Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Michael Alig: The Life and Death of the Party

Down the Rabbit Hole


In 1994, a few years after the appearance on The Joan Rivers Show, the club kids were on their third appearance on Geraldo. The talk show host had been using the Club Kids for tabloid fodder since the late 80's and each episode had featured the notables of the time — including drag queen RuPaul.

Midway through the procession of whimsy and exhibitionism at the opening of the show, there was an audible gasp from the crowd as the camera came to a stop on the particularly arresting sight of Angel Melendez, wearing a fire engine red version of his classic get-up: the large wings, the biker hat and platform boots.

A few minutes later, Geraldo introduced the newest generation of nightlife stars, including a hyperactive Richie Rich, before getting to Michael Alig, who, he noted, had been on the club scene for 10 years at this point, and "is the only Club Kid veteran from our previous shows."

Alig wore a yellow shirt and had painted fake bruises on his face and neck. He seemed less engaged than any of his previous appearances, and is far removed from the giggly persona he presented to Joan Rivers.

Geraldo explained to the audience: "Michael Alig's style has changed every time he's been here. His current look if you look closely, is what do you call it, accident victim/drug addict." Alig nodded approvingly. Geraldo noted that Alig is playing with the look, using phony neck braces, fake black eyes, open sores, and hypodermic marks on his arm.

"Why, Michael, why?" asked Geraldo.

"I'm bored," replied Alig, as the camera cut to a shot of Angel Melendez watching. "I dunno."

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