Don’t you just hate it when you do many good things and people remember you for the one bad thing you did? Well, that’s the case with me. But, don’t worry, folks. My sanity is back and it’s going to stay back. And, Katzmer has the jack-in-the-box back as well.
I’m Lenny Ringtail. You may recognize me as the one who let Madkat’s spirit possess him and wreck havoc on the city, proceeding to capture the king (Mayor Manx), queen (Deputy Mayor Callie Briggs), knight (Commander Feral), and jester (David Litterbin). See the parallels? All of these had particular ancestors alive at the same time Madkat was alive. History repeated itself; I competed with David and lost, and the jester that competed with another jester lost, and in both cases we went insane. Thus, the winning jester has to be an ancestor of David. Queen Callista is the ancestor of Callie, and Tabor the Knight is the ancestor of Feral. Who is Manx’s ancestor? That remains a mystery.
And, speaking of mysteries, the reason why I lost my sanity is a mystery as well. I used to be—and still am, but not touring anymore—a brilliant comic on the stand-up circuit, all up until I competed with David and lost, and lost my sanity. All my jokes were clear-cut, clean, funny, and witty, but never cruel or offensive. This was a goal of mine, but if I ever told a dirty joke, I never was aware it was a dirty one. (Somebody tell David to clean up some of his material!)
As a result of losing my sanity, I was placed in the Megakat Asylum for the Insane and Katatonic. All went smooth in there until one night when the guard decided to watch David’s late-night program. I couldn’t take it. I kept banging my head against the wall and screaming, “Make it stop! Make it stop! I should’ve been the king of late night! I cracked everyone up!” The guard’s belief was that David was wild and crazy, and I was just crazy. That part was true, for the moment.
When the guard turned the TV off after not being able to take my complaints anymore, he opened my cell door in anger to find that I wasn’t there. I had managed to climb on the ceiling a la Spider-Man and proceeded to tackle the guard, yelling my signature catchphrase, “Here’s Ringtail!”
By the time I broke off, police had been warned to be on the lookout for me. It was not a cop who caught me in the act of robbery, but rather old Katzmer, owner of the town’s most prestigious antique store, “Katzmer’s Curios.” He did not want to lose the jack-in-the-box, but after I demanded to know more about it, considering the box had my face on it (I’m not lying!), he told me everything he knew about Madkat.
Then the head on the box started to laugh, and I gasped, “You’re alive!”
“Yes!” said the head. “Let me take your soul, and Madkat will live again!” (I’m paraphrasing this, you understand.)
I let the spirit suck me right in and proceed to use me as a puppet. The first victim captured was David, during a live taping of his show (and, because of this incident, he never tapes live anymore, only in advance of the airdate). Then we got Mayor Manx on the golf course, Commander Feral on the street, and Callie in the commander’s office, in that order. The SWAT Kats took the time to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.
Meanwhile, Lt. Commander Steele, that lazy, idiotic, backstabbing, selfish, self-centered, worthless, good-for-nothing schemer, was only interested in kicking back in Feral’s chair while supposedly filling in for Feral (who had been out on the streets). I think Steele was the only one who hated the SWAT Kats more than Feral ever did. He did little—if anything at all, I doubt it—to prevent Madkat from taking Callie hostage and sneered at the SWAT Kats as they marched into the room and claimed to be her bodyguards. He also tried to blame Enforcer HQ’s destruction on the SWAT Kats after T-Bone managed to hit the dot on Madkat’s cap (his weak spot). I went back to normal, and Madkat’s spirit was banished to the ninth circle of hell. But, after being set free, Feral told Steele to shut up. “They also saved my life! Not that you care or anything!” he bellowed.
Mayor Manx then decided to sharply raise taxes to help rebuild the building, and David, realizing he had a show to do in two minutes and no guests, made the controversial decision to bring me on as the guest. It was on that episode that I announced my sanity was restored, but I was taking a leave of absence from the world of stand-up comedy to write a bestselling novel about my experiences, entitled “Madkat and Me.” The book indeed became the #1 New York Times Bestseller as soon as it was published.
What you might not know about me is that, in addition to stand-up comedy, I was also involved in acting. For a time, eight television seasons to be exact, millions of cats turned their dials to the channel that aired my weekly 60-minute variety show, “The Lenny Ringtail Show,” for laughs and good music. My show, to give you an idea, is part “Carol Burnett” and part “Lawrence Welk.” This is because what I am best at is music. I can sing and dance exceptionally well; in fact, I am the first performer to regularly tap dance with no tap dancing shoes, only my bare feet. I do not attempt such a thing these days, as Madkat’s invasion of my body really put it out of shape, so I had to hire a personal trainer to get back in shape. I played the piano, saxophone, and trumpet on my show, and for personal enjoyment only, I also play the drums, trombone, Sousaphone, and guitars, both acoustic and electric. Jazz and big band are the two genres I handle best, but I do not mind rock-and-roll every once in a while. And, who doesn’t appreciate the works of the masters—Beethoven, Brahms, Bach, Mozart, etc.? One who thinks music is nothing but disturbance of the peace, that’s who!
For those of you who saw my story portrayed in the “SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron” episode “Enter the Madkat” and wondered why Steele never popped up again, I’ll tell you the reason. And, I also want to clarify once and for all: no, Lt. Felina Feral did not replace him as Lt. Commander; she is still only a lieutenant. As for Steele, he’s been degraded all the way down to working in a toothbrush factory that pays minimum wage, and he’s not being paid even one cent! That’s his way of doing time.
And, speaking of doing time, Dark Kat is rehabilitating in solitary confinement. He’ll never get out of there, of course, because he’s a villain, but he has seen the light and repented. Hard Drive is also doing time, but simultaneously employed; Feral decided to drop all charges on the last blackout Megakat City had and placed them on Dr. Viper instead (who had been using his mutants for a bigger plot). Thus, although Hard Drive is in jail, the cell also has computers in it; he’s using them to return all the secrets he stole and do surveillance work as well. The point is this: Commander Feral has issued a new department devoted to police detective work and has made Hard Drive and me the chief officers of the department. There will come a day when that cell will be a regular office after some remodeling, and Hard Drive can feel more comfortable working a desk job for the Enforcers.
Playing that TV detective for six seasons, “Catslock Jones, P.I.,” has helped prepare me for this job. Jones was a private investigator who later became involved with a big city’s police force. He solved mysteries in the styles of Sherlock Holmes and Sam Spade, alternating. This show aired in conjunction with the last six seasons (of eight) of my variety show.
After both shows came to an end, I went on to portray Marshal Mitch Mathis in the Western series “Gunfighters of Carson City.” That one ran just three seasons, but I am especially proud of that series. Some of my other ancestors (way later than Madkat) were law enforcers of the West. And, since time travel is impossible, that’s as close as I get to ever traveling back to 1881 (the year where all the events of the show take place). Yee-haw! No safe was safe with the outlaws around, but no outlaw was safe with Mitch around. He’d round up them varmints faster than you could say “Ride ’em, cowboy!”
Stand-up comedy. Acting. Music. Detective work. Enforcing the Wild West. Enforcing the law in Megakat City. I can do it all. Try and top that, David! I’m Lenny Ringtail, and I welcome your comments!
10-4, over and out!
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Disclaimer: SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 1995. All other characters and material within this page are the property of their respective creators.