Pancake Mountain described as an “alt-rock guerrilla kids' dance party, forged in the crucible of Washington, D.C. cable-access television” is a children's television show created by filmmaker Scott Stuckey (of the famous Stuckey's family). It is notable for featuring many punk rock/indie rock musicians like The White Stripes, Eddie Vedder, Fat Mike, The Melvins, Kings of Leon, Henry Rollins, Shirley Manson, Gerard Way, Daniel Johnston, Tegan and Sara, Katy Perry, Bright Eyes, Deerhoof, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Fiery Furnaces, Thievery Corporation, Arcade Fire, Built to Spill, Jenny Lewis, Metric and many others. The show is hosted by a goat puppet named Rufus Leaking, superhero Captain Perfect and his slightly more sensible foil Garnett who serve as interviewers and dance-party impresarios. Interviews have included George Clinton, Juliette Lewis, and Chuck Leavell among others.
Anti-Flag performed the theme song on the original 12 DVD episodes.
During an interview with CNN correspondent Heidi Collins, Scott Stuckey had this to say about the origin of the name for the show:
... Musician friend, Brendan Canty (ph), had written a song called "Pancake Mountain" and knew I was doing the show, and thought that it would be a good song for the show. And when I listened to it, I was like a name—this—we should name the show that. It was just an amazing song. And so the song kind of came first, then the name.
The majority of the show is filmed in Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Virginia, but the crew has been known to be fond of road trips and appear at such music festivals as SXSW, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and the Virgin Fest. Many of the early episodes were partially written with Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye.
As of 2009 Pancake Mountain had completed twelve episodes and can be seen on public-access television in New York City, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Colorado, and Washington State.
Filming for the show moved to Los Angeles in late 2008. In 2010, Stuckey got a call from director JJ Abrams, who signed on to produce the show through his production company Bad Robot. Abrams and Stuckey spent a year pitching the show to various networks, but nobody picked it up.
Stuckey recalls "everyone wanted to try and fit us into a specific demographic, but we weren't willing to change the format" so Stuckey and Bad Robot ended their relationships on good terms. In 2011, Pancake Mountain decided to stop production.
Stuckey stated that PBS had given him and co-producer J.R. Soldano complete creative control of the show, and that had been a deciding factor in bringing the show back.
Rufus Leaking is a fictional character (puppet) who is the star of Pancake Mountain. He was created by director Scott Stuckey and voiced by producer J.R. Soldano. His dialogue was written by both Stuckey and Soldano. The name is taken from Dave Schools, who would use it as an alias when checking into hotels while on tour.
Performers and special guests
Lily Allen, Anti-Flag, Arcade Fire, Lou Barlow, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Lewis Black, Bright Eyes, The Buzzcocks, The Candy Band, Vic Chesnutt, George Clinton, Cypress Hill, The Datsuns, Deerhoof, Rick Derringer, Liz Durrett, Eddie Vedder, Elf Power, The Evens, Eyeball Skeleton, Fat Mike from NOFX, Fiery Furnaces, Tim Fite, The Flaming Lips, Franz Ferdinand, The Go! Team, Guster, Billy Idol, Ted Leo, Juliette Lewis, Jason Mraz, Kaiser Chiefs, Kate Pierson of The B-52's, Katy Perry, Kings Of Leon, Lez Zeppelin, Ian MacKaye / The Evens, Shirley Manson, Metric, The Melvins, M.I.A, My Morning Jacket, Nellie McKay, Northern State, Pylon, Presidents of the United States, Psapp, Robert Randolph, Rock Kills Kid, Henry Rollins, Scissor Sisters, Shonen Knife, Steel Pulse, The Subways, Tegan and Sara, Thievery Corporation, Tilly and The Wall, Uncalled 4, The Undertones, The Watson Twins, Craig Wedren, Weird War, The White Stripes, Widespread Panic, Wolfmother, Wreckless Eric, X, Curt Kirkwood, and Gerard Way.
- Robert Lloyd (June 24, 2014). "Talking with Scott Stuckey, the man behind 'Pancake Mountain'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- Newman, Jason (June 6, 2014). "Rolling Stone: Shirley Manson Teaches German in Revived Series 'Pancake Mountain'".
- "Anti Flag- Pancake Mountain Theme Song".
- "Pancake Mountain - Partnerships". 2011.
- Fischer, Jonathan L. (February 9, 2012). "Washington City Paper: Pancake Mountain Is No More".
- Augenstein, Neal (February 13, 2014). "WTOP News: D.C. show 'Pancake Mountain' gets big push from PBS".
- "LA Times: Critic's Pick TV Picks: 'Pancake Mountain,' 'Fosters,' 'New Black,' 'Rectify". June 2014.
- Official Pancake Mountain website
- Article from Time Magazine:Pancake Mountain: With a mix of puppets and rock bands, Scott Stuckey created a show that's fun and smart--and even a bit ironic - May 2008
- Article from Portfolio Magazine date January 2008.
- The LA Times highlighted Pancake Mountain in their list of the Best Television of 2007.
- Pancake Mountain's MySpace
- Pancake Mountain on YouTube
- Pancake Mountain on IMDb
- LAist on Pancake Mountain date Sept 2007
- Nothing Syrupy About 'Pancake' Washington Post date June 2006.
- Article from the Washington Post date March 14, 2005.