New PBS Doc Answers All of Your Questions About LA’s Famous “Dancing Man”

A fixture of the city’s live music scene since the ’70s, Howard Mordoh tells his story in the documentary short.

It’s not uncommon for a small town to have a handful of characters you bump into—or rather who make their presence known to you as soon as they’re within your frame of vision—at every public event, but it’s a bit rarer for a figure like this to command the attention of a major U.S. city like Los Angeles. Yet if you’ve spent any time seeing live music in LA since the 1970s, you’ve likely encountered the enthusiasm of “professional audience” Howard Mordoh, a 69-year-old former scientist who’s pivoted to widely advertising the carefree nature of retired life.

Mordoh is the subject of a new documentary short from PBS, which provides much more context for the Angeleno, covering his status as a staple of the city’s live music scene through the difficult period of quarantine and the sense of purposelessness that followed. The doc features interviews with plenty of faces (or at least voices) familiar to the city, from KCRW hosts to venue staff. Watch the full 25-minute feature below, and find more info here.

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