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The Dick Tracy Show
Genre Animation / Crime / Adventure / Comedy
Created by Chester Gould
Written by
  • Homer Brightman
  • Bob Ogle
  • Al Bertino
  • Dick Kinney
  • Ed Nofziger
  • Chester Gould
Directed by
  • Grant Simmons
  • Clyde Geronimi
  • Ray Patterson
  • Brad Case
  • Steve Clark
  • John Walker
  • David Detiege
  • Paul Fennell
  • Abe Levitow
Presented by UPA
Voices of
Theme music composer Carl Brandt
Composer(s) Carl Brandt
George Steiner
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 130
Executive producer(s)
  • Peter DeMet
  • Henry G. Saperstein
Editor(s) Ted Baker
Running time 5 minutes
Original network First-run syndication
Picture format Color (Technicolor)
Audio format Mono
Original release January 1, 1961 (1961-01-01) – January 1, 1962 (1962-01-01)
Related shows The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo

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.

In the show, policeman Dick Tracy employed a series of cartoony subordinate flatfoots to fight crime each week, contacting them on his two-way wristwatch radio. Tracy himself hardly appeared on the show at all. The opening was designed so that local TV hosts dressed as policemen could introduce the cartoon by barking orders into a prop intercom, with Tracy answering "Okay, chief, I'll get onto it right away."

A live action show, Dick Tracy, aired on ABC from 1950 to 1951.


Everett Sloane voiced Tracy, while Mel Blanc, Paul Frees, Benny Rubin and others voiced many of the other characters, including:

  • Joe Jitsu, a parody of Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto (featuring many movie images 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 me, please!... Begging your pardon!"). He is named after the Japanese martial art of jujitsu. Benny Rubin provided his voice throughout the series.
  • Hemlock Holmes, a loud, bumbling, Cockney police bulldog (named in honor of Sherlock Holmes and with a voice patterned after Cary Grant's) voiced by Jerry Hausner. He is backed up by his own police squad, the Retouchables—named after the Untouchables, but looking and behaving more like the Keystone Kops.
  • Heap O'Calorie, a parody of Andy Devine, voiced by "Uncle" Johnny Coons. This redheaded street cop has 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.
  • Manuel Tijuana Guadalajara Tampico "Go-Go" Gomez, Jr., essentially a human version of Speedy Gonzales, another Blanc character, though Paul Frees did his voice for most of the series. Go-Go wears a big Sombrero and a big grin and is often seen lounging in a hammock while waiting for an assignment.

A gag used in several shows was that if one of Tracy's detectives found themselves in sudden danger (a bullet speeding towards them, falling off a cliff, etc.) he would yell, "Hold everything!" The action 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 taken from Dick Tracy creator Chester Gould's popular comic strip usually had names that served as descriptions of their physical appearance or some other peculiarity. All were paired with another villain for the cartoon series. They included Flattop who worked with B.B. Eyes, Pruneface and Itchy, Stooge Viller and Mumbles, The Brow and Oodles, and The Mole and Sketch Paree. Each pair of crooks had at least one member who smoked either a cigar or a cigarette on an extender. One villain created specifically for the cartoon was Cheater Gunsmoke, who appeared in two episodes. Gunsmoke was a Texas-sounding cigar smoker with a literal cloud of smoke obscuring his face and head. Of all the villains in the animated series, Stooge had made his first appearance in the comic strip earliest (1933) and Oodles latest (1955), six years before the show was aired.

Some of the villains were given voices patterned after famous actors. Flattop sounded like Peter Lorre, B.B.Eyes like Edward G. Robinson, Pruneface like Boris Karloff, and The Brow like James Cagney.

The cartoons seldom involved the title character. The opening scene of every episode showed Tracy in his office, speaking into a two-way radio the words: "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 engaged in slapstick battles with the crooks (who, compared to their comic strip counterparts, were penny ante and not as bright). Tracy showed up at the very end, usually by car or helicopter, to congratulate the assistant on a job well done and take the crooks into custody. Tracy, as Chief of Detectives, presented an image of calm professionalism in contrast to the comedic roles that the funny subordinates played.

Mr. Magoo crossover

UPA was also the producer of the Mr. Magoo cartoons, and a crossover was arranged between Tracy and Magoo in a 1965 episode of the TV series The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo. In this episode, "Dick Tracy and the Mob", Tracy persuades Magoo (a well-known actor in the context of the Famous Adventures series) to impersonate an international hit man whom he resembles named Squinty Eyes, and infiltrate a gang of criminals made up of Pruneface (their leader in this case), Itchy, Flattop, Mumbles, The Mole, The Brow and Oodles. Unlike the earlier animated Tracy shorts, this longer episode was played relatively straight, with Tracy getting much more screen time, and Chief Patton was part of the episode. It is notable for pitting Tracy against a coalition of most of his foes, a concept that would be adopted more than two decades later in the 1990 film. None of Tracy's assistants (Hemlock Holmes, Joe Jitsu, etc.) appeared and several villains sounded nothing like their Dick Tracy Show counterparts. For example, Howard Morris took over the roles of Flattop and Oodles, although Everett Sloane reprised his role as Tracy.

