, which featured Bowie wearing a large and stiff costume, joined by German performance artist Klaus Nomi and New York cabaret singer and drag artist Joey Arias serve as dramatic back-up singers.

"He had these back-up singers that were like choir singers from the future, and a toy poodle with a TV monitor in his mouth," Armisen said. "David Bowie transformed whatever space he was in, whatever medium he was using, and that night for me, he transformed live television."

  • Slideshow Photos

    Groninger Museum, Getty Images

    David Bowie's iconic style

    A look back at the inimitable rock star's many faces and fashions.

  • Ziggy Stardust Bowie

    David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    1972

    David Bowie poses for a portrait in his "Ziggy Stardust" guise in London.

    Getty Images
  • Poised Bowie

    David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    1973

    David Bowie performing as Ziggy Stardust, in his "woodland creatures" costume designed by Kansai Yamamoto.

    Getty Images
  • Flaming Bowie

    David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    1973

    Bowie in an asymmetric leotard and flame-colored mullet during a performance onstage in Los Angeles.

    Getty Images
  • Glittery Bowie

    David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    1973

    Bowie wears a silver costume with gold tassels by Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto during a performance at the Hammersmith Odeon.

    Getty Images
  • Jumping

    David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    1973

    Bowie poses in a printed jumpsuit for a portrait dressed as "Ziggy Stardust" in a hotel room in New York City.

    Getty Images
  • Striped Bowie

    David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    1973

    In a striped bodysuit design by Kansai Yamamoto for the "Aladdin Sane" tour in 1973. The photo is from the Groninger Musuem which was presenting the "David Bowie is," exhibition when he passed away.

    Courtesy of Groninger Museum
  • Covering one eye Bowie

    David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    1974

    David Bowie performs "Rebel Rebel" wearing an eye patch on the TV show "TopPop" on Feb. 7, 1974 with a knotted silk polka-dotted scarf and red overalls. 

    Getty Images
  • Golden Bowie

    David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    1974

    Bowie poses for a photo to release his 1974 album titled "Diamond Dogs."

    Getty Images
  • David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    1976

    Bowie, looking androgynous, performs live during his "Station To Station" tour.  

    Getty Images
  • Baggy Bowie

    David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    1978

    Bowie performs during his "Low/Heroes" world tour.

    Getty Images
  • Red Bowie

    David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    1987

    Bowie wears a bright red suit during a performance in Hamburg, Germany.

    AFP - Getty Images
  • Sky high Bowie

    David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    1988

    Bowie wears what looks like a skydiving suit during "The Glass Spider" tour.

    Getty Images
  • Dapper Bowie

    David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    1992

    Wearing a turquoise suit, Bowie performs "Under Pressure" at a concert to remember Freddie Mercury of Queen.

    WireImage
  • Metallic Bowie

    David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    1995

    Bowie performs in Hartford, Connecticut, during the "Outside Tour."

    AP
  • UK Bowie

    David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    1997

    Bowie wears a Union Jack dress coat by Alexander McQueen for his 1997 "Earthling" cover.

    Courtesy of Groninger Museum
  • Indigo Bowie

    David Bowie's iconic style

    of

    2002

    Bowie performs in a concert at The Hammersmith Apollo, in London.

    Getty Images

Bowie died last Sunday after an 18-month battle with cancer just two days after his 69th birthday, during which he released his 25th studio album, "Blackstar". He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Iman, their daughter Alexandria, and Duncan Jones, his son from his previous marriage with Angie Bowie.

RELATED: David Bowie talks about age, creativity in 1993 TODAY interview

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