The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show (also known as The New Adventures of Tom and Jerry in other countries) is an animated television program produced by Filmation for Metro-Goldwyn Mayer in 1980, on the CBS Network for Saturday mornings.
This was the fifth incarnation of the popular Tom and Jerry cartoon franchise, and the second made-for-television production. The series was notable in being the first attempt since the closing of the MGM studio in the 1950s to restore the original format of the cat and mouse team. After the original 114 theatrical shorts run of the Hanna-Barbera directed series, the characters were leased to other animation studios who changed the designs, and eliminated all of the supporting characters. The previous made for TV Tom and Jerry Show for the ABC Network in 1975 was produced by Hanna and Barbera, but had made the cat and mouse friends in most of the episodes, due to the reaction against violence in cartoons.
The version by Filmation (Hanna-Barbera's leading competitor for TV animation at the time) was able to restore the familiar slapstick chase format, and reintroduced not only Spike, Tyke and Nibbles, but also some of the other MGM stars. Half hour shows would consist of two 7 minute Tom & Jerry episodes, plus one Droopy Dog cartoon in the middle, featuring some other characters such as Barney Bear. Spike from Tom and Jerry was used in many of these Droopy episodes as well, filling in for the other "Spike" bulldog created by Tex Avery for the old Droopy films, who was not used as a separate character here. The villainous wolf from the classic series was also included, and named "Slick Wolf". Still missing was the "Red Hot Riding Hood" character, who would not reappear until the following made for TV series, Tom & Jerry Kids, in 1990.
The show's opening begins with Tom chasing Jerry through a blank yellow screen. They continue chasing, as all of the other stars build a giant "Tom & Jerry" sign. (Similar to the second opening of Tom & Jerry Kids). The familiar rotating executive producer credit of Lou Scheimer and Norm Prescott briefly runs as Tom chases Jerry past the screen, knocking things over and running over others along the way.
After the opening sequence would begin the wraparound segments, hosted by Droopy. He would start by painting the whole background with a single large brush stroke (making stylistic use of Filmation's characteristic "limited animation" technique), and he and the other speaking characters would engage in brief comedic sketches. (Like Droopy's opening poem "Roses are red, violets are blue, painting's my job, that's what I do; cute and somewhat wet").
In addition to the animation, the show was characterized by very limited music score; all of the episodes, both Tom & Jerry and Droopy, used the same stock, mostly created new for the series, but consisting of only a handful of largely synthesized tunes, either with minor variations or played at different speeds or pitches. This did match the chase scenes, but gave the episodes a very monotonous soundtrack, making these episodes "stand out" to many Tom & Jerry viewers when they aired. Where the original series and the third series by Chuck Jones would have favorable endings for Tom occasionally, this series followed the second series by Gene Deitch in never having definite "wins" for Tom (although in "When The Rooster Crows", he and Jerry ended off mutual). Also similar to the Deitch films is the character design, in them being drawn similar to the original, but still slightly different. The Droopy episodes would usually feature Slick and sometimes Spike being antagonists to Droopy. Barney had miscellaneous roles, such as being the boss of movie studio guard Droopy in "Star Crossed Wolf", and a frightful companion to Droopy in a haunted house in "Scared Bear".
The series lasted for two seasons (with the second season consisting of reruns) and the individual episodes were eventually added to syndicated Tom & Jerry packages, and also occasionally appeared on Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Most voices were by Frank Welker and Lou Scheimer.
Farewell, Sweet Mouse: On a rainy night, while being disrupted by Jerry, Tom throws him out. Believing him to be dead, Tom is tricked into thinking Jerry is a ghost.
Droopy's Restless Night: Slick Wolf is the construction foreman on a building. Droopy and Spike are his workers. Droopy keeps getting Spike in trouble with the boss all day. Droopy falls asleep, and as he sleeps, Spike has him finish the building. Slick comes in the next day and congratulates Droopy, while Spike is behind a brick wall.
New Mouse in the House: Tom uses a remote control female mouse to lure and trap Jerry, but his plans backfire and his owner kicks him out.
