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Jordan and Jackson
go one-on-one

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Michael Jordan is not the only world-famous MJ trying to make an improbable comeback. More than 30 years after he first began fronting for the Jackson Five, the Gloved One is looking, once again, to climb to the top of the pop music world.

There are clearly many differences between the Michaels -- reliance on plastic surgery and sartorial style, to name just two -- but they have a lot more in common than you might think, beyond the fact that they both perform best indoors.

Michael Jordan's comeback vs. Michael Jackson's comeback

Michael Jordan
Michael Jackson
Still pals around with Scottie Pippen   Still takes pals to see "Pippin"
Soon to be booed at Madison Square Garden   Was booed at Madison Square Garden
Dig those pump-fakes   Dig those fake pumps
Tongue has less hang time   Nose has less hang time
Heavy betting on golf   Heavy betting on which llama will nuzzle Dr. Pepe
Dennis Rodman keeps sending obscene e-mail   Dennis Rodman keeps sending white roses
In public, wears diamond stud   In public, wears surgical mask
Serious depilatorist/head-shaver   Serial rhinoplast
Just can't beat 'em like he used to   Just can't "Beat It" like he used to
Joined in lineup by Whitney   Joined on stage by Britney
Spends time working on turn-around jumper   Spends a lot of time playing with Thumper
Next comeback, 2020: wheelchair basketball   Next comeback, 2020: moonwalking with a walker

David Friend, Vanity Fair's editor of creative development, is a certifiable die-hard Chicago Cubs fan. His humor appears in The Washington Post, Salon and

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