Crazy Colander Head Night (Event)

From Cheese-E-Pedia

A ShowBiz employee wearing a decorated colander.

Crazy Colander Head Night (AKA Colander Night and Colander-Head Nite) was a massive event held at participating ShowBiz Pizza Place locations throughout March of 1983.[1]

The event had many things to do throughout March, but the main events were each Wednesday night spanning over five nights: March 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th.


The event started with Colander Night packages being sent to participating restaurants in late February.

Employees would watch the Save The Colander Telethon, which was designed to hype up stores for the promotion by pretending to be a live telethon that stores could call in to confirm their approval of the event. A section during the telethon also trained employees on how to properly perform during the Colander History segment of the event. The end of the tape would include a 10 minute instruction video on installing the character's colanders.


Employees would then replace the standard tape with the Crazy Colander Head Night tape, and the Birthday reel with the new 3 Birthday Shows - Colander History - Indoctrination Skit reel. This birthday reel would function like the standard 3-Birthday Reel, but had two additional shows, "History of the Colander" and "Indoctrination Skit" on it that could be requested by any customer to be played at any time.[2] Customers could find out about these shows through the standard tape, or by reading the freely offered Colander Gazette, which was also referenced by the show. The main characters were also dressed in custom colanders throughout the month.

"History of the Colander" would need to be additionally performed with an employee, whom would come out as "Johnny DeJockimo" (official spelling unknown) to hold up cue cards and interact with Fatz. "Indoctrination Skit" would need to have at least one patron wearing a colander who was not part of the Colander Head club yet, and likely one employee watching to confirm the patron would take on the oath to receive their prizes. During Wednesday nights where many patrons would be showing up in colanders, it is inferred that the store would schedule indoctrinations for each group as needed.

The Crazy Colander Head Night tape had an accompanying record for patrons to purchase, being Rock-afire Explosion Record 7, which came with "Strain Your Brain" and "Born to Run" from the tape.


The main point of the event was to encourage customers to go home after their visit, decorate their colanders, and wear them back to the restaurant either during normal hours to be indoctrinated, or during Wednesday nights to be indoctrinated in groups. After being indoctrinated and receiving their Colander Head Club Membership Card, they could return each Wednesday night to earn prizes. It was not required for colanders to be decorated to be indoctrinated, but was encouraged through decorating contests.


Once a patron has gone through the Indoctrination Skit at any time throughout March, they receive a Colander Head Club Membership Card. On Wednesday nights, if they wear their colander and bring their membership card, they receive 6 free tokens, 1 free Coke, and a signed photo of one of the Rock-afire cast. Stores would give out the same character to everyone on a given night, but there was no exact order told to stores.[1] This means going to different stores on the same night could allow patrons to collect all the photos early, or receive duplicates.

Crazy Colander Contest

One of the 9 massive scrapbooks detailing every photo of a Colander Head[3]

During Wednesday Nights, a contest would be held to determine who had the most crazily decorated colander. This contest was dubbed the "Crazy Colander Contest", though one store was noted as it being referred to as the "Super Grand National First Annual ShowBiz Pizza Place Colander Head Contest".[4] Winners would receive "crazy prizes" that aren't detailed specifically. Photos of the winners would be taken and entered into a national contest. The grand prize winner of this contest would get a "...crazy all expense paid vacation, FANTASY DESIGNED especially for you and your family". This is not to be confused with the trip to Disney World prize given out at a similar contest held during the ShowBiz's Fabulous Fall Festival.[1]

Each person entered in the contest would get a picture taken of their colander. This photo would then have the person's name, phone number, and address written on the back, and the store number written on the front. These would be sent to Creative Engineering for them to hold in a set of 9 massive scrapbooks.[3] These photos would be then featured in the The Colander Gazette - Fall Edition later in September of 1983. During the Indoctrination Skit, it is mentioned for patrons to bring in photos of them wearing their colanders outside of ShowBiz Pizza Places, which would be taken and posted on a bulletin board in the restaurant.

Colander Head Parties

Its also mentioned in the Colander Gazette for patrons to try organizing "Colander-Head Parties", which if they called in the restaurant and let them know of the event, they would send an employee in a Billy Bob Walkaround to attend the event. This was already something done for any event that called in to their local ShowBiz.


The idea for the event came during a brain storming session between Aaron Fechter and Burt Wilson in Aaron's kitchen some time before January of 1982. In the session Burt was fiddling with a colander and decided to put it on his head. After both of them passed it back and forth trying it on, they realized they had started a club. An unknown amount of Creative Engineering employees would become part of this club during this time. Aaron recounts him and a few club members wearing their colanders to a seafood restaurant, and a Florida linebacker becoming indoctrinated by their fun idea.[5][4]

1982 Event

Beach Bear wearing a colander on the back of the "Gee, Our 1st Album" cover.

The colander club would eventually make its way to Creative Engineering's work by January of 1982, now being planned to debut in ShowBiz stores. This would officially now be called the Colander Head club. The event would initially be decided to be run by Beach Bear, who would claim to have been the one to have started it. This event would be scheduled for April of 1982, but would never materialize outside of the initial plans.[5][6]

The song "Satisfaction Medley", which debuted on the Showbiz Pizza '82 Tape sometime around these initial plans, contains an odd phrase spoken at the beginning. This hidden joke would not be followed up on until the song "Strain Your Brain" on the Crazy Colander Head Night showtape featured a musical rendition of the phrase at the end of the segment. Considering Colander Head night was originally meant to be directly after the '82 tape, this inside joke may have meant to be paid off sooner.

The Gee, Our 1st Album Vinyl Record additionally has a single photo on the back of its sleeve that shows Beach Bear wearing a colander, alluding to his original placement as the founder of the club.

1983 Event

Eventually Creative Engineering and ShowBiz Pizza would agree with plans to finally do the Colander Night, now setting it for March of 1983. Jim Clayton would be running the event from the Creative Engineering side of the business throughout the promotion. From the first night of the event, stores were already seeing large increases in sales and attendance.[4]

Due to stores needing to mail Creative Engineering all the photos for the contest, they would append their shipments with letters appraising the company for the event. One letter notes over 650 indoctrinations in just the first 4 nights. Other stores begin creating additional prizes and events to boost their local presence during the promotion. One store noted the event as "On a scale of 1 to 10- this promotion was a 20."[4] Rock-afire Explosion Record 7 would be noted as a "#1 Seller" at the Souvenir Counter.[7]

By the end of the event, Bob Brock would note the sales increase as "phenominal!", and that the event was "...very successful in demonstrating what might be done on a more permanent and entertaining basis.". Throughout the event he had sent multiple letters congratulating Creative Engineering on their work with the event and its showtapes.[4]

Colander Night 2

Due to the success of the event, a second showing of Colander Nights would be held in from September 5 - November 24, 1983 at participating locations as part of the ShowBiz's Fabulous Fall Festival event.[8] This would be held in conjunction with other events such as "Fatz Night" and "Country & Western Night".

In this second event, many of the prizes and collectables would be stripped back. Patrons would not receive signed character posters or a membership card. The prize of 6 free tokens and 1 free Coke was stripped back to 2 free tokens and a free soft drink.[7]

The Crazy Colander Contest would be held again, this time specifying the local winners would receive a choosing of a pizza party for 4, or 75 game tokens. These local winners would then be eligible for two more contests. One was held at the end of the month deciding the best winner over all weeks at the location, where the winner would win an arcade machine (described at the time as a "full-sized video game"). The second was another national contest, where the winners would receive their choosing of a trip for four to Disney World, or $1,000 in cash.[7]


Colander Night Scrapbook Photos