As seen in: Rockin' Kats (NES)
Distinguishing feature: Natty attire.
Strengths: Wide repertoire of moves and weapons.
Weaknesses: Not-so-wide repertoire of buttons.


Profile by Nich Maragos? | January 15, 2010


The New York City of the '50s was a different time, and a different place, and apparently even a different dimension. In that strange land, Willy the cat was the talk of the town and the cock of the walk in his fedora and polka-dot tie. Together with his best girl Jill, he achieved fame in the nascent medium of television.

The Rockin’ Kats Show spotlighted Willy’s adventures in a cat-sized Big Apple, where he was a swinger in more ways than one. Willy’s signature tool was a spring-loaded punch gun that functioned as both a right hook and a grappling hook, earning him a spot in the elite Cross-Dimensional League of Grappling Heroes alongside manly man Rad Spencer and the petite Miss Yumi.

The grappling gimmick proved to be key to his high Nyaelsen ratings; respondents overwhelmingly cited his acrobatic derring-do such as spin jumps and chained swings as their #1 reason for tuning in week after week, despite the overall lukewarm reception afforded the show’s stale city/graveyard/sewer-themed set design.

Unfortunately for retro programming aficionados, substandard archival practices of the day resulted in much of the original master recordings being lost to time, often thought to be one reason why it has yet to appear on the modern VC-R format. Dauntless Willy fans, however, haven’t let that prevent them from circulating bootleg tapes made during later syndication runs, ensuring that Willy’s star shines as brightly now as it did in his heyday*.

*Heyday statistics drawn from New York-115984. May not apply to local dimensional realities.


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