||This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2012)|
Top Cat and the gang. Left to right: Benny the Ball (foreground); Officer Dibble (Behind fence); Brain; Fancy-Fancy; Top Cat; Spook (foreground); Choo-Choo
|Directed by||William Hanna
|Voices of||Arnold Stang
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||30 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||Between 24 and 27 minutes|
|Distributor||Screen Gems (1961-1974)
Worldvision Enterprises (1983-1992)
Turner Program Services (1992-1998)
Warner Bros. Television Distribution (1998-present)
Turner Entertainment (1999-present)
|Picture format||Color (initially telecast in black and white)|
|Original run||September 27, 1961– April 18, 1962|
Top Cat is a Hanna-Barbera prime time animated television series which ran from November 26, 1961 to April 18, 1962 for a run of 30 episodes on the ABC network. Reruns are played on Cartoon Network's classic animation network Boomerang.
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 close friends, "pro-vid-ing it's with dignity" as the lyrics of the theme song say—is the leader of a gang of Manhattan alley cats: Fancy Pants, Spook, Benny the Ball, Brain, and Choo Choo living in Hoagy's Alley.
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 which whose lead was a crafty con-man You'll Never Get Rich (later called The Phil Silvers Show). 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, an unlikely 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 on Allen Jenkins, who did his voice. Dibble, previously only an implement for making holes for planting seeds, has acquired a second meaning in the vernacular as slang for police officers.
Episode list 
DVD release 
In the USA, a box set with all 30 episodes was released in December 2004.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date||Additional Information|
|Top Cat - The Complete Series||30||December 7, 2004||
In the UK, the complete series box set was released in 2007, initially as a HMV exclusive until 2008. Alternatively, 5 single DVD volumes, each containing 6 episodes, were released. The covers were originally from the US edition, but was later re-released with a new design. Each volume shows a group picture of Top Cat using Dibble's phone with his gang beside him, but the colour-coding is:
Volume 1: Primrose (Episodes 1–6) – Top Cat
Volume 2: Green (Episodes 7–12) – Choo-Choo
Volume 3: Red (Episodes 13–18) – Fancy Fancy
Volume 4: Blue (Episodes 19–24) – Benny
Volume 5: Orange (Episodes 25–30) – Spook
The DVDs have since been made available to buy in other retailers across the UK.
Other characters appearing in Top Cat 
Other Hanna-Barbera characters make cameo appearances during the series.
- In one of the episodes, Top Cat and his friends are reading comic books. Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound comics can be seen in the bottom right corner of the scene.
- In another episode, the gang is wandering through a museum at night when they come upon a group of statues labeled "Prehistoric Man". Choo-Choo insists that he's seen the figures before, maybe on T.V., but TC waves this off. The statues are modeled after Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble.
- In "A Visit from Mother" episode, "El Kabong" graffiti (Quick Draw McGraw's alter-ego) is seen on the wall in the background.
Top Cat characters appearing in other shows 
- In one episode of, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Gomer is seen in a restaurant reading a Top Cat comic book.
- Top Cat also made a cameo appearance in one of What-a-Cartoon shorts named "Buy One, Get One Free" in a party scene.
- Top Cat made a cameo appearance in a 2012 MetLife commercial enititled, "Everyone".
- Top Cat's theme is featured in The Flintstones episode "Surfin Fred" when Barney and Betty discover that Jimmy Darrock is in fact not a lifeguard.
- Officer Dibble makes a cameo appearance in The Flintstones episode "Time Machine", as a policeman in the future. Thus returning the favor done in episode "The Rafeefleas" when T.C and the gang found two statues of cave man (Fred and Barney) in an art museum, while searching for the jewelry display case.
- Top Cat and his gang appeared in Yogi's Ark Lark. While the others don't have dialogue, Top Cat was voiced by Daws Butler while Benny the Ball was voiced by John Stephenson. It was presumed that Arnold Stang wasn't available at the time while Maurice Gosfield was already dead in 1964.
- In 1985, Top Cat appeared on Yogi's Treasure Hunt with Yogi Bear and other Hanna-Barbera toon stars; he was the one who assigned the treasure hunts. Officer Dibble made an appearance in the end of the show's episode, "Yogi's Beanstalk" voiced by John Stephenson since Allen Jenkins was already dead in 1974.