Heavy Booking: Tom chases Jerry in a library where Jerry tries to make noise to wake the enormous sleeping librarian and her baby, whom the Librarian "forces" Tom to babysit.
Matterhorn Droopy: Droopy wants to be a rescue dog. Pretending to own the rescue school, Slick Wolf takes his money and tries to do him in.
The Puppy Sitter: While Tom is left with Spike's little Tyke, trying to keep him amused, Jerry tries to make Tom's job difficult.
"Most Wanted Cat / Pest in the West / Cat in the Fiddle"
September 20, 1980
Most Wanted Cat: Tired of Jerry toying with him, Tom leaves the house. Jerry tries hard to get Tom back before his owner calls pest control.
Pest in the West: Droopy is a stagecoach driver. Slick Wolf and Spike make several attempts to rob the coach (Spike frequently dressing in drag to stop the coach), but they are not successful, and they eventually land in jail.
Cat in the Fiddle: Tom plays a violin, but Jerry tries to stop Tom due to his cacophonic tunes and they trash the orchestra.
"Invasion of the Mouse Snatchers / The Incredible Droop / The Plaid Baron Strikes Again"
October 25, 1980
Invasion of the Mouse Snatchers: Tom tricks Jerry into thinking he's an alien that's going to blow up the earth. Jerry gets revenge by activating his secret weapon.
The Incredible Droop: An oriental mad scientist has invented a mystery ray gun. He tells Droopy and Barney Bear to guard it from people. Droopy must protect it from falling into the wrong hands by using a rather unusual method: a Jekyll and Hyde formula. Slick Wolf tries to steal it, but Droopy keeps turning into a large monster, who then beats him up. Droopy frees himself and Barney from Slick's trap, and chases Slick away.
The Plaid Baron Strikes Again: Tom chases Jerry as he flies in a model airplane, destroying Spike's big plane model in the process.
"Incredible Shrinking Cat / Scared Bear / When the Rooster Crows"
November 1, 1980
Incredible Shrinking Cat: Jerry gets hold of a mad scientist's size modifier in order to shrink Tom and enlarge himself.
Scared Bear: Droopy and Barney Bear explore an old house looking for treasure. Slick Wolf decides to scare them off by disguising himself as a ghost.
When the Rooster Crows: Jerry uses a stranded circus rooster to rudely awaken Tom, but it gives itself away with an intensified crowing.
"School for Cats / Disco Droopy / Pied Piper Puss"
December 6, 1980
School for Cats: Tom is sent to a military school for cats, coached by Spike. Jerry makes Tom's rigorous training a torment.
Disco Droopy: Droopy enters a disco contest at The Slipped Disco nightclub. His opponent is a conceited Slick Wolf, and the master of ceremonies is Spike. Despite Slick's many attempts to beat Droopy, he loses the contest, and Droopy wins.
Pied Piper Puss: Tom is sent to catch Jerry and Nibbles using a flute to lure them, until Nibbles gets a hold of it.
"Under the Big Top / Lumber Jerks / Gopher It, Tom"
January 3, 1981
Under the Big Top: Jerry gets Tom involved in a circus act and proceeds to make his act a dangerous and humiliating performance.
Lumber Jerks: Droopy and Slick Wolf are competing against each other in a series of lumber-related games.
Gopher It, Tom: Tom is sent by his master to catch a gopher eating the garden vegetables, but Jerry thwarts his efforts.
"Snowbrawl / Getting the Foot / Kitty Hawk Kitty"
February 7, 1981
Snowbrawl: Tom and Jerry outsmart each other to get one locked outside the house.
Getting the Foot: Droopy and Slick Wolf are photographers for the Daily Bugle. They are assigned to get a picture of Bigfoot (kind of a purple Tazmanian Devil), and Slick tries various schemes to sabotage Droopy's pictures, including dressing in drag as a female Bigfoot. Droopy ends up getting his pictures, and Bigfoot throws Slick in the newspaper press.
Kitty Hawk Kitty: In 1908, Tom was chosen to be test pilot of the Wright Brothers airplanes, but Jerry was credited for a successful flight.
