September 1961 - April 1962, ABC
op Cat (called T.C. by his close
friends) was a New York alley cat who used his skills as a
smooth-talking manipulator to con his way into others' trust or
to get himself out of trouble. He led a group of five feline
friends who acted as cohorts in his scams. For all of their
shenanigans and get-rich-quick schemes they were, however,
nearly always penniless, generally taking life easy and working
out scams only when opportunities presented themselves or they
were in need of cash. Top Cat definitely needed some help with a
personal budget since most of his time and money was spent getting
out of trouble.
The cats hung out in Hoagy's
Alley, which Top Cat considered his home. Along with Top Cat
(who had yellow fur and wore a purple vest and hat) there was
Choo Choo (pink fur—white turtleneck shirt), whose voice had
the same neurotic, unsure quality as actor/director Woody Allen;
Spook (green fur—black tie) was a mellow, beatnik type;
Fancy-Fancy (brown fur—white scarf) was popular with the
ladies; Benny (blue fur—white sport coat) was short and
chubby and wasn't much brighter than Brain (orange fur—purple
shirt), a droopy-eyed cat whose name was a misnomer unless it
was in reference to bird brain.
The group's main opposition was
Officer Dibble, a beat cop with the misfortune of having Top
Cat's base of operations within his jurisdiction. Officer Dibble
caught Top Cat and his gang in the act of breaking some
ordinance or other often enough, but Top Cat's quick wits and
fast-talking arsenal of skills were usually enough to keep him
and his friends one step ahead of the law and out of jail.
Dibble faced the unending struggle of getting Top Cat to keep
the alley where he lived clean (it was always a mess), and was
especially annoyed when Top Cat used the police phone located on
a telephone pole in the alley for his own personal use. Dibble's
propensity for getting duped landed him in hot water with his
commanding Sergeant time and again.
premiered on ABC in 1961 and ran for thirty episodes. In 1985,
Top Cat was added to the cast of
Yogi's Treasure Hunt, where he
once again took the leadership role, transmitting orders to the
crew of S.S. Jelly Roger and doing little work himself.