On a Terrific Tom

Alright everyone For those who don’t know the words, look below the video because it’s sing-a-long time.

Terrytoons presents

The real, great adventures of me, Tom Terrific! I’m Tom Terrific,
with Mighty Manfred, the Wonder Dog!
I’m Tom Terrific, greatest hero ever!
Terrific is the name for me, ’cause I’m so clever.
I can be what I want to be, and if you’d like to see,
Follow, and follow me! If you see a plane up-high,
A diesel train go roaring by.
A bumble bee, or a tree, it’s me! When there is trouble,
I’m there on the double.
From the Atlantic to the Pacific,
They know Tom Terrific! Aaand, I’m Mighty Manfred, the Wonder dog,
Aaand Tom’s ever faithful companion.


  • Tom Terrific, a kid hero living in a treehouse
  • Funnel-shaped hat (called the Transformation Trinket) made him smarter and could transform him into what he wanted in order to solve the problem
  • Accompanied by Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog
  • Terrific was ranked # 32 by TV Guide magazine among its “50 Greatest TV Cartoon Characters


  • Created by Gene Deitch under the Terrytoons studio
  • Deitch adapted Tom from his earlier newspaper comic strip, “Terr’ble Thompson!”
  • Created specifically for the Captain Kangaroo show from 1957-1959. After 1962, Tom Terrific would be broadcast every other week, alternating with Lariat Sam
  • All the voices were performed by Lionel Wilson
  • black and white drawings + simple animation = low budget
  • Terrytones produced 26 stories produced with each story split into five parts for broadcast each weekday morning, therefore 130 five-minute shorts produced
  • Later on Captain Kangaroo, episodes were edited for two episodes

Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog was a lazy dog with a big appetite

Manfred inspired this music group (Mighty Manfred and the Wonderdogs)

Arch-foe named Crabby Appleton, whose motto was, “I’m rotten to the core!”

Other foes included Mr. Instant, the Instant Thing King, Captain Kidney Bean, Sweet Tooth Sam, the Candy Bandit, the Silly Sandman, and Isotope Feeney, and The Meany

Crabby Appleton inspired this music group

Enjoy The Next Part about Isotope Feeney’s Foolish Fog (embedding is disabled)

65 thoughts on “On a Terrific Tom

    • Hansi,
      Woo hoo!!! Finally!!!! Congratulations on being the first person to comment remembering Tom Terrific. And given your age and mind, remembering is quite a feat! Well done!!!!


  1. Tom Terrific was well before my time, I’ll admit. But seeing how much it’s influenced culture, I might need to check it out.

    Ok, who am I kidding, the song is catchy as hell. I need more of the wonder dog lol.


  2. This is one of the few characters you have posted that I know nothing about. When I saw the title, I was hoping this was about Tom Seaver.

    But now that I looked at the video, here is another show for you to research. Have you ever heard of “Winky Dink”? It was a fun children’s show that caused many kids to ruin their parents televisions. Your research will give you asa clue to why so many televisions were ruined.


    • Rich,
      Ah yes … sorry about not being a Tom Seaver post .. but I do have a couple of stories/notes about him during his time in Cincinnati.

      In terms of Winky Dink, I don’t know that one … but I will look into it.


      • i figured that seaver spent some time in the queen’s city, so maybe he was on your list. as for winky dink, i hope you find it as interesting as i did. of course, i was about four at the time.


  3. Tom Terrific! I remember him from the Captain Kangaroo Show! My husband, the contrarian, often quotes Crabby Appleton:

    My name is Crabby Appleton,
    I’m rotten to the core.
    I do a bad deed every day,
    and sometimes three or four.

    Thanks, Frank, for a clever post – I loved the references to bands inspired by Tom and Crabby!


  4. I’m 68 Frank. I remember In Search Of, with Leonard Nimoy. I vaguely remember Terrific Tom also. A rock(?) group named Crabby Appleton??! I must research them. I dig Tom’s funnel hat. You could research pyramids and cones for funneling knowledge/power. 🙂


  5. Tom Terrific is a new one on me. I see I’m not alone.
    Now, Crabby Appleton is also new to me, but I kinda liked him.

    Well, anyway Frank, I just wanted to drop in and say hi to you. I hope you’re doing well these days.


  6. I definitely remember Captain Kangaroo, but not Terrific Tom and I can imagine my sister listening to the band Crabby Appleton! (she was kinda hippie) I think it’s funny that so many groups from that era always had someone on the tambourine…I have no idea “why” that strikes me as funny, but it does…


  7. Captain Kangaroo! You remind me just how old I am, seeing Terrific Tom brought back mornings in front of the television for JP Patches (regional) and the Captain.

    The music groups though, you got me on those. Interesting.


  8. Frank, I remember the name Tom Terrific more as the nickname of Mets’ pitcher Tom Seaver than for this cartoon that I never watched for I never watched Captain Kangaroo. That cheap style of animation doesn’t exactly rock my world, but it was produced in the era when animation budgets were seriously downsized, but there was an evident artistry in the style. The song and band were also unfamiliar to me. Were these guys even one hit wonders? As usual, another well researched post.


    • Lame,
      If I recall, the Mighty Manfreds and the Wonderdogs were a band that was big in the Tampa area … but never made it big. Crabby Appleton did have one top 40 hit and were the front band for some big-name acts on tour.

      As for Tom Seaver, I met him during his playing days in Cincinnati. … and as always, thanks for your analysis of the animation!!!!


  9. I adored Captain Kangaroo, so I sure do remember Tom! But more than Tom I seem to recall Crabby Appleton, and to this day when someone is in a bad mood, or even if it’s ME, I refer to Crabby Appleton. I’ve done that for so many years I forgot where he came from! How fun! I happen to like the simple animation, but it’s more than likely just very nostalgic!


    • Debra,
      For whatever reason, a name like Crabby Appleton sticks with people, thus making it applicable to crabby situations. Meanwhile, welcome to the minority of those here who remember Tom Terrific!


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