Top Cat (character)
- This article is about the main title character. For the TV series, see Top Cat (TV series). For other uses, see Top Cat.
I may be shrewd and all, but my friends call me a charismatic leader, if that's what you're looking for!
|Affiliation:||Benny the Ball|
Yogi's Treasure Hunters
|Goals:||Scam people to get rich|
Outsmarting Officer Dibble
|First appearance:||TC: "The $1,000,000 Derby" (1961)|
|Played by:||Arnold Stang (1961-90)|
Daws Butler (1972)
Tom Kenny (2000-02)
Jason Harris (2011, 2015, 2016)
Thomas Lennon (2021)
Top Cat: The Movie
Top Cat Begins
Adam Strange/Future Quest Special
Top Cat, often abbreviated to T.C., is an anthropomorphic cat and the smooth-talking main title character of the Top Cat animated television series. His voice was originated by Arnold Stang, using a Phil Silvers impression as the basis.
A highly mischievous con artist, Top Cat has been referred to as the most effectual, intellectual, and indisputable leader of his own street gang. He uses his clever wit to devise various get-rich-quick schemes and to tricks others, mainly his foil Officer Dibble.
Top Cat is a yellow feline with an oval-shaped head, white muzzle, and a black nose. His attire consists of a violet waistcoat, and a violet pork pie hat with a black band. On rare occasions, he also sports a cane to carry with.
Living in small area in Manhattan known as Hoagy's Alley, Top Cat makes a living by being a sly con artist. Although he acts incredibly lazy, he has own charm by using sarcastic remarks, alliterative wordplay, and a natural wit in dry comedy. Top Cat strives to make a fast buck, often using his mind to scam those who bump into him. He does so by taking advantage of the person he targets, usually by complimenting their traits so they would fall under his money-making schemes. Top Cat's targets vary, ranging from gullible patrons, to Officer Dibble, to even his own gang; though he does show some respect to the latter (especially Benny the Ball). In spite of his best efforts, Top Cat's elaborate schemes typically backfire, forcing him to start with his actions all over again.
Top Cat is also the main target of Officer Dibble, a beat patrol cop who bats an eye on him and his gang. The shady gentleman is a thorn on Dibble's no-nonsense authority, which infuriates him just as much as any customer Top Cat has. He lazily ignores cleaning up his own alley, and is frequently seen using Dibble's patrol telephone in spite of it only for the latter's use. No matter how many times Dibble tries to arrest him, or evict him from the area, Top Cat has nearly evaded from these actions, opting to instead continue his own way of life.
- Top Cat
- 1.1 "The $1,000,000 Derby"
- 1.2 "The Missing Heir"
- 1.3 "Hawaii, Here We Come"
- 1.4 "Top Cat Falls in Love"
- 1.5 "The Violin Player"
- 1.6 "The Unscratchables"
- 1.7 "All That Jazz"
- 1.8 "Choo Choo's Romance"
- 1.9 "A Visit from Mother"
- 1.10 "Rafeefleas"
- 1.11 "Sergeant Top Cat"
- 1.12 "Naked Town"
- 1.13 "The Maharajah of Pookajee"
- 1.14 "The Long Hot Winter"
- 1.15 "The Tycoon"
- 1.16 "The Grand Tour"
- 1.17 "Space Monkey"
- 1.18 "T.C. Minds the Baby"
- 1.19 "The Golden Fleecing"
- 1.20 "The Case of the Missing Anteater"
- 1.21 "Farewell, Mr. Dibble"
- 1.22 "The Late T.C."
