Fred Armisen Honors David Bowie On 'SNL' With An Incredibly Moving Tribute — VIDEO

The first Saturday Night Live episode of 2016 featured appearances by two very unexpected people: Fred Armisen and David Bowie. Armisen is no longer a cast member on the show, but he's still a staple around the NBC studios, since he's the bandleader for the 8-G band, the house band for Late Night with Seth Meyers. Still, it was surprising when Armisen showed up on SNL to pay tribute to David Bowie. At least the audience seemed shocked — it burst out into thunderous applause at the sight of Armisen even before the sad reason he was there was clear.

Once he started speaking, though, the reason was obvious: He wanted to say nice words about one of his musical idols. He talked about what it was like when he was growing up on Long Island, watching David Bowie perform on Saturday Night Live with out-of-this-world accouterments like backup singers who seemed like they were from outer space and a toy poodle with a television in its mouth. "Watching him for me was a live-changing experience," he said. "David Bowie transformed whatever space he as in, whatever medium he was using, and that night for me he changed live television."

It was moving to hear Armisen say these words; all week, people have been talking about how Bowie changed their lives. I never get tired of hearing these stories. I can picture Armisen seeing Bowie on SNL and deciding that he wanted to spend the rest of his life performing.

After Armisen's words, the show cut to a clip of Bowie performing "The Man Who Sold the World" on the show. It's every bit as fantastic as Armisen described. He asked people to log onto NBC.com to see more of Bowie's SNL performances. I would urge everyone to do the same.

Watch the full Armisen tribute below: