Reputedly the inspiration for Itchy and Scratchy, the Tom & Jerry knock off Herman and Katnip is infamous for going rather too far with its comedy violence.
Indeed, I don’t think I’ve ever seen these toons at full throttle, because they were censored sometime after their premiere and have spent decades on TV in snipped-down form.
I assume that some cuts were also made to reign in the apparent racial stereotyping of Buzzy the crow.
Note: Arnold Stang, famously the voice of Top Cat, was previously on the other side of the eternal divide, essaying the role of Herman the mouse; Katnip’s voice was provided by Sid Raymond, who was also the man who quaked on behalf of Baby Huey, the diapered up duck of Harvey Comics.
Classic Media have today announced that they’ll be releasing a Herman and Katnip collection this September. So far, there’s no indication if the toons will be uncut or restored, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for too much – the current Amazon price tag is short of $8.
With a run time of 60 minutes we can be sure that this won’t be a comprehensive collection either. Nonetheless, I have some hope that we’ll get at least a taste of the barbarism, surreal excess and blood thirsty lunacy to have inspired the cartoon charnel house that is Itchy and Scratchy.