- In 1987, Hanna-Barbera produced a feature-length television film based on the show titled Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats (part of the Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10 film series), in which the gang helps a young girl claim her inheritance. During that time, John Stephenson reprised Officer Dibble while Benny the Ball was voiced by Avery Schreiber.
- In the Fender Bender 500 segment of Wake, Rattle, and Roll, Top Cat and Choo Choo were one of the racers driving a trash can-modeled monster truck called the Alley Cat.
- In Yo Yogi!, Top Cat was a teenage cat voiced by Arte Johnson. Even here, he still lives in a trash can.
- Top Cat was seen in a Cartoon Network Rap in 1995.
- In the Duck Dodgers episode "K-9 Quarry", Top Cat was amongst the poached characters on the Alien Hunter's ship.
- Top Cat, Benny and Brain made a cameo appearance at the end of The Powerpuff Girls episode "Catastrophe". They can be seen at the bottom left corner of the screen (Note: Instead of his hat, Top Cat has a splat of slime on his head).
- Top Cat was seen briefly driving a motorcycle in the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Cheese a go-go."
- Top Cat and Benny appear in the My Life as a Teenage Robot episode "Toying with Jenny"; they can be seen at the checkout desk when Jenny is looking at the Jenny toys.
- Top Cat made a cameo appearance in Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! episode "Wubbzy the hero".
- In a sketch from BBC Radio 4 show That Mitchell and Webb Sound, a cop claims to have problems with TC. one particular moment similarly mentions from Maharajah of Pookajee.
- An excerpt from the show appears in the 1982 film Cat People.
- There is someone that dresses up as Top Cat in a Hanna-Barbera convention in the film Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon.
In other media 
Comic Books 
The gang's adventures continued off-screen in comic books as Dell (which became Gold Key) published 31 issues from 1961 to 1970. Charlton Comics published 20 more issues from 1970 to 1973. In Mexico, La Coleccion Primavera featured Don Gato in 1968.
Little Golden Books and Durabooks have both produced hardcover children's books starring Top Cat.
In the UK, BrownWatson published the 1978 annual entitled The Great Grape Ape and Boss Cat.
T.C. and friends appeared on three View-Master reels in 1962. These were titled "Medal for Meddling", "Zoo-Operation", and "No Cat Fishing".
The Original TV Soundtrack was released by Colpix Records in 1962, consisting of slightly edited versions of "The Unscratchables" and "Top Cat Falls In Love".
In 1965, Hanna-Barbera Records released an LP titled "Robin Hood Starring Top Cat". T.C. and the gang were pictured as merry men on the cover. Songs included Top Cat, M-O-N-E-Y, Dibble, Robin Hood, and Buddies. It was re-released in 1977 on Columbia Records' Special Products label.
A jazzy arrangement of the Top Cat theme can be heard most weeks over the end credits of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour. The Top Cat theme song is the opening track on Ted Kooshian's 2008 jazz CD, Ted Kooshian's Standard Orbit Quartet.
Feature film 
Anima Studios of Mexico and Illusion Studios of Argentina have produced a feature film in 2D and 3D, entitled Don Gato y su Pandilla (the name used for the Spanish dub of the series). The film was initially released exclusively in Mexico and South American markets on September 13, 2011 by the Latin American branch of Warner Bros. Pictures (whose parent company, Time Warner owns Turner Entertainment, which acquired Hanna-Barbera in 1990). The film was released in cinemas as Top Cat: The Movie in the United Kingdom through Vertigo Films in June 1, 2012. To date, there has been no word from Warner Bros. if the film will be released in any form in the United States or Canada. However, It is also planned to have a limited theatrical release in the United States and a sequel that is in the works.
The movie has become one of the most successful Mexican movies ever; in its 5th week it had earned 108 million pesos (about US$7,929,515). However, the English dub of the film received overwhelmingly negative reviews from UK critics criticizing the animation and voice acting. It currently scores a 14% "Rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 14 reviews, with an average score of 2.8/10. It was later released theatrically and direct-to-video in several other intercontinental countries, such as Israel, Russia, India, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Slovakia, and Czech Republic.
International broadcasters 
Top Cat was among the first programs aired on CTV. The country's first private television network commenced broadcasts in October 1961.
