Bye Bye, T.C.
December 22, 2009 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Arnold Stang has passed away at the age of 91. While best known as a movie 'milquetoast' (co-owner of the gas station Jonathan Winters destroys in "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World"; sidekick to 'Arnold Strong' in "Hercules in New York"), he was also a cartoon voice actor who was the pugnacious mouse 'Cousin Hoiman' in in the repetitive "Herman & Catnip" toons and the alley-cat-con-man "Top Cat" (channeling Phil Silvers).
posted by oneswellfoop (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Goodnight sweet nebbish...

posted by jonp72 at 1:11 PM on December 22, 2009

posted by Thorzdad at 1:13 PM on December 22, 2009

posted by strixus at 1:18 PM on December 22, 2009

He had a funny voice and knew how to use it to his comedic advantage, but he also had great comedic timing and could get a big laugh from his expression and the anticipation of what he was about to say. I love all of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, but that gas station segment still cracks me as much as it did the first time I saw it in grade school.

I just listened to his Waggish Tales album from the late fifties not too long ago - two weird and enthusiastic readings of Peter And The Wolf and Ferdinand The Bull. I got it thinking it was comedy record, but it's a children's album. But still quite fun.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 1:20 PM on December 22, 2009

I just read about this. He had a long life, and memorable career.

posted by cmgonzalez at 1:21 PM on December 22, 2009

posted by Obscure Reference at 1:28 PM on December 22, 2009

for the record, I'm not too thrilled with ObitFilter and after seeing Kim Peek and Anne Nixon Cooper (not to mention Duke Nukem and the last tiger in India), I thought today had been enough of a downer already. But I am a lifelong cartoon freak who grew upon early Hanna-Barbera and "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" was the first movie I was allowed to see without my parents (and got in trouble because I sat through the 3-hour epic twice, causing my parents much worry), so I did this reluctantly and worked to provide multiple links (The "Madx4 World" site is the work of MeFi's Own stavrosthewonderchicken).


posted by oneswellfoop at 1:32 PM on December 22, 2009

Here's a somewhat recent interview with Arnold discussing Top Cat. And if you want to see him working, here's some sitcom action with Arnold (Broadside with Dick Sargent).
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 1:33 PM on December 22, 2009

I loved Top Cat. I loved the Phil Silvers show, too, and they're basically the same.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:54 PM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, I loved him. He was one of those guys you saw everywhere in everything. And I loved Top Cat and never realized he was the voice of that character.

posted by OolooKitty at 2:17 PM on December 22, 2009

Aw, man.
posted by davejay at 2:40 PM on December 22, 2009

Odd to see this in the paper today after we watched the [overwrought, cheesy, dated] Man With the Golden Arm on Sunday. Stang was definitely a notable (and familiar seeming) presence in the film.
posted by stevil at 3:47 PM on December 22, 2009

He had a funny voice....

More than one, it appears. I had no idea he was Top Cat.
posted by IndigoJones at 3:52 PM on December 22, 2009

Yeah, Top Cat was quite a different character from what he usually portrayed.

Funny man.

posted by evilcolonel at 4:11 PM on December 22, 2009

No, no, no!
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:04 PM on December 22, 2009

Just today I was reading this piece on Arnold Stang at WFMU's website.
posted by Dr. Wu at 6:12 PM on December 22, 2009

I remember AS from the Milton Berle Show (early 1950s) where he was a regular with a dumb recurring gag--whenever anyone said "make up", he would rush out with a huge fluffy mop-head full of powder and hit Berle with it.

Stang & Berle can be seen here here starting at about 1'18''. Searching youtube for Stang Berle got quite a number of other hits too.
posted by hexatron at 6:15 PM on December 22, 2009

I highly recommend "Hercules in New York" for the next time you're in the mood for a movie so bad it's good.

. (I feel like it should be a smaller than normal .)
posted by callmejay at 8:06 PM on December 22, 2009

posted by Smart Dalek at 5:03 AM on December 23, 2009

I loved 'Top Cat' too (except it was called 'Boss Cat' in the UK because of a cat food sold here called 'Top Cat'. But the credits were exactly the same, and I never tired of either the opening or closing credits.

I would never have put the nerdy face of Arnold Stang with the coolest cat on TV, but thank you, Arnold, for giving me such happy TC times in my childhood.
posted by essexjan at 2:22 PM on December 23, 2009

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