Top Cat

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For the boat class, see Topcat. For the 2011 film, see Top Cat: The Movie. For the 2015 film, see Top Cat Begins.
Top Cat
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
Genre Animation
Written by Kin Platt
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voices of Arnold Stang
Allen Jenkins
Maurice Gosfield
Leo DeLyon
Marvin Kaplan
John Stephenson
Opening theme "The Most Effectual Top Cat"
Ending theme "The Most Effectual Top Cat"
Composer(s) Hoyt Curtin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 30 (list of episodes)
Producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Running time Between 24 and 27 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Distributor Screen Gems
Original network ABC
Picture format Color (initially telecast in black and white)
Audio format Mono
Original release September 27, 1961 (1961-09-27) – April 18, 1962 (1962-04-18)

Top Cat is an animated television series made by the Hanna-Barbera studios which ran from September 27, 1961 to April 18, 1962 for a run of 30 episodes on the ABC network.


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" according to the lyrics of the theme song—is the leader of a gang of Manhattan alley cats: Fancy-Fancy, Spook, Benny the Ball, Brain, and Choo Choo, living in Hoagy's Alley.[1]

Top Cat and his gang were inspired by characters from the popular 1940s B movies, "The East Side Kids", but many suggest it derived from The Phil Silvers Show, a later 1950s military comedy 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 (as 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 virtual 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.[2][3]

A frequent plot-line revolved around the local beat cop Charles "Charlie" Dibble, NYPD, and his ineffective attempts to evict the gang from the alley due to them constantly attempting to earn a quick dollar — usually through an illegal scam. Dibble's appearance was modeled on Allen Jenkins, who voiced the part. The word dibble, previously used only for an implement for making holes to plant seeds, acquired a second meaning in the vernacular as slang for police officers.[4]


Further information: List of Top Cat characters


Season 1 (1961-62)[edit]

No. Title Original air date
1 "Hawaii, Here We Come" September 27, 1961

Benny wins a trip to Hawaii, leading to Top Cat (and the rest of the gang) joining him on his trip by stowing away. Things take a drastic turn as Officer Dibble also ends up aboard the ship, and the discovery of a suitcase containing counterfeit money leads to Top Cat and the gang being thrown into the brig as suspect counterfeiters. However, with Top Cat's assistance, Officer Dibble is able to catch the actual counterfeiter and verify the gang's innocence. Don Messick provides the voices of the boarding representative, crook, & the sailor while John Stephenson provides the voices of Captain on Land/on Ship, Sergeant, and the Purser.

Credited Animators: Kenneth Muse, Jerry Hathcock, Ed Aardal. Note: This is the series premiere.
2 "The Maharajah of Pookajee" October 4, 1961

Top Cat impersonates the Maharajah of Pookajee and lives the good life at a swank hotel with his cronies... until a pair of gangsters show up. John Stephenson provides the voices of The Maharajah, crime boss, and the hotel clerk while Leo De Lyon provides the voice of the gangster (who called him Spike)

Credited Animators: Carlo Vinci, Don Williams, Ed Love.
3 "All That Jazz" October 11, 1961

Jazz (voiced by Daws Butler impersonating Phil Silvers), the new cat in town (known as "A.T." – All That), takes over the pool hall, steals Top Cat's girlfriend, sways the gang and cleans up the alley. This sparks a contest between the pair. However, when both Jazz and Top Cat are offered a part in a Hollywood film, they assume that it is another trick. The offer turns out to be legitimate, and Benny is cast in the starring role in The Thing from the Alley. He leaves for Hollywood in a limo, accompanied by Top Cat and the gang in the guise of Benny's manager, valet, vocal coach, tailor and chauffeur. After that, Officer Dibble catches Jazz using the police phone, now declaring that Jazz "is just as bad as Top Cat". Jazz and his buddy Beau (voiced by Don Messick) are forced to keep the alley clean for 30 days. John Stephenson does the voices of airport representative and Mr. Derringer while Don Messick does the voice of J.C. Crowfiles and the baseball announcer however, it isn't known who does the voice of Bruno (sounds like Marvin Kaplan).

Credited Animators: George Goepper, Tony Love, Dick Lundy.
4 "The $1,000,000 Derby" October 18, 1961

Benny gets a new pet, a devoted camera-loving nag. Top Cat tries everything to get rid of the horse, but changes his mind when he sees the horse's shock-induced superior racing abilities. John Stephenson does the voices of the boarding representative, the Mayor, and Flitney J.J. Flitney of the Derby Committee, while Leo De Lyon does the voice of the zoo keeper, and Don Messick does the voice of the car shopper, and Hal Smith provides the voices of Senator Flub, and the race track announcer.

