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The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show

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The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show
Tom and jerry comedy show title-1-.jpg
The Shnookums and Meat equivalent of MGM's animation library.
Genre: Variety
Comedy
Slapstick
Running Time: 22 Minutes (Whole)
7 Minutes (Segments)
Country: United States
Release Date: September 6 - December 13, 1980
Network(s): CBS
Spacetoon TV (United Arab Emirates, 4 March 2007 - 8 April 2012)
Distributed by: MGM Television
Starring: Frank Welker (Episodes 1-6, 8, 12-15)
Lou Scheimer
Jay Scheimer (Episodes 2, 6, and 12)
Erika Scheimer (Episodes 1-2 and 6)
Linda Gary (Episodes 6, 10, 12, and 14-15)
Seasons: 1
Episodes: 15 (45 segments)
Previous show: The Tom and Jerry Show (1975)
Next show: Tom and Jerry Kids (1990-1993)


The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show (sometimes known as The New Adventures of Tom and Jerry) is an American Saturday-morning cartoon series produced by Filmation and MGM Television, airing from 1980 to 1982 and based on Hanna-Barbera's Tom and Jerry shorts.

Bad Qualities

  1. Very poor and bland animation, due to Filmation producing their shows on a very low budget. Even The Tom and Jerry Show (1975) has better animation.
    • The color scheme is very washed-out and unappealing to look at.
    • There is barely any movement in some scenes, and most scenes look rushed (most likely because of the episodes having a runtime of 6 minutes and trying to make room for the wraparound segments).
    • Because of it, much like the Gene Deitch-era, certain episodes such as Gopher It, Tom, Spike's Birthday and Pied Piper Puss for example have out-of-nowhere jump cuts which can be distracting.
    • Some characters have really awkward walk cycles, especially Tom.
    • A lot of the animation is repeated way too many times, usually when Tom chases Jerry, to the point that the animation, gags, and movement gets predictable very quickly.
    • Some of the animation tends to look unfinished at times, with the worst and most laughable offender being in the episode "Kitty Hawk Kitty" where not only is Tom's character animation looking unfinished at the bottom of the screen in one scene, yet there's a visible white line at the bottom of the screen throughout the entire episode due to the background art looking unfinished.
    • Unlike the classic cartoons, the characters have little to no exaggerated facial expressions to show their emotions whenever they receive tons of physical pain, making those scenes seem rather lifeless and more often than not, bland.
  2. Bad and ugly character designs, especially the baby and aliens from Heavy Booking.
    • Tom's design looks like a rather poorly done copy of his Chuck Jones-era design.
      • On top of that, most of the character designs bear an uncanny resemblance to the designs from the Gene Deitch era.
      • Spike and Barney Bear's designs can look ugly at times.
      • Like the previous show, Spike's design is inconsistent as it changes throughout his appearances. Like while in the Tom and Jerry cartoons and the show's wraparound segments Spike looks like a rather poorly done copy of his Hanna-Barbera era design, in the Droopy cartoons Spike is however drawn to look more plump and portly in appearance and a bit shorter in height, making his design look more like a poorly-done and awkward hybrid of both Tom and Jerry's Spike and Tex Avery's Butch the Irish Dog's character designs.
  3. Characters like Butch, Quacker, Topsy, Lightning, and Toodles Galore are nowhere to be seen.
  4. It's a very one-sided and one-dimensional TV show with a "no good deed goes unpunished" trope. Much like the Gene Deitch-era, but worse, Tom is overly-depicted as a punching bag who gets abused too far (rather than it being trivial which kills the charm of the source material) for no discernible reason (which gets worst as the series progress), and Jerry is depicted as a rather unlikeable sadistic jerk in almost all the episodes, and each episode usually ends with Tom always losing to Jerry in the end, even though it is mostly undeserved. However, there are at least very few episodes where Tom wins in the end.
    • In short, in this show both Tom and Jerry had reverted to the respective infamous flanderizations they previously had in the Gene Deitch era, albeit much more exaggerated than usual.
