That's Cat

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That's Cat was a children's television show that premiered on Saturday, September 18, 1976.[1] It was both produced by and aired on KNBC, the NBC owned and operated (O&O) station in Los Angeles, California; it was also syndicated to selected NBC O&O stations.[2]

That's Cat was created by Executive Producer Giovanna Nigro-Chacon who wrote the weekly feature "Grandpa". Ms. Nigro-Chacon also wrote and produced the only special in the series - the hour-long "That's Cat Christmas". She received a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award nomination for her work.

The show's first episode credits Susan Cuscuna (co-producer), Perry Krause (co-producer), and Myra Cohen as writers. It starred Alice Playten (as "Alice"), Frank Cala (as "Me", a mime), and Whitman Mayo (as "Grandpa").[1][3] The show interspersed segments involving stories, music, humor, and various learning-centered activities. The word "Cat" in the title is connotatively used in place of "Cool."

The show's first episode debuted at 7:30 p.m. on a Saturday night, a move intended to interest parents. The second episode aired in its regular Sunday morning 8:00 a.m. time slot the following day. That same night, a compilation episode of segments from the first two episodes aired at 6:30 p.m.[1] The show moved to the 7:30 a.m. time slot a few episodes later.[4]

Among the more notable features of the first episode was a segment with a song in Spanish; a clip of Woody Allen describing where mustard comes from (likely from a 1970 NBC series Hot Dog); and a feature on the importance of garbagemen.[1]

The show's theme song ("That's Cat") was sung by John Sebastian, and his son, who echoed the words "That's Cat", during the repeated chorus. The lyrics begin with:

Hey Pumpkin, come along with me
Been thinkin' 'bout some things to see
Take a look at this and that
We'll find something that's cat
That's Cat - That's Cat
It a-means that you like that!
Like an Indian drum or a kiss from your mom,
or gettin' something under your hat...

Recurring segments on the show included "Can you find 'Me/me' in this picture" ("Me" being "Alice's" sidekick on the show); and a segment where "Grandpa" spoke directly to the camera offering sage advice in a sweet manner to the main character, Alice.

The show received a nomination for a 1976 Los Angeles Area Emmy award (for film editor Donn Hoyer).[5] In 1979, a Los Angeles-based consumer group—Coalition on Children and Television—selected the show for an award for excellence.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d Lee Margulies, "Bright Show for School-Age Set," Los Angeles Times, Sept. 18, 1976.
  2. ^ Radio-Info: "Retro: DC/Baltimore/Delmarva Tues, Dec 20, 1977", December 20, 2010.
  3. ^ That's Cat at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ Lee Margulies, "Scream Listings for Halloween," Los Angeles Times, Oct. 29, 1976.
  5. ^ "Emmy Picks Announced," Los Angeles Times, April 9, 1977.
  6. ^ "Local Shows Win Awards From Children's Group," Los Angeles Times, March 19, 1979."