Credited Animator: Carlo Vinci.
5 "The Violin Player" October 25, 1961

Mr. Gutenberg, the musical director of Carnegie Hall (voiced by John Stephenson), mistakes a recording of violin virtuoso Laszlo Laszlo for the playing of Benny the Ball, who has just taken up the instrument. He approaches Benny with an offer to perform and Top Cat negotiates a deal for $50,000 for a Saturday night performance at the Hall—an offer that is withdrawn when Carnegie's Board of Directors really hear Benny play. When Gutenberg offers a $10,000 reward to find the true violinist, the gang discovers that it's their neighborhood street cleaner, Laszlo Laszlo (voiced by Leo De Lyon). John Stephenson provides the voices of Mr. Gutenberg, paramedic, his assistant Ralph, and the record store owner, while Leo De Lyon does the voice of Lazlo Lazlo.

Credited Animators: Carlo Vinci, Irv Spence, Kenneth Muse.
6 "The Missing Heir" November 1, 1961

Benny is a double for "Cat-wallader", the missing heir to a millionaire's fortune, the identification being clinched by a supposed birthmark on the sole of Benny's foot. Top Cat and the gang get Benny to the mansion in time to claim the money, but this is bad news to the scheming butler Chutney (voice by Paul Frees) and dog Griswald (voiced by Don Messick) who hoped to claim the fortune for themselves. The "birthmark" turns out to be chewing gum. John Stephenson provides the voice of the Old Man, while Jean Vander Pyl does the voice of the girl cat, however, it isn't known who does the voice of the Taxi Cab Driver. This episode marks the first appearance of Griswald.

Credited Animator: Ed Love.
7 "Top Cat Falls in Love" November 8, 1961

While visiting tonsillectomy patient Benny in the hospital, Top Cat falls for the pretty cat nurse, Miss LaRue. T.C. decides to attract her attention by pretending to come down with a rare illness, which will need a lot of nursing care. Don Messick provides the voice of Dr. Dawson, while Jean Vander Pyl provides the voices of Nurse LaRue, and the regular nurse, and John Stephenson, Don Messick & Leo De Lyon also provides the voices of the patients.

Credited Animator: Kenneth Muse.
8 "A Visit from Mother" November 15, 1961

Benny has written to his mother that he's the Mayor of New York. Now Benny's mother is coming for a visit, and Top Cat and the gang must do everything they can to convince Mrs. Ball (voiced by Bea Benaderet) that her son really is the Mayor. John Stephenson provides the voice of Monahan, however, it isn't known who does the voices of the second cab driver and his assistant Charlie, This episode marks the first appearance of the Irish sergeant.

Credited Animator: Ed Love.
9 "Naked Town" November 22, 1961

"Naked Town", a TV crime show, will be shooting a warehouse robbery scene in Top Cat's alley. Officer Dibble offers his cooperation, but is unaware that some crooks will be using the TV filming as a cover for a real robbery. John Stephenson does the voice of Knuckles, while Don Messick provides the voice of the Director, Leo De Lyon does the voice of Knuckles's friend Henchman.

Credited Animator: Don Patterson.
10 "Sergeant Top Cat" November 29, 1961

After overhearing Officer Dibble suggesting ways to improve conditions for the police force, Top Cat passes off Dibble's ideas to the Chief as T.C.'s own. This leads to Top Cat's being made an honorary police sergeant (and Dibble's boss in the alley). none of those additional voices were provided.

Credited Animator: Irv Spence.
11 "Choo-Choo's Romance" December 6, 1961

Choo-Choo has fallen in love with a beautiful French cat, Goldie (voiced by Jean Vander Pyl); Top Cat and the gang help Choo-Choo to court her, but they've reckoned without Goldie's jealous boyfriend, Pierre (voiced by John Stephenson). Jean Vander Pyl Provides the Voice of Goldie the French Cat, While John Stephenson does the Voice of Pierre, However, It Isn't Known Who Does the Voices of the Husband and the Wife.

Credited Animator: Carlo Vinci.
12 "The Unscratchables" December 13, 1961

When a missing diamond ends up in Benny the Ball's stomach, it's up to Top Cat and the gang to find a way retrieve him from gangsters who've kidnapped him and are attempting to retrieve the diamond the hard way.

Credited Animators: George Goepper, Harry Holt, Carlo Vinci.
13 "Rafeefleas" December 20, 1961

After Benny spends the night sleeping inside a museum, T.C. discovers a scarab attached to his back. The jewel is later found to be an expensive antique, and the gang attempts to return it. Once the scarab is returned, a jewel thief arrives and takes a number of jewels. Dibble arrives and mistakes T.C. as the thief, however the thief is caught when he runs into the rest of the gang.

