King Kat

The last Pizza Time Player to be added to the cast was King Kat, a retrofitted version of The King based upon Michael Jackson, who was arguably the biggest pop icon in 1984. He followed the same basic format of the lounge characters that came before him - original artist recordings were used for the shows, accompanied by an impersonator that gave introductions and ending quotes to each track.

King Kat used Michael Jackson songs from a wide range of his career. Early recordings such as “Ben” were used as well as more current hits such as “Thriller”. The only track that was recorded fully by the impersonator was the “Billie Jean Birthday”. Aside from the impersonator, an announcer was also used in certain shows, advertising for various promotions and menu items at the end of certain shows1.

During the production phase, he was dubbed "Michael Katzon"2. His final name of “King Kat” was probably used so the original neon King sign could be recycled and simply left in place.

Pizza Time had high hopes that King Kat would be a success, as the company was on the brink of bankruptcy and this character was seen as their last hope for salvation. Unfortunately King Kat was too little too late and PTT ended up filing for bankruptcy and was shortly thereafter merged with ShowBiz. As it turned out, not only was King Kat very short lived, he was installed in relatively few units before the bankruptcy.

1 - Showtape Review - King Kat
2 - correspondence with Jul Kamen