The Dick Tracy Show

The Dick Tracy Show

Infobox Television
show_name = The Dick Tracy Show

caption = DVD release of the 1961 cartoon.
show_name_2 = "The Adventures of Dick Tracy"
genre = Animation / Crime / Adventure / Comedy
creator = Chester Gould
writer = Homer Brightman
Bob Ogle
Al Bertino
Dick Kinney
Ed Nofziger
Chester Gould
director = Grant Simmons
Clyde Geronimi
Ray Patterson
Brad Case
Steve Clark
John Walker
David Detiege
Paul Fennell
Abe Levitow
creative_director =
developer =
presenter = UPA
starring =
voices = Paul Frees
Everett Sloane
Mel Blanc
Johnny Coons
Jerry Hausner
Benny Rubin
narrated =
theme_music_composer = Carl Brandt
opentheme =
endtheme =
composer = Carl Brandt
George Steiner
country = USA
language = English
num_seasons = 1
num_episodes = 130
list_episodes =
executive_producer = Peter DeMet
Henry G. Saperstein
co_exec = Glan Heish
producer =
supervising_producer =
asst_producer = Earl Jonas
co-producer =
editor = Ted Baker
story_editor =
location =
cinematography =
camera =
runtime = 5 minutes
network = First-run syndication
picture_format = Color (Technicolor)
audio_format = Mono
first_run =
first_aired = January 1, 1961
last_aired = January 1, 1962
preceded_by =
followed_by =
related = "The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo"
website =
production_website =
imdb_id = 0281433
tv_com_id = 19061

"The Dick Tracy Show" is an American animated television series based on Chester Gould's comic strip crime fighter. The series was produced from 1961 to 1962 by UPA.


Tracy employed a series of cartoony subordinate flatfoots to fight crime each week, contacting them on his two-way wristwatch radio. Everett Sloane voiced Tracy, while Mel Blanc and Paul Frees voiced many of the other characters, including:
* Manuel Tijuana Guadalajara Tampico "Go-Go" Gomez, Jr., essentially a human version of Speedy Gonzales, another Blanc character, though Frees did his voice for most of the series.
* Joe Jitsu, a parody of Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto (featuring many racist stereotypes of Chinese and Japanese culture). He is an intelligent detective who fights with martial arts (repeatedly slamming his victim to the ground while saying "So sorry!... Excuse prease!... Begging your pardon!"). He is named after the Japanese martial art of jujitsu. Benny Rubin provided his voice throughout the series.
* Hemlock Holmes, a Cockney police bulldog (named in honor of Sherlock Holmes and with a voice patterned after Cary Grant). He is backed up by his own police squad, The Retouchables (named after The Untouchables, but behaving more like the Keystone Kops).
* Heap O'Calorie, a parody of Andy Devine, a cop with a serious weight problem and a penchant for stealing apples from an outdoor fruit stand. Before setting out on an assignment, Heap would invariably get the "word on the street" from a bongo-pounding beatnik (named "Nick") who communicated solely by beating coded messages on his drums.A running gag had a gangster's bullet fired point-blank at one of the detectives, who would yell, "Hold everything!" The bullet would obediently screech to a halt and "wait", while the detective called headquarters for further instructions. Action would resume only after the sign-off catchphrase, "Six-two and even, over and out" was spoken at the end of the call.

Villains included Pruneface, Itchy, Mumbles, Flattop, Cheater Gunsmoke, B-B Eyes, and Tracy's other idiosyncratic villains. Usually, two villains teamed together, such as Flattop and B-B Eyes, or Pruneface and Itchy. Each pair of villains had at least one member who smoked either a cigar or a cigarette on an extender.

Strangely, the cartoons seldom involved the title character. Tracy would always open each film in his office: "Okay, Chief! I'll get on it right away. Dick Tracy calling..." He would then hand the case over to one of his comic law-enforcement assistants, who would do all the work and take all the risks. Tracy showed up at the very end, usually by helicopter, to congratulate the assistant on a job well done.


Alphabetized by city.

*WSB-TV / Channel 2• Atlanta, Georgia
*WKRC-TV / Channel 12• Cincinnati, Ohio
*KPRC-TV / Channel 2• Houston, Texas
*WLKY-TV / Channel 32• Louisville, Kentucky
*WOR-TV / Channel 9• New York, New York
*WPIX-TV / Channel 11• New York, New York
*KTTS-TV / Channel 10• Springfield, Missouri
*WSMV-TV / Channel 27• Worcester, Massachusetts

Mr. Magoo crossover

Since UPA was also the producer of the Mr. Magoo cartoons, it was possible for them to arrange a meeting between Tracy and Magoo in a 1965 episode of the season-long TV series "The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo". In this episode, "Dick Tracy and the Mob," Tracy persuades Magoo (a famous actor in the context of the "Famous Adventures" series) to impersonate an international hit man whom he resembles, and infiltrate a gang of criminals made up of Flattop, Pruneface, Itchy, Mumbles, and others. Unlike the earlier animated Tracy shorts, this longer episode was played relatively straight, with Tracy getting much more screen time. It's notable for pitting Tracy against a coalition of several of his foes, a conceit that would be adopted more than two decades later in the 1990 film.

Original syndicated run

These 130 five-minute cartoons were designed and packaged for syndication much in the same way Associated Artists Productions packaged the Popeye and Warner Bros. shorts. Usually intended for morning and afternoon "kid's shows", a local host would introduce the cartoon as part of the show.

The cartoon show was a success perhaps as a child's version of "The Untouchables" that was popular at the time. Local hosts of the show offered "Dick Tracy Crimestopper" badges and certificates their viewers could send in for. Mattel toys manufactured a series of toy weapons with the Dick Tracy logo and the Crimestoppers could communicate with each other by toy Dick Tracy wrist radios.


This package was pulled from syndication in the mid-'70s, and was not seen for years afterward because of its perceived slightly racist undertones and use of ethnic stereotypes and accents. [ [ The Dick Tracy Show: The Complete Animated Crime Series] ] The show resurfaced on television in 1990 to coincide with the release of the feature film, as well as in 2006 on pay-per-view digital cable channels and DVD.

The cartoon appeared on various independent stations across the United States in June 1990. Asian and Hispanic groups started charging that characters Joe Jitsu (a Japanese buck-toothed character) and Go Go Gomez (a sombrero-wearing Mexican) were offensive stereotypes. Two stations in Los Angeles removed the airings and edited episodes were then sent out. Henry G. Saperstein, then the chairman of UPA stated "It's just a cartoon, for goodness sake." [cite news |author =Svetkey, Benjamin |title=Television News: News & Notes| publisher= Entertainment Weekly| date=1990-07-27| url=,,317818,00.html| accessdate=2007-12-19]


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