Latin America 
In spite of the modest success of the show in the United States, the show was a massive hit in Mexico, Chile, Peru and Argentina, where it is recognized as one of the most famous Hanna Barbera characters ever, being as popular as the Flintstones. In Mexico the show is aired under the name Don Gato y su pandilla (literally Mr. Cat and his gang like mafia style, but stands for Mr. Top Cat or just Top Cat like in the United States) and the main characters adopted different accents. Besides Top Cat, all the other characters from the show were very famous, and their popularity is commonly attributed by the excellent dubbing and voice acting: Benny was renamed Benito B. Bodoque y B. and given a more childlike voice than was the case in the original dubbing, Choo Choo was renamed Cucho and spoke with Mexican-yucatan accent, Fancy-Fancy was Panza (belly), Spook renamed as the word's rough translation Espanto, The Brain was called Demóstenes (honouring the Greek statesman Demosthenes, with whom he shares a speech impediment) and Officer Dibble renamed as Oficial Carlitos Matute. This name, "matute" was used in Argentina and Uruguay as a slang reference for policemen. Top Cat is still rerun every few years. The main voice actors were Julio Lucena (voice of Top Cat), Jorge Arvizu (voice of Benny and Choo Choo), Víctor Alcocer (voice of Dibble), David Reynoso among others.
In Brazil, the character is known as Manda-Chuva (Brazilian Portuguese for big shot) and was voiced by actor Lima Duarte. In addition, the city of New York was replaced by Brasília (federal capital) in the Brazilian version.
United Kingdom 
Top Cat is the most enduringly popular of all Hanna-Barbera shows in the United Kingdom, having been rerun on network TV more than any other since its 1962 debut.
In the UK, the show was first aired on BBC television (now called BBC One) but renamed Boss Cat shortly after it premiered in 1962 because Top Cat was also the name of a then-popular British brand of cat food. The dialogue and theme tune still referred to the character by his original name but a small cut was made at the climax of the opening credits (resulting in a slight 'jump' in the film) and a title card added before the episode proper. Similarly, the 'Top Cat' name was edited from the final section of the show's closing credits, causing another slight 'jump' (as Top Cat is putting on his eyeshades and readying himself for sleep in his trash can).
Despite the presence of the 'Boss Cat' title card, the continued use of the Top Cat name (and the acronym 'T.C') throughout the UK-aired soundtrack meant that the character was always popularly referred to as 'Top Cat' by every generation of UK viewers. The 'Boss Cat' title card was last used for a repeat run in 1989; by the time the series was next aired in 1999 the 'Top Cat' food brand had long since discontinued (as had any concerns about mirroring such a brand name even if it did exist), allowing the original title to be used. This continues to be the case in contemporary showings on Boomerang and BBC Two.
As Welsh Conservative MP David Davies' name sounds the same as fellow Conservative MP David Davis, a candidate in the 2005 Conservative leadership contest, confusion could occur between the two in Westminster. Therefore, David Davies is referred to in the House of Commons in Westminster as David T.C. Davies. This has caused opposition MPs to refer to him in jest as Top Cat.
"The Dibble" is a name sometimes used as a slang term for the Police (after Officer Dibble). The use of this phrase is more prevalent in the Greater Manchester area of the United Kingdom.
Top Cat was one of the early favorites on Cartoon Network. It was aired in India in the 1990s. Top Cat was aired again in 2003
Sri Lanka 
Name in different languages 
- Brazilian Portuguese: Manda Chuva (voice by Lima Duarte)
- Bulgarian: Топ Кет (Top Ket)
- Canadian French: Pacha et les chats
- Czech: Kočičí banda
- Danish: Top Kat
- Finnish: Topi Katti
- French: Le Pacha
- German: Superkater
- Hungarian: Turpi Úrfi (Mr.Meanace) in the series and Főmacska (Main Cat) in the special.
