May 29, 2009
A Cat's Pajamas Flashback
This is enough to make a grown man cry. Since Issue One, Page One of my publication eight years ago, I've seen fit to discuss "The Cat's Pajamas" at any available opportunity. Coming of age in the 1980's, "The Cat's Pajamas" was my induction into the "late late show" experience. This all-night show, broadcast from WGRZ (Buffalo's NBC affiliate), usually ran two films every night, interspersed with commentary from the affable host (and WGR weatherman) Barry Lillis. There would even be old television shows, "Our Gang" shorts, newsreels, and regular news updates from Bob Gist at News Centre 2.
Finally, someone in Cyberspace has posted a clip from this show (this one dates from 1983-- two years before I was a viewer). What strikes (and thereby endears) me most about this segment is how lo-fi it is-- very off-the-cuff (Barry stubbing out a cigarette, reading from lined paper), in a non-descript lounge area, without pretension or over-the-top delivery. It's as low-key as a late-night conversation would be, as that friend in the box is speaking to you this moment from downtown, saying "I know you're out there-- I'm here to help." All of these 25 year-old feelings of identification come flooding back in two minutes of video.
And either I had forgotten or didn't know, there was actually a Cat's Pajamas Fan Club (see Barry welcome new members!) and they gave out T-shirts! (I'm checking eBay for those!) The end credits by the way, come from the 1940 film, The Mortal Storm.
Enjoy. And if anyone out there has more Cat's Pajamas video, please make it public!