“Who Is It” by Carlton the Doorman

Carlton the Doorman from Rhoda is one of the great unseen TV characters. Although we did hear him in almost every episode—and he sounded a heck of a lot like Garfield (both were voiced by Lorenzo Music, of course).

The character was so popular that in 1975, this novelty single featuring Music, in character as Carlton the Doorman was released as 45. “Who Is It” was the A-Side, the B-side was a less popular song “The Girl In 510”.

Lorenzo Music was an American actor, voice actor, writer, producer and musician who passed away in 2001. He did a lot of voice work, and if you grew up in the seventies, eighties or nineties, you will find his voice unmistakable. Need a point of reference? He is best known as the original voice of Jim Davis’ comic strip cat Garfield on animated projects during the 1980s.

Enjoy Who Is It

For those who didn’t watch much Rhoda. The Carlton character was never seen. He was just a disembodied voice, that gimmick combined with Music’s talent made Carlton a breakout character. Popular enough that they attempted an animated spinoff called, Carlton Your Doorman. In the pilot episode, we finally get to see Carlton, who turns out to be a relatively young man, with shoulder-length blond hair and mustache. We are also introduced to his gray cat, Gringo

Carlton Your Doorman originally aired as a CBS Special Presentation on May 21, 1980 and has never been rebroadcast. Although it did win an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program that year.

Luckily for us, the episode survives, which you can watch below. Or you can pick up the Season 5 DVD of Rhoda from Shout! Factory, where it is included as an extra.

Brian Boone

From the middle of nowhere in the Pacific Northwest, I contribute to the Retroist, write for trivia publications, and blog about music in a humorous fashion. I feel about "Back to the Future" the way you feel about "Star Wars." Also, I'm married and have a child (sorry ladies, orphans).

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