Tom Và Tom Và Jerry

This blog post is about how Tom và Jerry got its name, but it’s not really about Tom and Jerry. Not much, anyway.

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Of course, you could argue that Tom and Jerry doesn’t belong in The TV Professor. After all, the cartoons started off as movie shorts. That said, the movie shorts have aired on TV a countless number of times, và there have been plenty of Tom và Jerry cartoons made only for TV, as Wikipedia helpfully notes, including The Tom & Jerry Show (1975), The Tom và Jerry Comedy Show (1980-1982), Tom và Jerry Kids (1990-1993), Tom & Jerry Tales (2006-2008) và The Tom and Jerry Show (2014-2021).

Today"s "TV Lesson" Breakdown:

Which Came First -- the Drink or the Cartoon?

Anyway, if you’ve ever heard of the drink, a Tom và Jerry, & wondered which came first, the cat và the mouse, or the drink, it was… the drink.

And the cat and mouse were named after the drink. Probably.

And if you"re wondering about tom cats, male cats have been called "tom cats" since around 1760, when a book, written by an anonymous author, came out. It was called The Life và Adventures of a Cat, & the male cát was named Tom. Maybe that sealed the khuyễn mãi giảm giá for calling the cát in Tom và Jerry, Tom, but it was probably the drink that inspired the names.

I had no idea of the Tom & Jerry origin story until recently. I’m sure many of our cosmopolitan readers knew, but I didn’t. Like many of you, I grew up on Tom và Jerry. So did my daughters; I managed to get them hooked when they were young và didn"t know how lớn use the remote, & we watched them together over và over. I had no clue that the famous cat & mouse duo were apparently named after an alcoholic beverage.

So famous that they need no introduction -- và more famous & relevant than ever. This year, their first feature-film debuted in theaters, released by Warner Bros., và not MGM, which was the first movie studio khổng lồ be associated with the cartoons.

So here’s how Tom and Jerry got its name

More on the cocktail in a moment, but Tom & Jerry’s first cartoon debuted in theaters on February 10, 1940.

Throughout the 1930s, MGM, the studio behind Tom và Jerry, became a bit desperate for a winning cartoon formula. After all, Disney had Mickey Mouse. Paramount Pictures had Popeye the SailorBetty Boop. Warner Bros., Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. But MGM, with all of his musicals & movie prowess, had nothing khổng lồ be especially proud of in the animation department.

But that changed with Puss Gets the Boot. That said, while that was the first Tom and Jerry cartoon, when it was made, it wasn’t actually an official Tom và Jerry cartoon.

Jerry and Tom (Jerry never gets đứng đầu billing, so let"s change that for a brief moment) have changed a bit over the years. This is a still from their first 1940 cartoon, Puss Gets the Boot.

In fact, in the cartoon, somebody refers khổng lồ the mèo as “Jasper.” Jerry"s name isn"t uttered.

The two creators behind Tom and Jerry, William Debney “Bill” Hanna và Joseph Roland “Joe” Barbera, recognized that the cat & mouse needed names – and they had two in mind: Jasper and Jinx. But the higher ups at MGM apparently weren’t crazy about the names and held a contest within the company to lớn see if there were any better suggestions out there.

John Carr, an animator, reportedly won $50 (around $970 in today’s dollars, according to lớn inflation calculators) for his submission.

Who was Carr? Mostly, all I can tell you, from a couple obituaries that I’ve read, is that he started out as a cartoonist for The thành phố new york World và moved khổng lồ Hollywood in 1930. Ten years later, he was credited for naming Tom và Jerry – và he went onto have a lengthy career with the famous animation studio Hanna Barbera. Carr capped out his career working on The Flintstones. He retired in 1967 và died on August 6, 1974.

Carr liked a good drink now & then (more on that later), and having a sense of humor, he probably thought it would be clever khổng lồ name the cat và mouse aimed at kids, after a grown up beverage.

That said, by 1940, Tom and Jerry was very much in the lexicon. As good of an idea as it was to lớn go with those names – at least, it’s now impossible lớn imagine them being called anything else – Carr wasn’t offering up an idea that was completely original.

Hopefully Tom"s owners had good homeowners" insurance...

A little history behind the two names, Tom and Jerry

The drink, the Tom và Jerry, reportedly came about in the 1820s, & it has been said that the drink was named after two characters in an 1820 book written by Pierce Egan with a ridiculously long title: Life in London; Or, The Days and Nights of Jerry Hawthorne & his elegant friend Corinthian Tom.

