Tom Hatten (born November 14, 1927 (Jamestown, North Dakota)) is an American radio, film and television personality, who is best known as the long-time host of the The Popeye Show (originally The Pier Point 5 Club) and Family Film Festival on KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles from the 1960s through the 1980s. He has also appeared in dozens of musicals, movies and television shows, including three episodes of the 1960s sitcom, Hogan's Heroes.
Born in Jamestown, North Dakota, Hatten served in the Navy during World War II. After the war, he would use the GI Bill to study acting at the Pasadena School of Theater, graduating magna cum laude in 1950.
in 1952, Hatten began working as a broadcaster for KTLA in Hollywood, later landing the part of the friendly sailor in the station's afternoon children's show, the The Pier Point 5 Club. He followed "Skipper Frank" Herman who appeared earlier in the afternoon with Cartoon Carousel.
Dressed in Navy whites, Hatten would present the animated works of Max and Dave Fleischer, which were easy to obtain from a local Paramount affiliate, starring as the spinach eating Popeye. A skilled artist and cartoonist, Hatten's show included how to segments that taught how to draw the cartoon characters. He also had guests on each program, who were given a large upright easel and sketch pad. Hatten would draw what he called a "Squiggle". The guests would then create a drawing incorporating the squiggle without crossing any of the squiggle's lines. Hatten hosted two later versions of the show and told anecdotes about the Fleischers, the cartoons, or their studios.
The Pier Point 5 Club was given a more elaborate studio set and was renamed The Popeye Show. Hatten was dressed as a harbor master in a structure resembling a marina. The squiggle contest was retained and the show expanded to an hour. King Features created a new series of Popeye cartoons to go with the show. Jack Mercer, who had replaced William Costello (aka "Red Pepper" Sam) as the voice of Fleischer's Popeye, visit the show to recognize Hatten as the biggest promoter of the Max and Dave Fleischer Studio.
Hatten's show was aired on Saturday and Sunday until 1985. The guests and games were gone. but it still featured Tom's cartoons. Hatten then hosted KTLA's Family Film Festival, where his cinema expertise was again put on display.
The Family Film Festival was a weekend afternoon feature on KTLA 5 between 1978 and 1992, with Hatten screening a classic movie, often from the 40's, 50's or 60's. During breaks in the show, he would offer anecdotes about the film's history or its actors, or even conduct brief interviews with a cast or crew member (a practice that originally predated the cable networks American Movie Classics and Turner Classic Movies; see those articles for details). Many "Gen X"-aged men and women, born throughout the 1970s and raised in Los Angeles, were introduced to the films of Jerry Lewis, as well as such animated films as Gay Purr-ee, through Hatten's Family Film Festival. The Little River Band's song Reminiscing was used as bumper music.
Hatten's acting credits include portraying a corrupt military officer in the movie, Spies Like Us, with Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase. He appeared as Captain Murdock in several episodes of the television show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., and had a minor role as an officer in three episodes of Hogan's Heroes. Hatten provided the voice of the character Farmer Fitzgibbons in the animated movie, The Secret of NIMH. Hatten appeared in a touring production of the musical, Annie as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
For nearly 20 years, Hatten worked as an award-winning entertainment reporter for KNX 1070 Newsradio in Los Angeles, filing regular reports on the movie industry, new films, and celebrity news. He left the station in 2007.
- The Story of Hal Roach and Our Gang (2009) (V)
- Bravura (2004)
- Spies Like Us (1985)
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers... An Interview with Kevin McCarthy (1985) (TV)
- The Secret of NIMH (1982)
- Popeye and Friends (1976)
- Promise Him Anything (1975) (TV)
- Sweet Charity (1969) (uncreditied)
- Easy Come, Easy Go (1967) (uncredited)
- A Very Special Favor (1965) (uncredited)
- I Saw What You Did (1965)
- The Adventures of Popeye (1956) (TV series)
Notable TV Guest Appearances Edit
- Marty's Corner playing "Himself - guest" in episode: "Episode #12.84" (episode # 12.84) 22 January 2004
- The Nick Cannon Show playing "Himself" in episode: "Nick Takes Over Music" (episode # 1.5) 9 February 2002
- Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction playing "Nathan Dunbar" in episode: "E-Mail II/Blood Donor/Epitaph/Stiches in Time/The Soldier" (episode # 3.4) 16 June 2000
- Biography playing "Himself" in episode: "Bob Crane: Double Life" 8 February 2000
- E! True Hollywood Story playing "Himself" in episode: "Bob Crane" 26 January 1998
- Wings playing "Mr. Conley" in episode: "Remembrance of Flings Past: Part 1" (episode # 6.16) 9 February 1995
- Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman playing "Gen. Ralph Marshall" in episode: "Operation Blackout" (episode # 2.6) 30 October 1994)
- Silver Spoons playing "TV Announcer (voice)" on episode: "Growing Pains: Part 2" (episode # 3.4) 7 October 1984
- Hawaii Five-O playing "Palmer" in episode: "Draw Me a Killer" (episode # 6.2) 19 September 1973
- Hogan's Heroes playing "Air Froce Captain" in episode: "Easy Come, Easy Go" (episode # 6.15) 10 January 1971
- Julia playing "Dr. Herbert Cross" in episode: "The Switch Sitters" (episode # 2.28) 14 April 1970
- Hogan's Heroes playing "Lieutenant" in episode: "Klink's Escape" (episode # 5.26) 27 March 1970
- Get Smart playing "Fargo" in episode: "I Shot 86 Today" (episode # 4.18) 1 February 1969
- Hogan's Heroes playing "Sergeant" in episode: "How to Escape from Prison Camp Without Really Trying" (episode # 3.26) 2 March 1968
- The Beverly Hillbillies playing "Assistant" in episode: "Jed in Politics" (episode # 5.8) 2 November 1966
- My Mother the Car playing "Agent Hanley" in episode: "My Son, the Criminal" (episde # 1.23) 15 February 1965
- Hogan's Heroes playing "Captain Edward H. Martin" in episode: "The Gold Rush" (episode # 1.18) 14 January 1966
- The Man from U.N.C.L.E. playing "Thrush Captain" in episode: "The Arabian Affair" (episode # 2.7) 29 October 1965
- Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. playing "Captain Brinson" in episode: "Sergeant of the Guard" (episode # 1.28) 2 April 1965
- The Man from U.N.C.L.E. playing "Thrush Officer" in episode: "The Four-Steps Affair" (episode # 1.21) 22 March 1965
- Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. playing "Captain Murdock" in episode: "Officer Candidate Gomer Pyle" (episode # 1.22) 19 Februaty 1965
- Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. playing "Captain" in episode: "The Feuding Pyles" (episode # 1.18) 22 January 1965
- Mr. Novak playing "Mr. Hardin" in episode: "From the Brow of Zeus" (episode # 2.14) 5 January 1965
- The Farmer's Daughter playing "Phil" in episode: "The Helping Hand" (episode # 2.14) 18 Decemebr 1964
- Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. playing "Captain Murdock" in episode: "A Date for the Colonel's Daughter" (episode # 1.10) 27 November 1964
- Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. playing "Captain Hathaway" in episode: "Survival of the Fattest" (episode # 1.9) 20 November 1964
- Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. playing "Captain Daniels" in episode: "Pay Day" (episode # 1.6) 20 October 1964