Tom's Owner is an unnamed, middle-aged, average height, overweight, short-tempered, and bald white character who appeared only in the Gene Deitch-era (1961-1962) of the Tom and Jerry shorts, serving as Tom's owner, as well as an antagonist. He appeared in only three cartoons: Down and Outing, High Steaks, and Sorry Safari, and was voiced by the late Allen Swift.
Unlike Tom's previous owners, he lacks any kind of personality, aside from really severe anger issues and is very brutal, violent, and savage in punishing Tom for his actions, even when the poor cat didn't do anything, putting him in full villainous territory.
Even Spike the Bulldog from the original Hanna Barbera-era isn't that aggressive in clobbering Tom for his actions as this character, and only clobbers Tom mildly, even when it's usually undeserved. Spike even once saved Tom from another dog in The Truce Hurts and occasionally does treat Tom nicely like when he thanked the cat for curing his and Tyke's hiccups in Hic-Cup Pup. This owner hardly does that.
He is basically like a human version of Spike the Bulldog, but with none of Spike's humor, likability, and charm. In fact, if you take away all of Spike's redeeming or likable qualities (even more so than the 2014 reboot version), you are left with this character in a nutshell.
He never reprimands Tom even when he didn't do anything, unlike the other characters/owners, but always harms him right away. Tom's other owners, in comparison, usually throw him out of the house temporarily, kick him, or hit him with a broom as a non-violent punishment even if it's mostly undeserved.
Unlike all the characters that beat up Tom throughout the franchise (especially Spike the Bulldog), he ends up reducing the poor cat into a nervous wreck which is often very sad and devastating to watch and makes his violent punishments all the more unforgivable, such as Tom actuallycrying at the end of Down and Outing, and Tom being shown to be extremely scared and phobic of him in every cartoon the cat appears with him in the worst possible way, especially in both Down and Outing and the ending of High Steaks.
Unlike Tom's previous owners, he hardly ever shows any love or compassion towards Tom and instead treats the cat as nothing more than a punching bag to take out his anger on when something goes wrong in his life or when he doesn't get his way. In fact, he never shows any concern for anyone besides himself.
Because of his critically foul temper, whenever he gets provoked or even if the slightest thing goes wrong, he abruptly gets volcano-fueled angry and always takes his anger out on anyone (mainly Tom) near him in many violent ways. His face will mostly turn red, sometimes bare sharper teeth, and his countenance can even sometimes look insensitive and flinch-worthy to look at.
Furthermore, his mouth moves in a strange and odd way when angered, and he often rants and gibbers like a madman, which Allen Swift did a terrible job voicing.
His punishments are borderline animal abuse/cruelty, and they are so bad and atrocious that PETA would be very mad at him. All of his brutal actions and behavior are listed in chronological order:
In Down and Outing:
When Tom accidentally hit his head with a pan while going after Jerry, the man attacked back by snatching the pan off Tom's hands and hitting him several times. This caused him to get into trouble in traffic. He drove recklessly and yelled at a driver for calling him out by saying "THE SAME TO YOU, MAN!",
He grinned briefly before giving Tom a grimacing scowl and stomped Tom's hand really hard to the point where it gets all red and swollen graphically, believing that Tom was the one messing with the gas pedal to malfunction the car speed instead of Jerry.
After Tom chased Jerry all the way to the car's hood, he pulled the brakes and sent Tom flying off the car and scraping his buttocks on the pavement. After cooling off and running back to the car, he angrily grabbed Tom by the neck then placed him in the front passenger seat and tugged the seatbelt real tight for the rest of the road trip.
After Jerry disguised one of his shoes as a mouse, Tom fell for it and smacked the man's foot with an oar, leading himself to get pummeled off-screen.
After Jerry attached the fishing hook to him (by the sock) and when Tom pulled the fishing rod up to make face-to-face contact with the owner himself, losing his temper, he unhesitatingly beat Tom off-screen again, this time even harder.
In the end, he (off-screen) tied Tom up to the bucket with threads and, alongside Jerry, usually throws a fish at him while fishing, causing Tom to cry.
In High Steaks:
He sears Tom's face with a steak grill until the cat's face looks like a flat waffle with visible burn scars after Tom accidentally stabbed him in the rear with a fork.
