Pencil on PaperSize:
12" x 11" (310mm x 270mm)Date:
1961This is the original Pencil drawing by Hanna-Barbera.
This is a sequence of original pencil storyboards from the Hanna-Barbera studios. Each cartoon starts life as a series of consecutive pencil storyboard drawings before being painted into animation scenes. It is very rare that these drawings survive. The art is professionally framed.
The central character, Top Cat (called T.C. by close friends, "pro-vi-ding it's with dignity" according to the lyrics of the theme song) is the leader of a gang of Manhattan alley cats living in Hoagy's Alley: Fancy-Fancy, Spook, Benny the Ball, Brain, and Choo Choo.
Top Cat and his gang were inspired by the East Side Kids, characters from a series of popular 1940s 'B' movies, but their more immediate roots lay in The Phil Silvers Show, a late-1950s military comedy whose lead character (Sergeant Bilko, played by Silvers) was a crafty con-man. Maurice Gosfield, who played Private Duane Doberman in The Phil Silvers Show, provided the voice for Benny the Ball in Top Cat, and Benny's rotund appearance was based on Gosfield's. Additionally, Arnold Stang's vocal characterisation of the lead character, the eponymous Top Cat, was based on an impression of Phil Silvers' voice.
Other influences include the movie Guys and Dolls, in which actor Stubby Kaye played a short, stout, streetwise gambler: a virtual Benny the Ball prototype. Lastly, an unlikely contender (as it also came from Hanna Barbera) was the character Hokey Wolf on The Huckleberry Hound Show, whose segment also paralleled The Phil Silvers Show. Professionally matted and framed.Click for larger image ...
Top Cat in the Frame