    • Jerry tortures Tom for his own amusement, and sometimes Tom gets tortured for no reason at all, with the worst offenders being Heavy Booking, Gopher It, Tom, The Plain Baron Strikes Again, Kitty Hawk Kitty, and The Puppy Sitter. Like the Gene Deitch era, most of these really show they had Jerry play at his absolute worst and Tom being utterly harmless.
  5. Aside from Tom and Jerry themselves, other characters on this show have suffered from Flanderization.
    • Droopy became much less gloomy and started to become more oblivious and incompetent than he once was.
    • Nibbles/Tuffy went from a cute, funny, loveable, and innocent hungry mouse into an obnoxious jerk who likes to treat other characters poorly, especially Barney Bear, even if Barney doesn't deserve it nor hasn't done anything to Nibbles/Tuffy, just like his uncle Jerry.
    • Spike became much angrier and short-tempered than he usually is, and is far more oblivious to see that Jerry causes trouble to him to the point that he most of the time blames Tom for something he didn't do.
  6. Some of the new characters on this show are also unlikeable, (for example is one of Tom's Owners, Bertram, etc.) the worst offender being Hilda the librarian who kicks Tom to Mars after he unintentionally wakes her up from her nap.
  7. Like the Gene Deitch-era, the series' logic makes absolute zero sense, even for Tom and Jerry standards. Some examples of this include (but are not limited to);
    • In Heavy Booking, the Librarian whines like a baby after having its bottle taken from her, and the librarian's chair doesn't trip over the book while Tom did.
    • In Say What?, both Spike and the human characters are severely flanderized into complete idiots for the sake of plot contrivance, where for some weird reason they're all too stupid to believe that everything the parrot says (including whatever insults, smart-mouthing and badmouthing it says) is all coming from Tom, despite the obvious facts that not only does Tom doesn't speak, yet his mouth isn't even actually moving in sync to what the parrot is saying, even when it is right in front of them! The owner characters should especially know better as they don't know that their pets can talk at all.
  8. In the Droopy cartoons, Spike from the Tom and Jerry cartoons is awkwardly miscast as one of Droopy's antagonists in the role of Butch the Irish Dog from the Tex Avery MGM cartoons (perhaps due to Filmation's confusions between both Spike from the Tom and Jerry cartoons and Butch the Irish Dog (who was also formerly known as Spike during the earliest cartoons from the late-1940s/early-1950s) from the Tex Avery MGM cartoons).
  9. Poor voice acting:
    • While Filmation CEO Lou Scheimer did okay as Droopy, the other voices he does, including Tom and Jerry themselves, Spike, Barney Bear, and the female characters, are bad.
    • On that note, with notable exceptions[1], Nibbles/Tuffy was seriously miscast, as he sounds too old for his age, which isn't right, since Nibbles/Tuffy is supposed to be a toddler mouse. Similar in vein to Quacker's miscast voice in the previous series, Scheimer voiced him and erroneously gave him a man's voice instead of a child's voice like in the other Tom and Jerry productions.
    • Similarly, while Frank Welker was decent as Slick Wolf, he also does a poor job voicing most of the characters as well, including Spike in the first six episodes of the show (depending on your view).
    • The voice actors talk way too fast and it is hard to listen to what they're saying (maybe because Filmation sped up the voices).
    • The way most of the actors say their dialogue is just laughable especially "I'll be right back with the rest of those STUFFED ANIMALS for the museum" and "It must be, MONEY!".
  10. Overuse low-quality stock sound effects, such as those from Hanna-Barbera, which are often used at inappropriate times.
    • The stock sound effects can be misplaced at the wrong times, like in the episode "Heavy Booking" when Jerry munches on celery, which uses a very loud munching sound effect that doesn't even remotely fit for celery-munching but instead rather fits better for apple/cookie-munching.
    • Sometimes the stock sound effects used even appear out of nowhere, or overlap over each other way too much to the point that it gets noisy, or a mixture of both, like in the episode "Heavy Booking" for example.
  11. The music never fits in with the Tom & Jerry feel. In addition, much like the Pink Panther 1978-1980 shorts and the Larriva Eleven, when the music gets catchy, it stops by constantly repeating the same tune in each episode which can get on your last nerve. Some find the music catchy -- albeit in an aural virus way.
