Since arriving on the scene in the early 1960s, Top Cat has become a fan favourite animated show for audiences of all ages. But did you know the series wasn’t always the hit it is now?

You didn’t? Hmm…, then it sounds like you need to brush up on your Top Cat knowledge.

Not a problem, because this post is jam-packed with frequently asked questions about Top Cat. So, if you have ever wanted to learn the key facts about the show, then you have come to the right place.

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Frequently asked questions about Top Cat

Image: ©Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros.

When did Top Cat first appear on television?

Top Cat made its debut on television on September 27th, 1961. The series initially aired in a weekday prime time slot on ABC.

How many seasons of Top Cat were produced?

Top Cat ran for one season. The series was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions – the same company behind such beloved cartoons as The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo Where Are You?, and The Jetsons, amongst others.

How many episodes of Top Cat were produced? 

In total, 30 episodes of Top Cat were produced. All 30 episodes originally aired between September 1961 and April 1962.

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Was Top Cat a hit when it first aired on television?

Despite its popularity today, when Top Cat first hit US television screens it was not a hit. The series struggled to find an audience in its prime time slot and was not the ratings winner Hanna-Barbera had envisioned.

It was only after the series was moved to Saturday mornings that it became a hit with audiences. Then through subsequent re-runs the series transformed into one of the best-loved cartoons of the 1960s.

Was Top Cat always broadcast in colour?

Although Top Cat was produced in colour, when the series initially aired it was broadcast in black and white.

Image: ©Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros.
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Why is Top Cat called Top Cat?

In Top Cat, the eponymous star of the series is the leader of a gang of alley cats. To them, he is the ‘top’ cat, so to speak.

What is Top Cat based on?

Top Cat is loosely based on/inspired by the 1950s sitcom, The Phil Silvers Show – a series in which actor Phil Silvers played the role of Master Sergeant Ernest G. Bilko.

In the show, Bilko was the leader of a group of soldiers, and was forever getting caught up in schemes.

Did Phil Silvers voice Top Cat?

Top Cat was voiced by Arnold Stang, and not Phil Silvers. However, the style/tone Stang used for the character was similar to how Silvers spoke as Sgt. Bilko.

Is there another Phil Silvers Show/Bilko connection to Top Cat?

Although Phil Silvers was not involved with Top Cat, there is another connection between The Phil Silvers Show and the cartoon.

Maurice Gosfield provided the voice of Benny the Ball on Top Cat. Gosfield played the role of Private Duane Doberman on The Phil Silvers Show.

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Who are the members of Top Cat’s gang?

There are five cats in Top Cat’s gang. The cats are as follows:

  • Benny the Ball
  • Choo-Choo 
  • Fancy-Fancy
  • Brain
  • Spook

What is the name of the police officer who appears in Top Cat?

The police officer who appears in Top Cat is Officer Charlie Dibble. The character was voiced by Allen Jenkins.

What is the name of Dibble’s police dog partner? 

In the series, Dibble briefly gets a police dog partner. The dog is called Griswald and appears in the episode of the same name.

Image: ©Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros.
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Did Fred Flintstone appear in Top Cat?

As unlikely as it may seem, Fred Flintstone did appear in Top Cat. In the episode Rafeefleas, both Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble can be seen as stone statues in a museum exhibit titled ‘Prehistoric Man’.

Where is Top Cat set?

The events of the show largely take place in and around Hoagy’s Alley in Manhattan in the US.

What are the lyrics to the Top Cat theme tune?

The theme tune to Top Cat appears at the beginning and end of each episode. The lyrics are as follows:

“Top Cat! The most effectual! Top Cat! Who’s intellectual!

“Close friends get to call him ‘T.C.’, pro-vi-ding it’s with dignity! 

“Top Cat! The indisputable leader of the gang. He’s the boss, he’s a VIP, he’s a championship. He’s the most tip top, Top Cat.

“Yes, he’s the chief, he’s a king, but above everything, he’s the most tip top, Top Cat! 

“Top Cat!

Who composed the theme for Top Cat?

The Top Cat theme, aka ‘The Most Effectual Top Cat’, was composed by Hoyt Curtin. Curtin was a composer and producer and the primary musical director for Hanna-Barbera animation studios.

Image: ©Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros.
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Why was Top Cat called Boss Cat in the UK?

When Top Cat initially aired in the UK, the series was broadcast on the BBC under the titles: The Boss Cat/Boss Cat. The name change was implemented to help distinguish the show from an unrelated brand of cat food, known as Top Cat.

As the BBC is funded through a licence fee, and does not carry advertising, the show was rebranded to avoid any confusion or accusations of a product tie-in. However, only the title of the show changed – the character was still called Top Cat/T.C. in each episode.

When did the UK stop using the name Boss Cat?

The last time the name Boss Cat was used was in 1989. The show is now referred to as Top Cat.

In which country is Top Cat known as Don Gato y su pandilla?

In Mexico, Top Cat goes by the name Don Gato y su pandilla. Top Cat and his gang are named as follows:

  • Don Gato (Top Cat)
  • Benito Bodoque (Benny the Ball)
  • Cucho (Choo-Choo)
  • Panza (Fancy-Fancy)
  • Demóstenes (Brain)
  • Espanto (Spook)

Is Top Cat popular in Mexico?

Top Cat is very popular in Mexico, as well as Chile, Peru and Argentina. In fact, the show is so popular in the Ibero-America region that two Top Cat movies have been produced in Mexico.

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How many Top Cat movies are there?

Outside of the television show, there are three Top Cat movies:

  • Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats (1988)
  • Top Cat: The Movie (2011)
  • Top Cat Begins (2015)

Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats is a made-for-TV movie which aired in 1988 as part of the Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10 film series – a collection of ten movies featuring popular Hanna-Barbera characters.

Top Cat: The Movie (2011) and Top Cat Begins (2015) are theatrically released movies. Both of these films were produced by Mexican animation studio, Ánima Estudios.

Who voiced Top Cat in the movies?

Arnold Stang voiced Top Cat in Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats, reprising the role from the television series.

Jason Harris Katz provided the English-language voice of Top Cat in the two theatrical films, Top Cat: The Movie and Top Cat Begins.

And finally, is Top Cat available on home video?

To date, all 30 episodes of Top Cat have been released on DVD and digital.

All three movies have also been released on home video, but Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats is only available through Warner Archive’s manufacture-on-demand service or through Amazon US.

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If you are a fan of Top Cat (and who isn’t?) the entire DVD collection is currently available to buy from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

The five-disc set offers over 12 hours of animated antics with T.C. and the gang.

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Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about Top Cat – I hope it answered all of your questions.

For more cartoon content, be sure to take a look at the recommended reads below. And of course, don’t forget to share this post, to spread the Top Cat love.

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