Tom Slick behind the wheel of The Thunderbolt Greaseslapper.


Original Medium: TV animation
Produced by: Jay Ward Productions
First Appeared: 1967
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The theme of racecar driving is a familiar one to fans of Saturday morning cartoons — Wacky Races, Motormouse & Autocat … even M.A.S.K., which was full of super technology and world conquerors in its first season, adopted that theme …

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… in the second. The first, and according to many viewers the best, was one that languishes in obscurity today. Tom Slick, which came from the producer of Rocky & Bullwinkle, goes back all the way to ABC's 1967-68 season (contemporary with Speed Racer's American arrival), when it was a segment on George of the Jungle's half-hour show.

Tom was a clean-living, stalwart hero type, voiced by Bill Scott (Dudley Do-Right, Gruffi Gummi). Scott also did the voice of Gertie Growler (his only female role), the mother of Marigold, Tom's girlfriend, who was voiced by June Foray (Granny in Tweety & Sylvester, Knothead and Splinter in Woody Woodpecker). The villain, Baron Otto Matic, was played by Paul Frees (Ludwig von Drake, Super President). Frees also did the Baron's henchman, Clutcher.

The sixth regular "character" didn't have a voice. It was Tom's vehicle, The Thunderbolt Greaseslapper, a miraculously versatile machine that could be modified into a car, motorboat, airplane, hot air balloon or whatever Tom and Otto were racing with.

George's show, with Tom as one of its two back segments and Super Chicken as the other, debuted on September 9, 1967. It was produced by Jay Ward Productions, which also did the Cap'n Crunch commercials. It ran two seasons, in which the same 17 episodes were shown over and over.

Off-screen, Tom appeared only in George's comic book, of which Gold Key (Magnus, Turok) published only two issues, both in 1969. Today, the comic books are collector's items, and the TV show is seen only in very rare reruns.


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Text ©2005-08 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Jay Ward Productions.