  12. With the combination of both the repetitive music score and low-quality stock sound effects used, the series tends to have horrendously monotonous soundtracks in general.
  13. Awfully written plots that feel they have no story at all (especially in the later episodes).
  14. The slapstick and violence are unfunny, plodding and poorly-made since most of the slapstick consists of the the most generic, stale, barebones and cookie-cutter gags of Jerry pelting Tom with tomatoes or making him slip on banana peels. In fact, these slapstick gags are so often repeated and overused in nearly every episode to the point that it gets really predictable in the later episodes.
    • Not helping is the fact that at the time this show was made, the show still had to deal with TV show cartoon regulations' restrictions on violence in children's television, which causes Filmation to play it way too safe with the slapstick most of the time, even more so than during the Chuck Jones-era.
  15. The pacing is very slow and awkward, which absolutely kills this show's potential with comedic timing.
  16. Lazy editing as there are many animation errors everywhere. For example, one scene in Farewell Sweet Mouse has Tom sleeping on the rug, and in the next scene he shrunk down a bit.
    • In some episodes, some scenes of the background of the living room, it is seen to be night outside. In the episode, despite being night in the living room, the backgrounds are shown to be the day.
    • Sometimes, characters tend to get miscolored in some scenes despite having a pre-established color palette; for example, Tom's eyes sometimes get miscolored white instead of yellow in certain frames in multiple episodes such as "Heavy Booking".
  17. Rather poor grasp at the source material, due to William Hanna and Joseph Barbera having no involvement with this series whatsoever.
  18. The episode title cards are generic, uncreative, and repetitive, unlike the classic cartoons, as all of them just show the same title card showing Tom and Jerry smiling and looking at the title sequence (for the Tom and Jerry episodes) or Droopy posing and winking (or also smiling at the camera) at the side of the title sequence (for the Droopy episodes).
  19. Some plots are recycled from the Hanna-Barbera Tom and Jerry cartoons;
    • Farewell Sweet Mouse is basically a remake of Fraidy Cat.
    • Heavy Booking is a watered-down version of Quiet Please!
    • Snowbrawl recycles the plot from The Night Before Christmas.
    • Mouse Over Miami is a sub-par version of Salt Water Tabby.
    • Save That Mouse feels like a ripoff of Mouse for Sale.
    • Jerry's Country Cousin feels like a duplicate of Jerry's Cousin.
    • Say What? recycles some elements from The Framed Cat and Kitty Foiled.
  20. Multiple continuity errors within the series, even by Tom and Jerry standards. For example:
    • In the episode "School for Cats", Spike seems to be completely fine with Tom chasing Jerry, despite having scolded Tom constantly for chasing Jerry in numerous episodes such as "Get Along, Little Jerry" and "Mouse Over Miami", hence resulting Spike to come off as hypocrite.
    • Throughout the series, Tom's owners seem to be unable to decide on whether they want Tom to chase mice, or detest over Tom chasing mice. A good example of this is that while in the episodes "Gopher It, Tom" and "Save That Mouse" Tom gets scolded by his owners for chasing Jerry, yet in the episode "School For Cats" Tom gets sent to Sergeant Spike's School For Cats by these same owners due to being "lazy" and not chasing mice, and in another episode "Most Wanted Cat" Tom gets threatened by this same owner of his that he'll lose his job if he doesn't chase mice even though he's clearly shown to be chasing Jerry earlier in that episode, hence showing off real hypocrisy.
  21. Similar to Filmation's Fraidy Cat, Some of the new characters in an episode are one-time characters and barely get any screen-time at all, a good example is Tom's love interest Gwen, they hardly get time for each other (the fact there was no episode revolves around Tom falling for female cat).
  22. False advertising: The "second season" of the show's original run turns out to be nothing but repeated re-runs of the show's first and only season mainly due to it's low budget, which can be incredibly disappointing to viewers of the time since it resulted to nothing new.