Credited Animator: Kenneth Muse.
14 "The Tycoon" December 27, 1961

A Tycoon (voiced by Don Messick) decides to give away $1,000,000 to the most unfortunate person he finds, which ends up being Top Cat. He gives the check to Benny, who tries to show it to Top Cat (who ignores him), so he tries to cash it himself. A merchant overhears him and tells all his associates. Everybody gives things to Top Cat thinking he is a millionaire, and that he'll pay them back.

Credited Animator: Ed Love.
15 "The Long Hot Winter" January 3, 1962

During the cold winter in the alley, Top Cat and the gang scheme to find a way into Officer Dibble's house in an attempt to keep warm. Once inside the house, Dibble struggles to live with the gang. In the end, the gang stay for several months until spring and the warmer weather arrives.

Credited Animators: Edwin Aardal, Jerry Hathcock.
16 "The Case of the Absent Anteater" January 10, 1962

Benny gets a new pet; a hungry, brown giant anteater which followed him into the alley. Top Cat attempts to get rid of the animal until it is revealed that the anteater has escaped from the zoo and a large reward is on offer for its return.

Credited Animators: George Goepper, Harry Holt.
17 "T.C. Minds the Baby" January 17, 1962

An abandoned baby (voiced by Jean Vander Pyl) is found by Top Cat and the gang, who intend on looking after it. However, they find parenthood much more difficult than they thought it to be. In the end, the mother is found and the baby is safely returned.

Credited Animator: Irv Spence.
18 "Farewell, Mr. Dibble" January 24, 1962

Officer Dibble is replaced by a new recruit named Ernest Prowler (voiced by Don Messick). Prowler intends to be more forceful in his duty than Dibble and intends to stop the trouble that Top Cat and the gang cause. Due to the new regime, the gang hatch a plan to have Dibble return to his old beat in the alley.

Credited Animators: Carlo Vinci (opening scene only), Don Williams.
19 "The Grand Tour" January 31, 1962

Top Cat and the gang are struggling to make money. However, T.C. comes up with a new get-rich-quick scheme which involves creating a fake "historical" tour of New York. Choo-Choo begins selling "phony" maps, however it is later found that the maps point to a real treasure in a dilapidated house.

Credited Animator: Carlo Vinci.
20 "The Golden Fleecing" February 7, 1962

Benny receives an insurance payment of $2,000, giving T.C. ideas about how to spend it. The first spend is made on visiting a local nightclub to visit Honeydew Mellon (voiced by Sally Jones), a showgirl who also happens to be part of a gang of poker-playing con-artists, who will do everything they can to separate Benny from his money.

Credited Animators: Edwin Aardal, Jerry Hathcock.
21 "Space Monkey" February 14, 1962

Officer Dibble takes a job at Cape Canaveral, and the gang discover about the luxurious treatment a chimpanzee (voiced by John Stephenson) receives while in the space program. The group decides to join up in attempt to access the same luxurious facilities, however wants out when they discover they will be going into space. Herb Vigran played the Space Shuttle Doctor while Walker Edmiston did the voice of his assistant Bernie.

Credited Animator: Kenneth Muse.
22 "The Late T.C." February 21, 1962

Top Cat is injured when hit in the head by a baseball; from the resulting injury, a misunderstanding leads Officer Dibble to believe Top Cat only has a week left to live. T.C. and the gang take advantage of Dibble and his kindness during the week.

Credited Animators: Ed Love, Tony Love.
23 "Dibble's Birthday" February 28, 1962

Officer Dibble's birthday is coming up and he begins to feel he is getting too old. To help cheer him up, the gang decide to throw him a birthday party, with gifts from everybody in the neighborhood.

Credited Animators: Edwin Aardal, Jerry Hathcock.
24 "Choo-Choo Goes Ga-Ga" March 7, 1962

Choo-Choo threatens to commit suicide unless he can get a date with a Hollywood movie star, named Lola Glamour (voiced by Jean Vander Pyl). Top Cat tries getting him that date by visiting her at her penthouse, but Officer Dibble was given complaints from other people who live there. Top Cat eventually escapes from Officer Dibble, but soon find out Lola would only date rich men, so Choo Choo once again tries to commit suicide. This annoys Top Cat so he tries to get Lola to think Choo Choo is a rich count named Count Chooch.