- Italian: Top Cat
- Japanese: Doraneko Taishō (ドラ猫大将) (lit. 'Stray Cat Boss')
- Macedonian: Тошо Мачорот (Tosho Machorot)
- Norwegian: Topp Katt
- Polish: Kocia Ferajna (lit. Catfellas) and earlier translation Kot Tip Top (lit. Tippytoe Cat), featuring vastly better translation of the original, reels with that version were lost or recorded over
- Portuguese: Top Cat
- Serbian: Mika Mačor
- Sinhala: Pissu Poosa (පිස්සු පූසා)
- Spanish: Don Gato y su pandilla (Mr. Cat and his gang)
- Swedish: Top Cat (voice by Per Sandborgh)
- Romanian: Super motanul
- Russian: Супер Кот
Production credits 
- Produced and Directed by: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera
- Written By: Kin Platt
- Story Director: Paul Sommer
- Associate Producer: Alan Dinehart
- Musical Director: Hoyt Curtin
- Voices: Arnold Stang, Allen Jenkin, Marvin Kaplan, Maurice Gosfield, Le De Lyon,John Stephenson, Paul Frees
- Animation: Kenneth Muse, Jerry Hathoock
- Animation Direction: Charles A. Nichols
- Production Supervision: Howard Hanson
- Layout: Jack Huber
- Titles: Lawrence Goble
- Backgrounds: Montealegre
- Camera: Roy Wade, Norman Stainback, Frank Paiker, Charles Flekal
- Film Editing: Greg Watson, Warner Leighton, Zachary Zeiger
- Top Cat © Copyright MCMLXI Hanna-Barbera Productions
- A Hanna-Barbera Production
- A Screen Gems Film Presentation
- Television Subsidiary: Columbia Pictures Corporation
2004 DVD Version
- Produced and Directed By: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
- Written by Kin Platt, Joanna Lee, Michael Maltese, Barry Blitzer, Tony Benedict, Ray Allen, Larry Markes, Harvey Marshall
- Story Direction: Alex Lovy, Lewis Marshall, Paul Sommer
- Associate Producer: Alan Dinehart
- Musical Direction: Hoyt Curtin
- Starring the Voice of: Arnold Stang With: Maurice Gosfield, Allen Jenkins, Marvin Kaplan, Leo De Lyon, John Stephenson
- Additional Voices: Bea Benaderet, Daws Butler, Herschel Bernardi, Walker Edmiston, Paul Frees, Sally Jones, Don Messick, Ge Ge Pearson, Hal Smith, Jean Vander Pyl, Herb Vigran
- Animation: Ed Aardal, George Goepper, Jerry Hathcock, Harry Holt, Ed Love, Tony Love, Dick Lundy, Kenneth Muse, Don Patterson, Irv Spence, Carlo Vinci, Don Williams
- Animation Direction: Charles A. Nichols
- Production Supervision: Howard Hanson
- Layout: Dick Bickenbach, Jack Huber, Walter Clinton, Dan Noonan
- Titles: Lawrence Goble
- Background: Art Lozzi, Montealegre, Robert Gentle, Neenah Maxwell, Anthony Rizzo, Richard H. Thomas
- Camera: Charles Flekal, Roy Wade, Norman Stainback, Frank Paiker
- Film Editing: Greg Watson, Warner Leighton, Zachary Zeiger, Kenneth Spears, Joseph Ruby, Donald A. Douglas
- A Hanna-Barbera Production
See also 
- List of works produced by Hanna-Barbera
- List of Hanna-Barbera characters
- Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats
- Yogi's Treasure Hunt
- "Harveytoon Episode Guide". Harveycomics.50webs.com. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- Template:Cite. Inasmuch as "The East End Kids" (aka "Dead-End Kids) predates all street gang fare, and Phil Silvers was a military series web
- "Arnold Stang, Milquetoast Actor, Dies at 91". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-20.(login required)
- "Don Markstein's Toonopedia: Top Cat". Toonopedia.com. 1961-09-27. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- Digital Spy: "'Top Cat: The Movie' to hit cinemas in August", January 23, 2012.
- "Movie Review - Top Cat: The Movie (2011)". Flickering Myth. 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- "David Davies MP blog: Anyone remember "Top Cat"?". Daviddaviesam.blogspot.com. 2005-06-19. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- Top Cat on Boomerang
- Top Cat Unofficial Site
- Top Cat at the Internet Movie Database
- Top Cat at TV.com
- Top Cat at Toonopedia
- TV.com site
- Toon Tracker's lyrics to the Top Cat theme song
- Top Cat fan site
- The Cartoon Scrapbook – Profile on Top Cat.
- Don gato y su pandilla movie site