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Scatman Crothers is Jazz

Written by Darren 'Starscream' Jamieson on October 15, 2001 | Features |

We have decide to offer you this in order to pay tribute to the memory of Scatman Crothers, Jazz in the Transformers.

Excerpts taken from “Scatman: An Authorized Biography of Scatman Crothers”. This biography was written by Jim Haskins and Hellen Crothers (Scatman’s widow). Jim Haskins is the author of more than 50 books. He has written reviews for the Gainesville Sun, The New York Times and other publications. He is a professor of English at the University of Florida.

These are the excerpts from the book referring to his work on Transformers.

Page 195, Paragraph 4:

Scatman continued to do voice-overs. Says Steve Tisherman, who left the Schartz agency and founded his own agency in 1983. “He loved voice-overs. It was simple work, the timespan was not vast, and it was fun for him to be himself and be on in front of a mike with a character. He would have done that until the day he dropped. It was the perfect vehicle for him.”

Page 195, Paragraph 5:

Fortunately, such a vehicle came along in The Transformers, an animated three-part series that focused on the battle between the inhabitants of a long-ago mechanical planet called Cybertron. All the inhabitants could transform themselves into other things, and the main plot was a battle between the Autobots, the good guys, and the Decepticons, the bad guys. The show lasted three years, form 1985 to 1988.

Page 196, Paragraph 1:

“The Transformers were toys,” says Tisherman. “They were robots, and you could change their shape into tanks or airplanes by just bending the head and pushing it under. Thus the name ‘The Transformers’ Those toys were very big in the late seventies and early eighties, and the cartoon show was a spin-off. It was a syndicated TV show produced by Sunbow in association with Marvel, which produced the toys. They must have done one hundred and fifty episodes, and there were a lot of characters in the show – it was probably the biggest cast I ever saw. Several clients of mine were in it – Mark Jordan, Joe Leahy, Peter Cullen, in addition to Scatman – and every few months, or cycle period, they would cast for new characters. Scatman was in about fifty of the shows, and Helen is still collecting residuals.”

Page 204, Paragraph 4:

Thanks to the miracle of television, Scatman is often seen in homes across the nation on reruns of Laverne and Shirley, The Love Boat, and the like. His voice is also heard in reruns of the various cartoon shows on which he worked. In addition to keeping his memory alive, these reruns of his shows continue to earn money for Helen. “I still get residuals checks,” she says. “I remember one day I got twelve separate checks for residuals from The Transformers.”

Page 204, Paragraph 5:

Says Steve Tisherman, “The Transformers is in syndication in both the domestic and foreign markets. The payment is about eighteen dollars an episode, but when you were in fifty of the shows, as Scatman was, it adds up. Hellen asked about my commission, but I told her to forget the commission.”

Page 204, Paragraph 6:

Scatman also continues, in death, to give to charity. “Scat gave to one charity that distributes the contributions to other charities,” says Helen. “Every check I get today, there is something taken out of it.”