Friday, April 10, 2009


This was kind've a dream-come-true project. My own show from the same studio my heroes did their own shows from - - WNEW Channel 5 (though now it was WNYW-5 - a FOX O&O.)

We were on Sunday mornings from 9:00 - 10:00, and won awards and our time slot. In fact the station noticed that when our stuff was on the ratings did very well, but when we cut to a cartoon the kids cut out. So after about 7 weeks, we abandonded the cartoons and went to a straight comedy/fantasy format. DJ KAT starred along side his young girl companion Jennifer Davis (Carmen De La Paz.) Judging by the viewer mail, many in the audience would have liked to be along side his young girl companion too..

Like Sandy Becker portrayed HAMBONE. . .
. . .and Chuck McCann played LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE (definately more on this in the future!). . . . . . I also played several on-camera characters. One audience favorite was BRACKISH SWAMPWATER the villainous ventriloquist, aided and abetted by his wa-a-ay smarter cohort LUCKY STIFF. It was great to do ventriloquism on a kid show; didn't seem to be anyone one else doing it at that time.
(My make-up artists were CARMEN GEBBIA and JIM COLA, the same guys who did Sandy & Soupy & Chuck. Lots of great make-up chair stories!)

The series was an MGM production: that stands for MIDAS GELT MERKLE. Mr. Merkle was the station owner who was always trying to get rid of the Kat. One of the reasons the show came from a "basement" is because he was allergic to kids - - er - - kats.

Mister Merkle calls for help in dumping the Kat.

After winning the New York State Broadcasters Award for Outstanding Children's Series, FOX decided to cancel the Sunday show, and they asked Carmen to leave (which I wasn't too happy about!) and wanted me to create the first FOX KID'S CLUB. So now we were on daily from 3:00 - 6:00 hosting cartoons. It was a softer show, but fun, too.
I really enjoyed working at Channel 5 - - fulfilling that part of my destiny, and having an impact on children's television.

Watching playback.


  1. Dear Craig,

    Great shot of you and Carmen on the set of "The DJ Kat Show".

    I still have happy memories of watching your show every sunday

    morning on WNYW TV Ch.5 in NYC back in the late 1980's.

    Your series was the first fun kids tv show in the NYC viewing

    area before "Steampipe Alley"debuted on WWOR TV Ch.9.

    It's sad that the station execs at Ch.5 didn't allow you and

    carmen to continue.


    At least we still have these still photos and the memories of

    the two of you hosting the first new fun NYC kids tv show hosted

    by real human beings back in the late 1980's.

    Thanks for sharing these photos and memories,


  2. Dear Craig,

    Mr.Carmen Gebbia also did the make ups for Mr.Ed Sullivan,

    and for the kids tv hosts/performers at WPIX TV Ch.11 and

    at WOR TV Ch.9 in The NYC viewing area..Believe It Or Else?!


  3. Memory Lane becomes 3-D in livid color when you pay your loving tributes to these giants of our childhood tv days. I'm sure they're proud to see the how their art from the '50's and '60's seeded your imagination (as well as so many others).

  4. I hope one day I can find some great DJ Kat merchandise. I still have a framed glossy, and the promotional button. I remember sending some drawings in; while they were never picked to be shown, I did receive an awesome post card; too bad I was a dumb kid who threw it away. But at least I have the glossy; and I framed it :D

    1. ive just found the dj kat doll again in my moms house :-)