"Get Along, Little Jerry / Star-Crossed Wolf / Spike's Birthday"
March 21, 1981
Get Along, Little Jerry: Tom chases Jerry on a Texas ranch, where he causes inconvenience for Spike and gets tangled in Cowboy events.
Star-Crossed Wolf: Slick Wolf tries to get in a Hollywood movie studio, only to be foiled by security guard Droopy.
Spike's Birthday: Jerry takes advantage of Tom, who is left to guard Spike's party grub, and Tom barely escapes his predicament.
"No Museum Peace / A Day at the Bakery / Mouse Over Miami"
April 4, 1981
No Museum Peace: Tom chases after Jerry and Nibbles around a museum to get his fish back, but Spike keeps kicking him out.
A Day at the Bakery: Droopy and Spike work at Barney's Bakery, where there seems to be trouble making bread.
Mouse Over Miami: Spike restricts Tom from catching Jerry, but Tom tries to anyway and Spike sends Tom back to his house in the middle of winter.
"The Trojan Dog / Foreign Legion Droopy / Pie in the Sky"
January 2, 1982
The Trojan Dog: Jerry uses a robot dog to scare off Tom and access the fridge. Tom tries to use a Trojan dog to get at Jerry, but the plan backfires.
Foreign Legion Droopy: Droopy is sent out on a dangerous assignment. He must track down the wolf in sheik's clothing!
Pie in the Sky: A peckish Tom chases Jerry around a construction site, getting pinned down by Spike.
"Save That Mouse / Old Mother Hubbard / Say What?"
February 6, 1982
Save That Mouse: Tom's owner's sister mistakes Jerry for a hamster and won't let Tom touch him.
Old Mother Hubbard: Droopy is in Storybook Land. Red Riding Hood is delivering food to Grandma's house, and Slick Wolf tries to steal the food. Droopy foils Slick, and he goes to visit Goldilocks. She lives with three gorillas (subletted from the Three Bears), and while Slick looks for food to steal, the gorillas return and chase him away.
Say What?: Tom's owner has received a parrot. When Tom rounds on him, the parrot and Jerry work together to make Tom's chase double trouble.
"Superstocker / Droopy's Good Luck Charm / The Great Mousini"
May 1, 1982
Superstocker: Tom chases Jerry in a supermarket in order to protect the food products. They both end up trashing the place.
Droopy's Good Luck Charm: Slick Wolf sells Droopy a good-luck charm for $5. Spike tells him that it was really a good-luck charm, and the two try various ways of getting it back, with their attempts backfiring each time. Spike offers to buy it back for $10, and Droopy sells it back to him. Slick and Spike see a sidewalk salesman selling about 30 of them, and Slick chases Spike for wasting their money.
The Great Mousini: Jerry joins a circus as the escape artist Mousini with Tom as his co-star. They lose their jobs after their latest performance.
"Jerry's Country Cousin / The Great Diamond Heist / Mechanical Failure"
August 7, 1982
Jerry's Country Cousin: Jerry's identical, yet strong cousin comes to visit. Tom retreats after Jerry's cousin ruins his mistress' daughter's wedding buffet with a herd of pigs.
The Great Diamond Heist: Inspector Droopy searches for a stolen diamond.
Mechanical Failure: Tom's owner has brought a robot maid, which Tom and Jerry use against each other until it goes out of control.
"A Connecticut Mouse in King Arthur's Cork / The Great Train Rubbery / Stage Struck"
September 4, 1982
A Connecticut Mouse in King Arthur's Cork: Tom dreams his chase with Jerry as a medieval quest scenario.
The Great Train Rubbery: Droopy is the mail clerk on a train out West, and receives a package to deliver to a bank. Slick Wolf hears this, and he proceeds to try and steal it, figuring that it must be money. After a number of attempts, he succeeds, but is arrested by the sheriff. The package contains not cash, but "Wanted" posters for Slick Wolf. Droopy receives the reward for his capture. This is the last Droopy short.
Stage Struck: Jealous of Spike's appreciation for Jerry's dance talent, Tom tries to interfere, but they go along with their performance.