Tom and Jerry’s ‘The Zoot Cat’ Told From a Black Perspective

Tom and Jerry's "The Zoot Cat" made me take a trip down memory lane.

As a child, one of my daily pleasures was cartoons. Oh, how I loved them! Woody Woodpecker, Bugs Bunny, and Friends, Magilla Gorilla, Heckle and Jeckle, Mighty Mouse, Scooby Doo, The Superfriends. Literally, Monday through Saturday, I would watch cartoons but my favorite cartoon of all time is Tom and Jerry. Every day I would tune in to see Tom get his ass beat by a clever mouse named Jerry and I would cackle madly but what I did not realize is how funny these cartoons would be when I watched them as an adult.


A few weeks ago, I was surfing the Internet and discovered some pictures from the Tom and Jerry episode “The Zoot Cat” and I was tickled pink. These pictures brought out so many childhood memories so I decided to watch the cartoon in its entirety and Lawd!!!!!!!!!! It was a study in Blackness. The episode starts with Tom getting ready to see a fine little cat he likes and he is slicking back his hair with lard. Not water but lard. That was downright niggerish for real.

Then he goes over to the young lady’s house, pours his heart out and presents Jerry as a present and she lights his ass up like the fourth of July. I don’t care what anyone says, that girl cat is a black woman because a black woman can cut a motherfucker up like no other. She even called him a corny corn husker.

After his face is cracked and on the ground, and after chasing Jerry in another futile chase that left him dazed and confused, he overhears a radio commercial about how getting a zoot suit would change his life so he pulls a Scarlett O’Hara and makes himself a zoot suit made of the orange and green hammock on the girl’s porch.

He goes back to Toot’s house, all fancy and shit, and she falls in love with him with her shallow, superficial ass. And of course Jerry gets into the mix and he and Tom spend most of the cartoon fighting and tearing up this cat’s house.

In the end, Tom did not get the girl because he was stupid and Jerry ended up with his suit and probably took Toot’s disloyal ass too. But this cartoon is one of the funniest of all time because it showed human nature at its worst: trifling.

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