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"Day and night, Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse patrol Empire City. Their job is to preserve law and order..."

So opened one of the best bad cartoons in history. In 1960, two daring crimefighters, Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse, stormed onto the Saturday morning cartoon scene. The brainchild of Bob Kane, creator of the immensely popular Batman comic series, Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse were created as a parody of Batman and Robin. The older Courageous and his young sidekick Minute operated out of the Catcave, and drove around fighting crime in the Catmobile, which also transformed into the Catplane and the Catcopter when necessary.

The true hallmark of Courageous Cat was his gun. It didn't shoot bullets, no sir. But every time he had some obscure task to perform, the gun just happened to do exactly what he needed. "Don't worry, Minute, I'll use my lock-melting gun!" "My parachute gun will save us!" And so on. Other favorites of mine included his saw gun, with which he cut his way out of net traps, his air gun which he used to inflate tires, and his trustworthy and dependable lasso gun, which of course never did anything at all.

The crimefighting duo had an entire host of dastardly villains against them, including The Black Cat (he was this cat, see, and he was black), Professor Shaggy Dog (he was this dog, see, and.. eh, forget it), Harry Gorilla, Rodney Rodent, Shoo Shoo Fly, and Professor Noodle Stroodle. Their greatest nemesis, however, was The Frog. He was this mobster frog, see, and he chewed a cigar and talked like Edward G. Robinson in Key Largo, myeah, myeah.

The plans the villains cooked up were pretty outrageous, like the time Harry Gorilla and The Frog rowed a boat to Paris so they could use their incredible shrinking machine to reduce great works of art like the Eiffel tower and sell them (presumably so they could afford to fly home). They also tended to forget some obvious things, like when Professor Shaggy Dog created an indestructible fake space alien who used its magnetic feet to steal bank trucks, but forgot to make it out of something stronger than a used tire (Courageous popped it with his dart gun).

In short, it is very important that you be high on something if you attempt to watch episodes of Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse. The bizarre, inscrutable dialog will be hilarious, as will the nonsensical plots and gaping plot holes. Watching them sober, you will be overwhelmed by the badness of it all. This was the cartoon's primary failing - very few Saturday morning cartoon-watching young children in 1960 were high on anything stronger than six bowls of Super Sugar Chunks. As a result, the show folded after just one season, but lived again during the 1980s in syndication, and I hear some episodes are still available somewhere on video.

Now, for some Courageous Cat trivia. The voices of Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse are credited to Bob McFadden, a voice actor probably best known for his work in Thundercats as the characters Slythe and Snarf, and several characters in Silverhawks. However, according to Bob, the voices were actually performed by Dallas McKinnon of Gumby and Archie fame. Also, the killer jazz theme to the cartoon was often performed live by the revered glam/punk band The New York Dolls, and can be found on their 1994 best-of collection "Rock & Roll".

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