November 06, 2021



(ABC, September 6-December 13, 1975)
Hanna-Barbera Productions, MGM Television
John Stephenson – Tom, Jerry (both vocal effects), Spike
Don Messick – Spike, various
Joe E. Ross – Spike

For the history of Tom and Jerry, check out the post here.

            18 years after their last time, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera decided to reunite with their old friends and acquired the rights from MGM to produce an all-new animated series featuring the pair; the first time any content would be made exclusively for television. They pitched the idea to ABC by showing their executives five of their original shorts. While the executives reportedly laughed their heads off, the reality was that because of current children’s television standards they could never air anything remotely close to the violent content found in those productions despite the fact that CBS had been running them between 1965-72 with the only alteration being the replacement of the Mammy Two Shoes character. Knowing this, Hanna and Barbera offered a key change to the dynamic: this time, Tom and Jerry would be friends.

Hanna-Barbera's Tom and Jerry.

            Hanna-Barbera’s The Tom and Jerry Show (also known as The New Tom and Jerry Show) did just that: Tom and Jerry (vocal effects by John Stephenson) were no longer bitter rivals (unless they were competing against each other in some kind of competition), instead they were friends who went on misadventures together. They would be co-workers as farmers, police officers or janitors working together to deal with a common problem or annoyance; roommates dealing with annoying house guests or home invaders; or just hapless victims of circumstance that put them in the wrong place at the wrong time. Instead of slapstick, the comedy was meant to come from the situations the characters often found themselves in or the characters they interacted with. Spike (voiced at various times by Stephenson, Don Messick and Joe E. Ross) was on hand as an occasional friend and often rival, helping to perpetuate the pratfalls that befell Tom and Jerry.

No longer rivals.

            The Tom and Jerry Show debuted on ABC on September 6, 1975. In keeping with Hanna-Barbera’s limited animation practices, Jerry was given a bowtie to allow them to animate just his head independently from his body. However, one aspect they absolutely retained was the fact that Tom and Jerry were mute, allowing other characters to do all the speaking courtesy of the likes of Stephenson, Messick, Ross, Henry Corden, Kathy Gori, Alan Oppenheimer, Lennie Weinrib, Janet Waldo, Jean Vander Pyl, Hal Smith and Frank Welker. Each episode was comprised of three segments written by Bill Ackerman, Larz Bourne, Tom Dagenais, Alan Dinehart, Don Jurwich, Joel Kane, Dick Kinney and Frank Ridgeway, with music by Hoyt Curtin and Paul DeKorte.

Spike gets in on the fun. Sometimes.

            Throughout its run, Tom and Jerry was paired up with other Hanna-Barbera properties to form an hour-long programming block. From its debut it was paired with The Great Grape Ape Show to form The New Tom and Jerry/Grape Ape Show. As part of ABC’s Thanksgiving Funshine Festival, a special episode aired on Thanksgiving afternoon with the rest of the Saturday morning line-up. The following September, the all-new The Mumbly Cartoon Show was added while the other two shows aired reruns, forming The Tom and Jerry/Grape Ape/Mumbly Show. However, that incarnation only lasted until that November as Grape Ape was broken off into his own half-hour of reruns, leaving The Tom and Jerry/Mumbly Show. Despite remaining on the network until the fall of 1977, Tom and Jerry was only produced for one season. Fans—and particularly MGM—weren’t too pleased with what Hanna-Barbera had made and pulled the plug on any future production on the show. Once ABC let go of the show, MGM removed the intro and credits and integrated the segments into their theatrical short package for future syndication. MGM would try their hand at television again in 1980 with Hanna-Barbera rival Filmation, but that’s a story for another time.

More Tom and Jerry to come.

            In 1986, Turner Broadcasting System purchased the pre-1986 MGM library and began airing the shorts on their networks TBS, Cartoon Network and Boomerang (sometimes with the titles and credits intact). They also aired in Canada on Teletoon and Teletoon Retro, and had been airing for a decade on Seven Network in Australia since 1985. To date, the series has not seen a complete home media release. The first episode was released as part of Warner Home Video’s Saturday Morning Cartoons: the 1970S Volume 2 in 2009 and as part of the collected Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1960s-1980s in 2018. “Cosmic Cat and Meteor Mouse” was included in the Tom and Jerry: The Deluxe Anniversary Collection set in 2010. An episode was also included in the digital version of Tom and Jerry: School’s Out and two episodes on Tom and Jerry: House Pests. With the exception of 5 of the segments, the majority of the series is available to stream on the Boomerang streaming service intermixed with the theatrical shorts.

