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Top Cat is a Hanna-Barbera Prime time animated television series which ran from September 27, 1961 to April 18, 1962 for a run of 30 episodes on the ABC network. Starting in 1992, reruns of the series aired on Cartoon Network until 2004. In 2000, Top Cat began airing on Cartoon Network's sister channel Boomerang, where it remained until 2014.

Overview

Originally broadcast on Wednesdays [8:30-9pm Eastern], Top Cat was co-sponsored by Kellogg's and Bristol-Myers (Bufferin). The central character, Top Cat—called T.C. by his friends, is the leader of a gang of Manhattan alley cats living in Hoagy's Alley: Fancy Pants, Spook, Benny the Ball, Brain, and Choo Choo.

Top Cat and his gang were inspired by characters from the popular 1940s B movies, "The East-End Kids". Many suggest it derived from a later 1950s military comedy, You'll Never Get Rich (later called The Phil Silvers Show), whose lead was a crafty con-man. Maurice Gosfield, who played Private Duane Doberman on The Phil Silvers Show, also provided the voice for Benny the Ball in Top Cat (Benny's rotund appearance was based on Gosfield too). Even Arnold Stang's voicing of Top Cat strongly resembled Phil Silvers' voice. Other possible sources cited have been "Guys and Dolls" where actor Stubby Kaye played a short, stout street-wise gambler and a vertual Benny the Ball prototype. Lastly, a likely contender (as it also came from Hanna Barbera) was the character 'Hokey Wolf, from a segment on The Huckleberry Hound Show, which also had parallels to The Phil Silvers Show.

A frequent plot-line revolved around the local beat policeman, Charles "Charlie" Dibble, NYPD and his ineffective attempts to evict the gang from the alley. The only reason that he wanted to be rid of them was that Top Cat and his gang were constantly attempting to earn a quick dollar—usually through an illegal scam. Dibble's appearance was modeled after Allen Jenkins, who did his voice.

Home Release

Top Cat DVD.jpg

In the U.S., a box set containing all 30 episodes was released on December 7, 2004.

Hanna-Barbera Series

1980 Drak PackThe Flintstone Comedy ShowThe Fonz and the Happy Days Gang
The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show
1981 Laverne & Shirley in the ArmySpace StarsTeen ForceThe Kwicky Koala ShowTrollkinsThe Smurfs
1982 The Flintstone FunniesMork and Mindy: The Animated SeriesThe Little RascalsPac-ManJokebookShirt TalesThe Gary Coleman Show
1983 The DukesMonchhichisThe New Scooby and Scrappy Doo ShowThe Biskitts
Lucky Luke
1984 SnorksChallenge of the GoBots
1985 Paw PawsYogi's Treasure HuntGaltar and the Golden LanceThe Berenstain Bears
The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-DooThe Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible
1986 The New Adventures of Jonny QuestPound PuppiesThe Flintstone KidsFoofurWildfire
1987 Sky CommandersPopeye and Son
1988 A Pup Named Scooby-DooThe Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley
The New Yogi Bear ShowFantastic Max
1989 The Further Adventures of SuperTedPaddington Bear

1990 The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho PandaTom & Jerry KidsWake, Rattle, and RollRick Moranis in Gravedale HighMidnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone
1991 The Pirates of Dark WaterYo Yogi!
1992 Fish PoliceCapitol CrittersThe Addams Family
1993 Droopy, Master DetectiveThe New Adventures of Captain Planet2 Stupid Dogs
SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron
1995 Dumb and DumberWhat a Cartoon!
1996 Cave Kids: Pebbles & Bamm BammThe Real Adventures of Jonny Quest
Dexter's Laboratory
1997 Johnny BravoCow & ChickenI Am Weasel
1998 The Powerpuff Girls