John Oates wants people to know that he is nothing like what he was when he had a mustache. The Hall & Oates principal is firm about the distinction, because if things go as planned, his mustachio

John Oates wants people to know that he is nothing like what he was when he had a mustache. The Hall & Oates principal is firm about the distinction, because if things go as planned, his mustachioed image could appear on TV in cartoon form kicking ass, rocking out and wearing tight pink pants.

Independent publisher Primary Wave Music Publishing, which owns a majority stake in most of the biggest hits in the Hall & Oates catalog, is shopping a cartoon titled "J-Stache" that further illustrates the dichotomy. As laid out in a two-minute trailer, Oates is portrayed as a modern-day family man and finds himself enticed back to the rock star life by his mustache, which is voiced by comedian Dave Attell.

"In a cartoon setting, the mustache has its own personality," Oates says from Aspen, Colo., where he's finishing his latest solo album. "Just as I'm represented as the John Oates of today, the mustache is the John Oates of yesterday. The focus of the music will be on the back catalog, but it's an open-ended situation. There's even talk of the mustache trying to bring new bands into the picture."

The idea for a TV show came to Primary Wave senior creative director Evan Duby while watching a Hall & Oates show late last year. "I said to myself that this guy could be a pop icon on a completely different level. I wanted to be part of bringing John Oates to a younger generation."

The pilot, which Primary Wave estimates will be between six and 10 minutes long, is being storyboarded, and the aim is to have it completed in the next two months. It will portray Oates opening a new wing of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that focuses on mustachioed musicians.

Suddenly, a dying David Crosby appears and with his last breath warns Oates of a mysterious secret group of mustache wearers bent on killing other mustache wearers. As actor Tom Selleck attempts to escape from the latest murder scene, Oates summons his own mustache with a fist pump that simultaneously changes his clothes from conservative attire to pink pants and white boots.

"This could go straight onto a network or we could launch it on the Web and then take it to a network," Duby says. As one network executive who has seen the trailer says, "These guys are approaching the publishing business from a new angle. They're taking rich copyrights and doing something innovative with them."