It seems even when I’m far far away the Amazing Strangers continue on with their lives, and the drama of Union Square moves forward without even the slightest bit of nudging from yours truly.
Last Christmas I got a distressed email from the one and only Jolly Cat himself accusing me of slander for the videos I’d been posting of him over the years. He emailed me years prior about removing them and I politely obliged. But then he kept showing back up at the park and doing the exact same show for us again and again! So I put them back up. Then finally, back in December he sent me another email, and it went something exactly like this:
Hi Bob, I noticed after you deleted my videos you posted them back up. This is slander and here is why. My characters actually bring lots of laughter and joy to many ppl and receive big applauses but on some days like when you caught me in the park ppl weren't laughing and I looked really bad. It is a false representation of what I do. I am letting my manager know about this and if you don't delete all my videos he will contact you with the next steps we must take. I hope we can handle it now. Sincerely, Vinny Hat in Cat Dec 29, 2015
In response to this I decided that the videos weren’t all that important to me, so I took them down and replied:
Jolly Cat Good to hear from you! I don't believe it's slander to show video of you not making people laugh. Maybe if you were making them laugh and I edited it so they weren't. But showing exactly what happened isn't lying, or slander, or any kind of deceit at all. It's showing what happened. There's nothing illegal or protected about showing video of public performances. The problem is that you're blaming the audience instead of your act. I thought that was the joke? Apparently not. Normal Bob Dec 29, 2015
Despite all of this I granted his request.
Now, 6 months later, what do I see? Jolly Cat performing his trademarked act on America’s Got Talent with exactly the same results I witnessed every single time at the park. And here is that amazing video.
The way I found out about this AGT video was Shaggy calling me up frantically asking “Where are all your Hat in the Cat videos?!? I can’t find them!”
After explaining why I took them down Shaggy showed me Jolly Cat’s television debut. My jaw dropped, and then I put them all back up again.
I’m sure I’ll probably hear from him again, but none of what I filmed was edited or taken out of context. It’s what Shaggy, I and many others had to bare witness to when he chose to perform in front of us. So with great pleasure I bring you back to the Original Hat in the Cat, more famously known as “Jolly Cat” as we all know him from Union Square NYC!
And to Jolly Cat – I think the burden is on you (or better yet, your manager) to produce and distribute video of you making people laugh. It is not my responsibility. I mean, if I do not witness it, it is impossible for me to film it. Right? And portraying your show as something other than what I see would be committing High Perjury! Then I’d have to let my manager know about this so he could contact your manager about taking the next steps in regards to all of this. Anyhow I’m also happy to promote the video you asked me to promote in this video.
Jolly Cat’s “A Wacky Love Story” feature he promoted in the previous video.
And this is the first time I ever saw and recorded Jolly Cat back in Feb 2009.