Good Qualities

  1. At least Tom and Jerry are back to the chase formula, unlike in The Tom and Jerry Show, where they were friends and there was no violence allowed due to cartoon regulations at the time.
  2. It's the first Tom and Jerry series to Include other MGM stars such as Droopy, and with them starring in separate Droopy episodes, which would happen again in Tom and Jerry Kids.
  3. Other MGM characters like Barney Bear would also appear in wraparound segments that played before each episode.
  4. The animation is occasionally smooth and decent, despite being poor and bland for the most part (as mentioned above in BQ #1).
  5. Tom himself is still a likable character as usual.
    • Droopy, Slick Wolf, and Barney are likable as well.
    • Spike can be likable mainly in the Droopy episodes despite being miscast in the role of Droopy's antagonist in place of Tex Avery's Butch the Irish Dog.
    • Tyke is also likable as well, as he has his funny moments in the wraparound segments and is one of the characters who hasn't been flanderized.
    • To a lesser extent, Jerry and Nibbles can sometimes get a few moments of being likable.
  6. Jerry does lose a few times such as in Incredible Shrinking Cat, When the Rooster Crows, No Museum Peace, Superstocker, The Great Mousini, and Mechanical Failure. Tom won in Most Wanted Cat (the only episode where Tom and Jerry both win, and are mutual), Incredible Shrinking Cat, When the Rooster Crows, and Superstocker.
  7. Some jokes are funny (like the short raining Umbrella gags with Spike & Droopy with Slick, Tom throwing out valuable items while searching for Jerry in cereal boxes, the mad scientist, and the king cat stuttering " I dub thee-thee-thee-thee-thee!"), while most of them are not.
  8. Title cards at least returned to the series after being absent from The Tom and Jerry Show (1975) most likely to avoid confusion.
  9. Droopy's voice isn't bad, since Welker tried his best.
    • Frank Welker at least did a decent job voicing Slick Wolf. He'd later reprise his role as the character in Tom & Jerry Kids.
  10. Tyke and Nibbles/Tuffy return to the series after being absent from The Tom and Jerry Show (1975).
    • Some Tom and Jerry characters from the original cartoons do make cameos on this show from time to time such as Meathead the Cat living at the city dump on New Mouse in the House, Muscles appearing on Jerry's Country Cousin, and Butch the Cat appearing as one of King Arthur's knights on A Connecticut Mouse in King Arthur's Court.
  11. There are some good/decent episodes such as:
    • Most Wanted Cat
    • New Mouse in the House
    • Invasion of the Mouse Snatchers
    • Pied Piper Puss
    • A Connecticut Mouse in King Arthur's Court
    • Farewell, Sweet Mouse (Which was a good way to start the series)
    • Incredible Shrinking Cat
    • When the Rooster Crows
    • Snowbrawl
    • Get Along, Little Jerry
    • Pie in the Sky
    • Superstocker
    • Jerry's Country Cousin
    • Stage Fright (which ended the series on a decent note)
    • Most of Droopy's episodes are decent and are mostly better than the Tom and Jerry's episodes themselves (even if Droopy's episodes are also flawed).
  12. The wraparound segments can be very unpredictable.
  13. The music is admittedly pretty good and catchy, especially the hilarious, epic theme music.
  14. The show did give ideas for the franchise that haven't been done before. For example, as stated already, it adds in the other non-Tom and Jerry characters, including Slick Wolf, Droopy, and Barney Bear, which is carried over in other medias
  15. Without this show we wouldn't likely have an idea of Droopy and other MGM characters being in many Tom and Jerry media.

Reception

Much like The Tom and Jerry Show preceding it five years prior, the show received generally negative reviews from critics and fans alike for its poor quality animation and production values, its poorly-drawn characters, its terrible voice acting, repetitive music scores, the poor and watered-down usage of slapstick and violence, the overall slow and awkward pacing that killed any comedic timing, and the one-sidedness of Tom and Jerry's battling rivalry (a mistake that was once repeated during the notorious Gene Deitch-era), though the Droopy segments received marginally better reception (at least, for the most part, despite also sharing a fair amount of flaws). Although, the series received minor praise for restoring the series' familiar slapstick chase format for the first time since the theatrical shorts and reintroduced most of the classic MGM cartoon characters after a long absence in the 60s and 70s.

Despite its negative reception, both it and The Tom and Jerry Show have high IMDb ratings.

Episodes with Their Own Pages

Trivia

  • Although Tom and Jerry were originally developed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, MGM was not satisfied with the watered-down TV version The New Tom & Jerry Show (1975) that they have created for ABC and gave competing animation studio Filmation a chance to create their own version in 1980.
  • Frank Welker provided all the voices in the Droopy segment for the first six episodes, but because of the 1980 Screen Actors Guild strike was unable to continue. Producer Lou Scheimer had to fill as a voice actor instead.
  • As of now, Warner Bros. has no further plans to release this show in a DVD box set due to legal issues involving MGM outsourcing the work to Filmation. However the episode "Jerry's Country Cousin" was released on the Deluxe Anniversary Collection (a 2-disc set celebrating the 70th anniversary of Tom and Jerry).
    • Despite this, the complete series is also available for streaming on the Boomerang app.
  • John Kricfalusi, creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show worked as a layout artist for this show.
    • Eddie Fitzgerald, also from The Ren & Stimpy Show, also worked as a storyboard artist for this show.
  • This show lasted the same amount of days as The Tom and Jerry Show did.
  • This was the final Tom and Jerry production to be produced by MGM until it was produced by Turner Entertainment, which bought the MGM's pre-1986 library.

Videos

A riff on "Heavy Booking", an episode from this show.
A riff on the entire show.

Comments

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