“No Way Stowaways / The Ski Bunny / Stay Awake or Else…” (9/6/75) – Caught stowing away Tom and Jerry must compete to become a cabin boy or be thrown overboard. / Tom and Jerry compete for the affections of a pretty feline. / Jerry tries to keep Tom awake and employed after he spends all night partying.
“No Bones About It / An Ill Wind / Beach Bully” (9/13/75) – Tom and Jerry try to save their museum jobs by getting a dinosaur bone back from Spike. / Tom and Jerry fight over a map to a gold mine that an outlaw has his sights on as well. / Tom and Jerry get revenge on a cat that spoiled their beach day.
“The Mammoth Manhunt / The Wacky World of Sports / Robin Ho Ho” (9/20/75) – Tom and Jerry must get a revived wooly mammoth back to Alaska. / Tom uses dirty tricks to beat Jerry in a decathlon. / Tom and Jerry engage in a series of tests to join Robin Ho Ho’s Merry Men.
“Safe But Not Sorry / Gopher Broke / The Super Bowler” (9/27/75) – A mischievous puppy sabotages Tom and Jerry’s attempts to deliver a heavy safe to a house on a large hill. / Tom and Jerry try to get rid of the gopher eating their vegetables. / Tom uses dirty tricks to try and beat Jerry at bowling.
“Tricky McTrout / The Tennis Menace / Cosmic Cat and Meteor Mouse” (10/4/75) – Attempting to catch a fish keeps landing Tom and Jerry in trouble with a park ranger. / Tom uses dirty tricks to try and beat Jerry at tennis. / Tom and Jerry attempt to watch their favorite superhero show without waking Spike.
“The Castle Whiz / Grim and Bear It / The Flying Sorceress” (10/11/75) – Tom and Jerry spend the night in a haunted castle. / Forest rangers Tom and Jerry try to protect a bear cub without angering his mother. / A witch takes on Tom and Jerry as helpers.
“The Kitten Sitters / Termites Plus Two / Planet’s Pest” (10/18/75) – Tom and Jerry take in six kittens without telling Spike, who’s driven crazy when he sees the same one everywhere. / Tom and Jerry must protect their house from a gang of termite bikers. / A shape-changing alien pits Tom, Jerry and Spike against each other while eating all their food.
“The Hypochondriac Lion / Give ‘Em the Air / The Egg and Tom and Jerry” (10/25/75) – Veterinarians Tom and Jerry must remove a splinter from a nervous lion’s paw. / Tom and Jerry must beat the despicable Purple Baron in an airplane race. / Tom ends up mothering a baby eagle while his mother thinks Jerry is hers.
“Watch Out, Watch Dog / The Super Cyclists / The Police Kitten” (11/1/75) – Watchdog Spike mistakes janitors Tom and Jerry for prowlers. / Tom and Jerry compete in a cross-country motorcycle race. / Tom and Jerry resent having to train the new female feline police officer who ends up being better at their jobs than they are.
“The Outfoxed Fox / The Towering Fiasco / The Lost Duckling” (11/8/75) – A fox takes refuge from a hound in Tom and Jerry’s house. / Dog walkers Tom and Jerry end up with a sheepdog that keeps getting into trouble. / Tom and Jerry try to help a duckling get south for the winter.
“Beanstalk Buddies / Two Stars Are Born / Son of Gopher Broke” (11/15/75) – Tom and Jerry climb a beanstalk and find themselves at a giant’s castle. / Tom and Jerry are hired as stuntmen for a movie. / Groundskeepers Tom and Jerry must stop a gopher from ruining their employer’s garden.
“The Sorcerer’s Apprentices / Hold That Pose / The Supercape Caper” (11/22/75) – When a sorcerer takes on Tom and Jerry as his new apprentices, his old apprentice challenges them to a magic duel. / Tom and Jerry try to get a photograph of an extremely rare and elusive bird. / A superhero that’s lost his nerve deputizes Tom and Jerry to take on a group of villains.
“Chickenrella / Double Trouble Crow / Jerry’s Nephew” (11/27/75) – Tom and Jerry end up in a dream helping Cindy and her blundering fairy godmother that turned her into a chicken. / Farmers Tom and Jerry must keep a cow from eating their corn crops. / Jerry’s nephew comes to visit and keeps ending up in harm’s way.
“See Dr. Jackal and Hide / Planet of the Dogs / The Campout Cutup” (11/29/75) – Dr. Jackal’s height formula turns him into a monster instead. / Tom and Jerry run from Spike and end up on a rocket bound for a planet populated by cat and mice-hating dogs. / A mosquito puts a damper on Tom and Jerry’s camping trip.
“Triple Trouble / The Bull Fighters / The Cruise Kitty” (12/6/75) – While a squirrel may have saved his tree from Tom and Jerry, they still must deal with Spike bulldozing the forest. / Bullfighter Tom thinks he has it easy when he’s put against a bull that likes him, but then he ends up being injured and replaced with a meaner bull. / Tom and Jerry end up accidentally stowing away on a cruise ship and must evade security officer Spike.
“It’s No Picnic / The Big Feet / The Great Motorboat Race” (12/13/75) – A giant ant crashes Tom and Jerry’s picnic. / Tom and Jerry are recruited to help trap the sasquatch that’s been scaring away lumberjacks. / Tom and Jerry compete in a boat race.

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