Credited Animators: George Goepper, Harry Holt.
25 "King for a Day" March 14, 1962

After Top Cat upsets Officer Dibble one time too many, he and the gang decide to lie low for a while. After spending the night in a department store, the gang go on the "King for a Day" show which offers a number of prizes, after writing to the show's producers about the gang being a "poor family". Instead, Dibble wins the prizes and offers to take T.C. and the gang for a ride to show no hard feelings. John Stephenson plays Jack Bailey.

Credited Animators: Edwin Aardal, Jerry Hathcock.
26 "The Con Men" March 21, 1962

A friendly hot dog vendor is swindled out of $1,000 by con men who pretended to have an oil well in Nova Scotia. Top Cat disguises himself as a wealthy Texan in an attempt to get the money back, by convincing the crooks that the oil well really does exist. John Stephenson and Leo De Lyon provide the voices of the two con men.

Credited Animators: Ed Love, Tony Love.
27 "Dibble Breaks the Record" March 28, 1962

Dibble attempts to break a record as the longest serving police officer on the beat, which had been set years ago by his idol, policeman, "Iron Man" Muldoon; if he beats the record, he wins a holiday which allows him to escape the gang for a while. With this information, Top Cat does everything he can to help Dibble win and have the gang watch over him so he doesn't have an accident. Paul Frees plays The Ghost of Iron Man Muldoon.

Credited Animators: Kenneth Muse, Jerry Hathcock.
28 "Dibble Sings Again" April 4, 1962

Top Cat owes money to a loan shark named Big Gus, and after hearing Officer Dibble singing, he convinces him that under his management, he could become a big singing star. Leo De Lyon doubles as the voices of Brain, Spook and Big Gus' gorilla.

Credited Animators: Harry Holt, George Goepper, Carlo Vinci.
29 "Griswald" April 11, 1962

Dibble gets a new partner on the beat: a dog named Griswald . Top Cat and the gang attempt to outwit him, but the dog always seems to be one step ahead. T.C. manages to get the dog removed from duty after he bites the police commissioner. Don Messick doubles as the voices of Griswald and The Police Commissioner.

Credited Animators: Ed Love, Tony Love.
30 "Dibble's Double" April 18, 1962

A thief named Al the Actor, disguised as Officer Dibble, steals a fortune from an art gallery. Top Cat has also taken up painting, but discovers his own artwork was also stolen. The gang, together with Dibble, team up to catch the thief. Don Messick voices Al, Leo De Lyon voices his henchman, while Jean Vander Pyl does the voice of the rich woman.

Credited Animators: Dick Lundy, George Goepper, Harry Holt, Carlo Vinci. Notes: This was the series hiatus. 23 years later, Arnold Stang returns to do the voice of Top Cat in the series Yogi's Treasure Hunt. 10 years later in Yogi's Ark Lark, Daws Butler did the voice of Top Cat who sounded just like Hokey Wolf.

Voice cast[edit]

Main voices:

Additional voices: Bea Benaderet, Herschel Bernardi, Daws Butler, Paul Frees, Sally Jones, Don Messick, Ge Ge Pearson, Gigi Perreau, Jean Vander Pyl

Home media releases[edit]

In the USA, a box set with all 30 episodes was released in December 2004 (2004-12).

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
Top Cat – The Complete Series 30 December 7, 2004 (2004-12-07)
  • Commentary on various episodes
  • Back to Hoagy's Alley: The Making of Top Cat (retrospective featurette)
  • Interviews: Cool Cats in Interview Alley
  • Top Cat sing-along
  • Production Sketches: Top Cat Collection (art, stills, sketches, backgrounds)
  • Storyboards: Storyboard Showcase
  • TV Spot: Top Cat Kellogg's commercials (US release only)

In the UK, the complete series box set was released in 2007, initially as a HMV exclusive until 2008. Alternatively, five single DVD volumes, each containing 6 episodes, were released. The covers were originally from the US edition but 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.

Top Cat's cameos[edit]

Other characters appearing in Top Cat[edit]

Other Hanna-Barbera characters make cameo appearances during the series.

  • In the episode "King for a Day", 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 the episode "Rafeefleas", 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 the episode "A Visit from Mother", "El Kabong" graffiti (Quick Draw McGraw's alter-ego) is seen on the wall in the background.

Top Cat's appearance in other shows[edit]

  • 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."
  • In the Futurama episode "That Darn Katz!", a picture of Top Cat is seen.
  • 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[edit]

Comic books[edit]

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.[5] 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.

Feature film[edit]

Further information: Top Cat: The Movie
Official Mexican release poster for the movie.

