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T.H.E. Cat

T.H.E. Cat was a 1966-1967 half-hour television show on NBC starring Robert Loggia as a cat burglar, Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat ("T.H.E. Cat"), a retired circus aerialist and former cat burglar who became a bodyguard. Cat carries out clandestine tasks such as thefts and assassinations for the government or private clients. Shot in color, the series was considered to be ahead of its time. A detail of interest to musicians was Cat's hangout, a bar in which a jazz band played with the instrumentation of bongos, string bass and bass flute, a rarely seen woodwind curved like the letter J.

T.H.E. Cat often appeared in an all black outfit carrying rope and grappling hook to scale walls and cross buildings to rescue someone in peril or get to the bad guys. While he might on rare occasion use a gun, his most frequently employed weapon was a dagger, kept up his sleeve (referred to as his cat's claws), which he can throw with great accuracy. Other regulars on the show were R. G. Armstrong who played Capt. MacAllister (San Francisco Police Department) whom T.H.E. Cat sometimes would work with. Robert Carricart was also in the show as Pepe Cordoza who was T.H.E. Cat's friend and occasional informant who ran a jazz club called "Casa del Gato" (House of the Cat). The cool introduction jazz theme is by Lalo Schifrin.

T.H.E Cat was one of the first TV series to feature martial arts as the type of fighting system used by the "Hero", as opposed to a boxing style of street fighting. Whilst the fight sequences were not in the same league as those on The Green Hornet, starring Bruce Lee, it did feature martial arts style kicking and punching. In this sense the show was ahead of its time. The martial arts style of fighting on TV shows in the 1960's was rare until Bruce Lee became well known and then every "Hero" had to be a martial arts expert.

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