Original syndicated run

These 130 five-minute cartoons were designed and packaged for syndication much in the same way as Associated Artists Productions packaged the 231 Popeye cartoon shorts and the pre-1950 Warner Bros.' short subjects. Usually intended for morning and afternoon children's television series, 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 guns and a board game with the Dick Tracy logo and the Crimestoppers could communicate with each other by toy Dick Tracy wrist radios.


No. Title Direction Story
1 Red Hot Riding Hoods Ray Patterson Homer Brightman
2 Pearl Thief Grief Grant Simmons Homer Brightman
3 Jewel Fool Brad Case George Atkins
4 Scrambled Yeggs Ray Patterson Homer Brightman
5 The Oyster Caper Clyde Geronimi Ed Nofziger
6 Two Heels on Wheels Grant Simmons Homer Brightman
7 Cheater Gunsmoke Brad Case Dave Detiege
8 Gruesome Twosome Ray Patterson Homer Brightman
9 Racer Chaser Grant Simmons Bob Ogle
10 The Purple Boy Brad Case Ed Nofziger
11 Surprised Package Steve Clark Homer Brightman
12 Tanks a Heap Steve Clark Dave Detiege
13 Phony Pharmers Ray Patterson Ed Nofziger and Bob Ogle
14 Champ Chumps John Walker Homer Brightman
15 Stockyard Caper Brad Case Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
16 A Boodle of Loot Grant Simmons Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
17 The Parrot Caper Clyde Geronimi Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
18 Rogue's Gallery John Walker Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
19 The Catnap Caper Ray Patterson Bob Ogle
20 The Snow Monster Brad Case George Atkins
21 Hawaiian Guy Steve Clark Bob Ogle
22 Tick Tock Shock John Walker Homer Brightman
23 Lab Grab John Walker George Atkins
24 Escape from Sing Song Brad Case Dave Detiege
25 The Onion Ring Clyde Geronimi Bob Ogle
26 Funny Money Clyde Geronimi Homer Brightman
27 Flea Ring Circus Steve Clark Bob Ogle
28 The Flower Plot Brad Case George Atkins
29 The Brain Game Clyde Geronimi George Atkins
30 Penny Ante Caper Steve Clark Dave Detiege
31 Wheeling and Stealing Paul Fennell Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
32 Big Bank Bungle Steve Clark Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
33 Tobacco Load Brad Case Dave Detiege
34 The Boomerang Ring Brad Case Homer Brightman
35 Mummy's the Word John Walker Bob Ogle
36 Trickery at Sea Grant Simmons Dick Shaw
37 Stamp Scamp Clyde Geronimi Dave Detiege
38 The Hot Ice Bag Ray Patterson Homer Brightman
39 Cooked Crooks Paul Fennell George Atkins
40 The Elephant Caper Grant Simmons Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
41 Baggage Car Bandits John Walker Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
42 Gym Jam Clyde Geronimi George Atkins
43 Bowling Ball Bandits Clyde Geronimi Homer Brightman
44 Rock-a-Bye Guys John Walker Homer Brightman
45 The Ruby of Hamistan John Walker Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
46 The Platterpuss Plot Clyde Geronimi Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
47 The Nickle Nabbers Paul Fennell Dave Detiege
48 The Bearskin Game Clyde Geronimi Ralph Wright
49 The Newspaper Caper Steve Clark Dick Shaw
50 Grandma Jitsu John Walker Bob Ogle
51 Kidnap Trap Brad Case Homer Brightman
52 Tacos Tangle Ray Patterson Bob Ogle
53 Rocket Racket Grant Simmons Bob Ogle
54 The Venetian Bind Grant Simmons Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
55 Bomb's Away John Walker Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
56 The Fish Filchers Grant Simmons Bob Ogle
57 The Elevator Lift Jerry Hathcock Dick Shaw
58 The Alligator Baggers Brad Case Homer Brightman
59 Hooked Crooks Paul Fennell Dave Detiege
60 Lighthouse Creepers Grant Simmons Bob Ogle
61 The Vile Inn Case Steve Clark Ralph Wright
62 The Banana Peel Deal Paul Fennell Kin Platt
63 The Casbah Express Paul Fennell Tedd Pierce
64 The Retouchables Clyde Geronimi Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
65 Horse Race Chase Ray Patterson Homer Brightman
66 The Fixed Stare Case Steve Clark Ralph Wright
67 Cop and Saucer Jerry Hathcock Kin Platt
68 The Gold Grabbers Clyde Geronimi Dick Shaw
69 The Copy Cat Caper John Walker Bob Ogle
70 The Loch Mess Monster Clyde Geronimi Homer Brightman