Soon after, playwright William Moncrieff came out with an adaptation of the book, a play with a snappier title called, Tom & Jerry, or Life in London.

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The drink can be made a number of ways, but a Tom và Jerry generally has spiced rum or brandy, or maybe both, as well as eggs or egg whites, và maybe some powdered sugar or nutmeg. There are a lot of different recipes online; it"s a popular holiday drink. Many people enjoy it throughout any cold month.

Two of the famous drinks. Consume enough of these, và you might cause as much chaos as the cat and mouse did.

However the drink came about, once people started sampling it, it really took off. If you look through newspaper archives in the 1800s, you can find numerous mentions of the beverage.

For instance, in an April 21, 1875 issue of the "Logansport Pharos," the paper of record for Logansport, Indiana, it was a reported that a man from Southern Indiana, "dressed a linen suit và straw hat, was visiting the various saloons in the thành phố this morning, inquiring for a "red hot Tom & Jerry." He found it.” (Local newspapers really were, in many ways, what social truyền thông media websites are today.)

And while it’s believed that the famous feline & world renowned rodent were named for the drink, unless the descendants of Carr would lượt thích to chime in, in the comments section, who is lớn say for sure?

Because, again, Tom & Jerry, by 1940, was a phrase people had heard before.

For instance, during the 1800s, there was Tom and Jerry smoking tobacco, manufactured by the company Spaulding & Merrick.

Tom & Jerry also became a popular phrase during the 1800s to lớn describe young people who acted, well, riotous and destructive behavior, & so it may be that the animated duo weren’t really named after a drink but some very fitting slang.

Or, Tom & Jerry may have come khổng lồ mind, if Carr was familiar with the newspaper comic strip, The Teenie Weenies, which ran from 1914 khổng lồ 1970. There were two twins in the strip who were born and named – you guessed it.

But what’s even weirder is that from 1931 khổng lồ 1933, RKO pictures distributed some movie short cartoons called – Tom & Jerry. They were two people, one really tall guy & one really short & plump guy. (Later, when these cartoons aired on TV, they were renamed Dick & Larry.)

These Tom và Jerry cartoons, not khổng lồ be confused with the, uh, Tom & Jerry cartoons, were considered very innovative for its time, though the humans didn’t have much of a personality. Generally, today, animation historians refer to lớn these cartoons as Van Beuren’s Tom & Jerry.

If this had taken off in the 1930s, we might be watching Jasper và Jinx cartoons today.

It’s very possible that John J. Carr was thinking of these cartoons, instead of the drink, when he put in his suggestion for names for the cat và mouse in MGM’s internal contest.

After all, one of his employers, Joseph Barbera, had worked on the Tom and Jerry cartoons from 1931 to 1933. As noted, Barbera was one of the creators of these new cartoons starring Jasper & Jinx.

Maybe Carr was trying khổng lồ impress Barbera or believed his employer might have some say in the winning monikers -- & would particularly like those two names.

Or, for all we know, maybe Carr also had worked on the series và simply liked the names, Tom và Jerry, và tossed them in the hat.

Still, it seems more than likely that Carr was thinking of the drink when he offered up his submission into MGM"s contest. He did enjoy his liquor -- too much in at least once instance.

In a newspaper archive, I found an article in the Van Nuys News from November 12, 1931, stating that John J. Carr, 31, of North Hollywood, had been arrested for drunk driving.

As the paper put it, Carr, a “cartoonist employed by motion picture studios, will have a fund of new ideas lớn depict on the screen after he serves a five-day jail sentence handed to him by Judge Joseph hotline in the local court after he entered a plea of guilty to lớn a drink in auto charge.”

Maybe he was drinking a few too many -- well, you know.

Where you can watch Tom & Jerry(at the time of this writing):The cable channel MeTV.com, on Saturday mornings at 8 a.m, EST., và you can stream the cartoons on HBOMax.com. I’m sure you can find it plenty of other places. This cat & mouse are… everywhere.

Articles similar lớn thisone:There’s probably nothing quite lượt thích this particular blog post, though you may want to kiểm tra out this one featuring a Popeye cartoon, in which we discuss the history of wall calendars. I think it’s far more interesting than it sounds, but I won’t be offended if you want to lớn first fix yourself a Tom & Jerry khổng lồ get through it.

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We"ll over on a nice note, but very rarely were Tom & Jerry true pals, especially in the original cartoons, which are considered khổng lồ be from 1940 khổng lồ 1958, when Hanna & Barbera were producing them. After they left the movie short series to lớn work on other projects, the quality of the cartoons have been uneven.