A feature film based on the TV series was released on September 16, 2011 in 2D and 3D theaters. The film was produced by Mexico's Ánima Estudios and Argentina's Illusion Studios and was released by the Latin American branch of Warner Bros. (whose parent company, Time Warner owns Turner Entertainment, which acquired Hanna-Barbera in 1990). Entitled Don Gato y su Pandilla (the name used for the Spanish dub of the series),[6] the film was a major box-office success in Mexico and was one of the most successful releases from a Mexican production.[7]

The film later had a limited theatrical release in the United States on August 2, 2013, featuring the voices of Rob Schneider as Lou Strickland and Danny Trejo as Griswald.[8]


United States

Latin America



Sri Lanka



Southeast Asia







Czech Republic



Hungary Dubbed:

Middle East & Africa:






United Kingdom


New Zealand



Costa Rica



  • National Television Uruguay



Top Cat was among the first programs aired on CTV. The country's first private television network commenced broadcasts in October 1961.


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) 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[edit]

Boss Cat title card

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 debut.[citation needed]

It debuted on 16 May 1962, under its original name[9] but was renamed "The Boss Cat" on 13 June 1962.[10] This was shortened on 22 February 1967 to Boss Cat.[11] This rapid name change was made 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 '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 been discontinued in the UK (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. "Top Cat" cat food is still available in South Africa.

"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.[citation needed]


Top Cat (Turpi úrfi) was one of the first American cartoons premiered on Hungarian television channels in 1969. It also broadcast later with The Huckleberry Hound Show, Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, The Flintstones and The Jetsons on Magyar Televízió from 1985 to 1990, and tv2 from 1997 to 1999 (together with Wacky Races, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo). From 2012 Boomerang broadcasts it in Hungarian.


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 until 2004.

Sri Lanka[edit]

Top Cat (Sinhala: Pissu Poosa (පිස්සු පූසා) literally Crazy Cat) was one of the most popular cartoon shows in Sri Lanka and it has been repeated several times on the same TV channel.

Name in different languages[edit]

  • Brazilian Portuguese: Manda-Chuva (voice by Lima Duarte)
  • Bulgarian: Топ Кет (Top Ket)
  • Canadian French: Top chatons
  • Czech: Kočičí banda
  • Danish: Top Kat
  • Dutch: Top Kat
  • Finnish: Topi-katti
  • French: Le Chat
  • German: Superkatt
  • Hungarian: Turppi Yurfi (Mr.Meanace) in the series and Főmacska (Main Cat) in the special.
  • Italian: Top Gattini
  • Japanese: Doraneko Taishō (ドラ猫大将?) (lit. 'Stray Cat Boss')
  • Macedonian: Тошо Мачорот (Tosho Machorot)
  • Norwegian: Top Katt
  • Polish: Kocia Ferajna (lit. Catfellas) and earlier translation Kot Tip Top (lit. Tippy Cat), featuring vastly better translation of the original, reels with that version were lost or recorded over
  • Portuguese: Top Cat
  • Romanian: Super pisik
  • Russian: ГлавКот
  • Serbian: Mika Mačor
  • Sinhalese: Pissu Poosa (පිස්සු පූසා)
  • Spanish: Don Gato y su pandilla (Mr. Cat and his gang)
  • Swedish: Top Cat (voice by Per Sandborgh)

Production credits[edit]


  • Created, Produced and Directed by: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera
  • Written By: Kin Platt
  • Story Director: Paul Sommer
  • Associate Producer: Alan Dinehart
  • Musical Director: Hoyt Curtin
  • Starring the Voice of: Arnold Stang, With: Allen Jenkins, Maurice Gosfield, Marvin Kaplan, Leo De Lyon, John Stephenson, Paul Frees
  • Animation: Kenneth Muse, Jerry Hathcock
  • 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
  • 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 Bullock, 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[edit]


  1. ^ "Top Cat – The Complete Series : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  2. ^ "Voice of Top Cat dies – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". December 24, 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  3. ^ "Arnold Stang, Milquetoast Actor, Dies at 91". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  4. ^ "dibble". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.).
  5. ^ "Don Markstein's Toonopedia: Top Cat". September 27, 1961. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  6. ^ Calderón, Lucero (14 September 2011). "Don Gato y su pandilla, más historia para México (in Spanish)". Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Mexican Animated Film 'Top Cat' Breaks Record at Box Office The Hollywood Reporter. September 20, 2011. John Hecht
  9. ^ "Radio Times entry for Top Cat on 16 May 1962". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  10. ^ "Radio Times entry for The Boss Cat on 13 June 1962". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  11. ^ "Radio Times entry for Boss Cat on 22 February 1967". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2015-05-24. 

External links[edit]