71 The Windmill Caper John Walker Bob Ogle
72 The Old Suit Case Jerry Hathcock Ralph Wright
73 Smashing the Ring Ring Jerry Hathcock Chris Hayward and Lloyd Turner
74 Snow Job Paul Fennell Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
75 Court Jester Steve Clark Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
76 The Two Way Stretch Ray Patterson Nick Bennion
77 Steamboat Steal Grant Simmons Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
78 The Big Blowup Jerry Hathcock Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
79 Fowl Play Clyde Geronimi Homer Brightman
80 Bettor Come Clean Paul Fennell Dave Detiege
81 The Great Whodunit Steve Clark Tom Hicks and Bob Ogle
82 The Skyscraper Caper Clyde Geronimi Kin Platt
83 Hotel Havoc Steve Clark Bob Ogle
84 The Log Book Case Paul Fennell Ralph Wright
85 The Copped Copper Caper John Walker Bob Ogle
86 Small Time Crooks Steve Clark Bob Ogle
87 Evil Eye Guy John Walker Homer Brightman
88 Mole in the Hole Jerry Hathcock Homer Brightman
89 Feathered Frenzy Ray Patterson Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
90 Trick or Treat Clyde Geronimi Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
91 Down the Drain Steve Clark Kin Platt and Marty Murphy
92 Gang Town Steve Clark Dave Detiege
93 The Medicine Show Case Jerry Hathcock Ralph Wright
94 Air Freight Fright John Walker Dick Shaw
95 The Castle Caper Clyde Geronimi Cecil Beard and Bob Ogle
96 The Camera Caper Steve Clark Bob Ogle
97 The Big Punch John Walker Dave Detiege
98 Oil's Well Grant Simmons Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
99 Mardi Gras Grab Ray Patterson Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
100 The Manor Monster Jerry Hathcock Bob Ogle
101 Hot on the Trail Paul Fennell Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
102 Rocket n' Roll Clyde Geronimi Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
103 Lumber Scamps John Walker Homer Brightman
104 The Cold Cash Caper Paul Fennell Bob Ogle
105 Football Brawl John Walker Dick Shaw
106 The Ivory Rustlers Jerry Hathcock Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
107 A Case for Alarm Grant Simmons Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
108 Ghostward Ho! Ray Patterson Bob Ogle
109 Ham on the Lam Steve Clark Homer Brightman
110 Two Goons in the Fountain Ray Patterson Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
111 The Monkey Tale Steve Clark Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
112 The Pigeon Coup Clyde Geronimi Cal Howard
113 The Tower of Pizza Steve Clark Homer Brightman
114 The Old Mummy Case Clyde Geronimi Ralph Wright
115 Island Racket Clyde Geronimi Dick Shaw
116 The Big Seal Steal John Walker Homer Brightman
117 Crooksters' Last Stand John Walker Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
118 Choo Choo Boo Boo John Walker Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
119 The Van Vandals Jerry Hathcock Ralph Wright
120 The Bank Prank John Walker Cal Howard
121 The Film Can Caper Grant Simmons Bob Ogle
122 The Bird Brain Pickers Clyde Geronimi Homer Brightman
123 Quick Cure Quacks John Walker Dick Shaw
124 The Lie Detector Clyde Geronimi Homer Brightman
125 The Stuffed Pillow Case Steve Clark Bob Ogle
126 The Big Wig Steve Clark Al Bertino and Dick Kinney
127 The Last Blast Jerry Hathcock Ralph Wright
128 Crime Flies Ray Patterson Bob Ogle
129 The Sweepstakes Caper John Walker Cal Howard
130 The Chinese Cookie Caper Grant Simmons Bob Ogle


The show was released on VHS in 1986 by Hi Top video, the first volume being "DIck Tracy and the Oyster Caper", then in 1989 by Paramount Home Video in thirteen volumes, each containing ten episodes and crimestopper tips by Tracy (voiced by Everette Sloane).


All episodes were released by Classic Media on a 4-disc DVD "Collector's Edition" set.

Popular culture

The UPA version of Dick Tracy was scheduled to appear as a cameo in the deleted scene "Acme's Funeral" from the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. [1] Curiously Dick Tracy already appeared as a cameo in the novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by Gary K. Wolf. [2]

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