|In 1959 Cartoon animator Joe Orlio created and produced a new series of "Felix The Cat" Cartoons for nationally syndicated tv. Distributed thru "Trans-Lux Television Inc.", the series featured the adventures of"Felix" as he used "His Magic Bag Of Tricks" to help mankind and foil the evil deeds of "The Prof." (A mad scientist and inventor who was bent on stealing the cat's enchanted device for the purpose of world domination), "Rock Bottom" (A bulldog gangster who also wanted "The Magic Bag" to make him rich by committing super crimes)and "The Master Cylinder" (A mad robot) and his henchman "General Klang" (An evil Martian despot) who wanted to use the device and the scientific genius of "The Prof.'s" nephew "Poindexter" for the purpose of taking over the universe.
Cartoon voice over performer, animator, comic/ character actor, singer and mimic Jack Mercer (Best remembered as the voices of "Popeye The Sailor" and "Poopdeck Pappy", "Popeye's" Father) did all of the voices in the series.
The Joe Orilo/ Trans-Lux TV "Felix" cartoons were first seen in The NYC viewing on "Felix The Cat & Friends!" Monday Thru Saturday evenings on WNEW TV Ch.5 beginning on Saturday January 4,1960. Ch.5's staff announcer Fred Scott "Uncle Fred" would engage his viewers in craftmaking, hobbies, games, stories, informational segments, and interviews with guest performers and personalities inbetween the reruns of the films.
Sometime in 1962 the show's title was changed to"Felix & Diver Dan!". Ch.5 was the first NYC based tv station to screen "The Diver Dan" puppet films. The series took place in the undersea realm of "Miss Minerva The Mermaid Queen" (played by actress Suzanne Turner) as she and her fish friends "Finley Haddock", "Georgie Porgie", "Skipper Kipper", "Goldie", "Seabiscut", "Scoutfish", "Hermit Crab", "Sam Sawfish", "Doc Sturgeon" and "Gillespie" would call on "Diver Dan" to foil the evil deeds of"Barron Baracuda" (A evil german speaking fish) and his stupid henchfish "Trigger". Frank Freda The writer for the films played"Diver Dan" in the diving suit. Comic/ Character actor and mimic Allen Swift provided the voices for the intreped undersea adventurer and for the fish puppets. The head puppeteer and puppet-maker for the films was the late Hal Taylor.
"Felix & Diver Dan" continued on their fantastic journeys until the series was cancelled on August 31, 1962. "Felix" And "Diver Dan"would reappear on "Felix & The Wizard" with Fred Hall on WNEW TV Ch. 5 in NYC on Monday September 2, 1962.