Top Cat (aka Boss Cat)

1961 | United States

Like The Flinstones before it, Top Cat was based on a successful US sitcom. 

Whereas Fred and Barney were the animated versions of Jackie Gleason and Art Carney, so TC and his gang were the feline equivalents of Sgt. Ernie Bilko and the gang of Fort Baxter. Like the Phil Silvers character, Top Cat was always wheeling, dealing and scheming, looking for a fast buck and hoping to hit 'the big one', much to the consternation of local neighbourhood cop Officer Dibble. 

Arnold Stang supplied the Phil Silvers imitated voice for 'the indisputable leader of the gang', whilst Benny the Ball was voiced by none other than Private Duane Doberman himself, actor Maurice Gosfield. Other characters included Choo Choo, Spook, The Brain and Fancy Fancy. The series was renamed for British audiences to Boss Cat because there was a cat food called Top Cat on sale in the UK.

Published on February 8th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.