- 1.23 "Choo Choo Goes Ga Ga"
- 1.24 "King for a Day"
- 1.25 "Dibble Breaks the Record"
- 1.26 "The Con Men"
- 1.27 "Dibble's Birthday"
- 1.28 "Dibble Sings Again"
- 1.29 "Griswald"
- 1.30 "Dibble's Double"
- Yogi's Treasure Hunt
- Fender Bender 500
- The Powerpuff Girls
- 3.8B "Catastrophe" (no lines)
- Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
- 3.10 "Mindless"
- 4.17 "The Death of Harvey"
- Wacky Races
- 1.14 "Off Track" (no lines)
- 2.22 "Super Wacky" (painting)
- 1.1A "Yogi's Tummy Trouble"
- 1.1B "Gorilla in Our Midst" (no lines)
- 1.4A "Must Be Jelly" (no lines)
- 1.4B "Cats Do Dance"
- 1.6A "Mr. Flabby Dabby Wabby Jabby"
- 1.6B "Ice Ice Daddy" (no lines)
- 1.7A "DNA, A-OK!"
- 1.7B "Face of the Town!" (no lines)
- 1.9A "Gotta Kiss Them All" (no lines)
- 1.10A "A Fish Sticky Situation"
- Yogi's Ark Lark
- Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats
- Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon (poster)
- Top Cat: The Movie
- Top Cat Begins
- Scoob! (mentioned)
- Hanna-Barbera's 50th: A Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration (no lines)
- The 1st 13th Annual Fancy Anvil Awards Show Program Special: Live in Stereo
- Top Cat (Dell Comics)
- Top Cat (Gold Key Comics)
- Top Cat (Charlton Comics)
- Cartoon Network Presents
- #16A "It's a Wonderful Strife"
- #16B "Stray Pets"
- #16C "Cops Cat"
- Scooby-Doo! Team-Up
- #29 "Reigning Cats and Dogs"
- Adam Strange/Future Quest Special
- #1B "Out of the Alley"
- Superman/Top Cat Special
- #1A "...The Kalien Among Us"
Yogi's Ark Lark
The Treasure Hunt
Fender Bender 500
Misplaced in Beverly Hills
Harvey Birdman Represents
In the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode "Mindless," Top Cat crashes at Harvey's place after being neutered. He was arrested for money laundering just outside Harvey's house.
Back in the New York Groove
Top Cat Begins
Everyone's Back in Jellystone!
Top Cat in the Funny Books
Flintstones visit New York World's Fair
T.C. Joins the DC Universe
The personality of Top Cat was largely inspired by Sargent "Ernie" Bilko, a character played by Phil Silvers in the 1950s TV sitcom The Phil Silvers Show. While both of these characters may seem different—one a cat who lives in an alley; another a Master Sargent working on a U.S. army base—the two have a shrewd taste for earning quick cash, using their minds to exploit their teams to do the hard work. In addition to having the same voice as Top Cat, Bilko's antics are also what get him in trouble with his higher up, which in his case is the bumbling Colonel Hall.
- Main article: Top Cat (character)/Gallery
Behind the scenes
- Top Cat bares some similarities to Hokey Wolf, who also came out the same year in 1961. The two create schemes to get what they want and both have similar voices, despite them being voiced by two different people.
- Interestingly enough, Daws Butler represented the voice of Top Cat in the TV movie Yogi's Ark Lark—a pilot of the Yogi's Gang TV series—as Arnold Stang wasn't available at the time. Since Daws was using a similar-sounding voice to Hokey, Hokey had no dialogue in the film, and this issue could have also been the reason why Top Cat didn't appear for the series.
- According to a 1982 calendar, he was born on May 29.
- For some reason, his ears poke out of his hat.
- On British merchandising, he was called "Boss Cat" instead of "Top Cat", due to trademark issues regarding British cat food with the same name as "Top Cat" during the time.
- Top Cat is very famous in Mexico under the name "Don Gato y su pandilla" (Mr. Cat and his Gang). The popularity of his series led to two movies in the 2010s, Top Cat: The Movie and Top Cat Begins; both produced by Mexican animation companies and distributed by Warner Bros. Mexico.
In popular culture
- In The Simpsons episode "The Day The Violence Died", Roger Myers Jr. says that animation "has always plagiarizes existing properties" and "without Sargent Bilko from The Phill Silvers Show, we wouldn't have Top Cat."