When it comes to Pat Cashman, it's a love-hate relationship

(Editor's Note: Here's the old column written when Cashman performed with ChoralSounds Northwest.)

I hate Pat Cashman.

I know others will love to see the humorous radio-television personality this weekend at the Highline Performing Arts Center. Cashman and Choral Sounds Northwest members are taking the audience on a "sentimental journey" back to the 1940s in the form of a "live" radio show.

But why does Cashman have to be so irritatingly perfect?

Funny guys are supposed to sound funny-- like Jerry Lewis. But Cashman has a deep rich voice that makes him in great demand for commercials and announcing jobs.

Funny guys are supposed to look funny -- like Woody Allen. But Cashman has got those movie-star looks.

Funny guys are supposed to pick a medium to specialize in. But Cashman has starred on three morning radio shows, the "Almost Live" TV show, and a slew of commercials.

Oh well, I guess all that showy talent is okay as long as he stays in broadcasting, and doesn't try to horn in on this newspaper column writing gig. What? He writes a hilarious column every Monday in the King County Journal? He's the Dave Barry of the Northwest?

That guy's getting on my nerves.

Actually, I knew he writes a column. The first thing I do at the start of my workweek is log on to the Journal's Web site to read it.

Often, the second thing I do is call the Journal to berate them for not posting his column on their site.

By now, you've figured out that "jealous" might be a better word than "hate" to describe my feelings about Cashman.

I love Pat Cashman.

We've all known talent-challenged people who are legends in their own minds. So, it was a pleasure when I chatted with the multi-talented Cashman last week, and he used words like "lucky" and "fortunate" to describe his successes.

He said he was "very delighted" to be appearing with Choral Sounds Northwest, but, at first, had been kind of confused.

"I thought it was 'Corral Sounds Northwest' and they sang country-western music," Cashman deadpanned. "I thought I would be narrating a hoe-down." When Cashman realized he would help recreate a show from the golden age of radio broadcasting, he was excited.

"I've always thought that I was born a little late. I have an affinity for that old-time atmosphere where you had to use your imagination, because there was no picture." Cashman said.

After appearing on the local television comedy-sketch show "Almost Live," he started a morning radio show on the old KING-AM. Following that, he switched to the FM band on "The Buzz."

But seeking ratings nirvana, the station's direction changed from Cashman's friendly, easygoing style to the shock talk practiced by L.A. syndicated afternoon-personality Tom Leykis.

Out of a radio job, Cashman discovered "a wonderful group of people who vociferously, and "much to my surprise" formed the "Patpack" Web site to lobby for his return to the airwaves.

"Close relationships, and even, marriages have come through people getting together on the Web site," Cashman marveled. "It's pretty amazing."

Cashman went back on the air at KOMO-AM, but like most radio jobs, that ended when the station went through a change to an all-news format.

After Cashman's departure, the station's ratings pretty much went into the dumpster. Cashman said station management anticipated the ratings would suffer until they started Mariner baseball broadcasts this spring.

So now that he doesn't have to start work at 5 a.m., Cashman reports, "I'm getting my beauty sleep, but it's not working."

Though he loved being on the radio,"getting up before there is air in the sky wears you down. A friend said it's like getting paid a king's wages for doing slave labor."

Will he be back on the radio?

"I think so, but I have no near-term plan," Cashman answered.

Cashman is off the air, but not out of work. He's still doing commercials, and lots of emceeing.

And he's got the newspaper column, where he writes about human foibles and funny stories from his past.

"In writing humor to be read, you have to be far more descriptive than in TV, where your words are supported by pictures," Cashman noted. "I write conversationally, sometimes using sentence fragments instead of whole sentences. It probably makes English teachers apoplectic."

Last week, he worked on a television pilot with old "Almost Live" buddy Bill Nye, "the Science Guy." Nye plans to market the show to public broadcasting stations as a more adult version of his popular kids' science series.

Cashman is also lending his voice to computer games and business presentations.

"When you are in the market for a long time, you are thought of for a lot of situations. They are a lot of avenues for work," he said.

Lucky for us, he plans to stay in our market, despite offers from Los Angeles and New York City.

He lives in Woodinville with his wife and "three lovely kids and two who are not so hot," he jokes. (He just has the three lovely kids.)

That's Pat Cashman---You gotta love the guy.

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