On Top Cat

The Series

  • Hanna-Barbera creation
  • Series run: September 27, 1961 to April 18, 1962 on ABC
  • 30 episodes
  • The second cartoon series to occupy a weekday, prime-time time slot
  • Inspired from the situation-comedy show You’ll Never Get Rich (later the Phil Silvers Show)

Top Cat

  • T.C. to his close friends
  • A definite smooth-talking scam artist
  • Spends most of his money to get out of trouble
  • Leader of the Manhattan Alley Cats
  • Lives in Hoagie’s Alley

The Gang

  • Fancy-Fancy (brown fur—white scarf), laid-back personality, popular with the ladies
  • Spook (green fur—black tie) the mellow one, beatnik type, plays pool
  • Benny the Ball (blue fur—white sport coat) short and chubby, devoted friend and TC’s top assistant
  • Brain (orange fur—purple shirt), doopy-eyed and not smart, unable to keep a secret, stutters
  • Choo-Choo (pink fur—white turtleneck shirt), also called Chooch, enthusiastic, a fire-house cat, lacks courage to talk to girls

Other Characters

  • Officer Dibble (NYPD), first name Charles, Hoagie’s Alley on his beat, reports to Sergeant Murphy, TC has access to his phone line and commonly refers to him by variations of Dibble as Dabble, Drubble, Dripple and so on.
  • Griswald, bulldog, cat antagonizer, but is gullible

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47 thoughts on “On Top Cat

    • Mimo,
      Many memories. In terms of the music, this intro has more of a primetime feel than Saturday morning … and I never thought of that until now. In terms of music, Looney Tunes did a great job of working in classical music.

      A question for you – in what country are you now? Thanks for visiting.

  1. Whenever I see one of the flat, not funny, poorly drawn cartoons produced these days, I realize how luck I was to have grown up with such good stuff. Thanks for these memories, Frank!

  2. Top Cat was one of my favorites! Didn’t realize I watched it when I was 4! Perfect age to learn about scamming and gangs and getting out of trouble:) Remember when Charles Osgood did a little blurb on Saturday mornings for a couple minutes after certain shows? The way things are or something…I always loved his mellow voice talking about space walks and such. Every time I hear it now it takes me back. Whoops! Just let on that I actually watch some news!
    Great Saturday post Frank!

  3. Those were the old days aye, gratuitous violence and linear story lines! fantastic.. sorry i am late dropping in, I failed at blogging as i travelled. hope the coffee is not cold! c

  4. A classic, love TC! Took a tour of Hanna -Barbera many years ago when they did everything by hand, thought how amazing it was and also so incredibly tedious to do animation.

    • Colline,
      That’s what I’ve been trying to do with this series, which I recently rejuvenated. I have some others in the archives, so feel free to visit. Categories > Entertainment > Classic Cartoons. Thanks for visiting.

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