He slammed a tennis racket on Tom by the head twice, after Tom whacks the shuttlecock (with Jerry inside it) into the net to the point it unintentionally flew into the owner's mouth.
He forced Tom to drink an entire carbonated bottle of a fizzy soda after Jerry blasted a soda (which Tom tried to stop) and ruined one of his steaks. He smiled like a complete sadist at Tom while shaking up the soda, before shoving it down Tom's throat.
Finally, he thrashed and beat Tom up mercilessly before tying him up to the lounge chair for accidentally knocking his steaks and even himself over. In addition, he doesn't even seem to care that Tom's tail is stuck to the lit-up barbecue grill thanks to Jerry in the slightest either.
In Sorry Safari:
He gave an evil smile to Tom while wrapping his gun around Tom's head and pulls the trigger to make Tom deaf, lucky only for a short amount of seconds.
After Jerry unbuckled the belt to make both Tom and his owner fall off the elephant, the man blamed Tom for it and turned the carriage basket over to trap Tom.
After the duo failed in their attempt to get the basket back on the wandering elephant, the man swiftly lost his anger once again and prepares to clobber Tom for no apparent reason, but thankfully, his payback fell flat by interruptions just when the roaring lion approaches.
After receiving the wrong item from Tom (Jerry tricked Tom into giving a thermos to him) for the lion encounter, he bashed Tom's head with a thermos.
He gave an evil grin after he slammed Tom's fingers with a lunchbox lid. This was while the cat was searching for Jerry, maybe just because Tom was throwing away food, whether it was indeed on purpose or not. Even if he was throwing away the food on purpose, it still doesn't justify the owner's behavior.
Aside from the physical abuse, in Down and Outing and Sorry Safari, he sometimes forced Tom to do everything for him as an unfair punishment, by making him carry a heavy amount of supplies like a slave.
When he's not having problems, he behaves like a very calm, happy man (most notably in High Steaks), giving him some kind of a suspiciously split (or two-faced) demeanor ala Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but NOT in a good way though.
Note that this is the exact opposite of his other "official" clone Clint Clobber from the Terrytoons cartoons Gene Deitch previously worked on. In those Terrytoons shorts, Clint Clobber is a grouchy man with a personality of a jerk with a heart of gold despite his bad temper at first impressions, he often turns out to be a nice guy with a very calm, happy persona in the end.
As with the rest of the other new characters introduced in the Gene Deitch era, his design, while decent (as formerly mentioned in then-RQ#5), looks out of place in the show since he doesn't look like he belongs in Tom and Jerry and instead looks more in line with the characters over at UPA or Terrytoons (both studios which Gene Deitch previously worked on).
With the minor exception of Sorry Safari, he doesn't get comeuppances for his aggression, hence making him a Karma Houdini.
He finally got his comeuppance in Sorry Safari, where he was mauled during a fight with a lion and later tied onto a large stick with Tom and a purple rhino at the end.
To be fair, he wasn't aware of the fact that Jerry caused the problems that got Tom into trouble as the two have probably never interacted.
In Down and Outing, this was the only time where Tom's Owner felt thankful for Tom, only from the scene where Tom was stacking the fishing supplies to the boat, especially with no mistakes made, slowly changing the owner's expression from downright gruff-looking to surprisingly calm and pleased.
In addition, he would have that kind of behavior in the previous information for High Steaks and Sorry Safari (which is also considered as wasted potential) like he would have at least help Tom if he is in danger, but sadly, he becomes compulsive and mercilessly beats up Tom.
His quote "DON'T TOUCH MY GUNS!" was hilarious.
Tom's Owner bears a resemblance to Clint Clobber, a Terrytoons character that Deitch had created in the late-1950s, even sharing the same voice actor, Allen Swift. This led to many fans not only confusing the two, but angry that Gene Deitch ruined his own Clint Clobber character in his Tom and Jerry cartoons.
The unnamed sea captain from the Gene Deitch-era Tom and Jerry cartoon Dicky Moe (1962) shares almost the same personality and character traits as this character, right down to their respective plump statures, violent tempers, the fact that they both exist solely just to torture Tom for no discernible reason whatsoever, and even sharing the same voice actor Allen Swift.
For obvious reasons, all three cartoons where he appeared were rarely shown on modern television channels such as Boomerang.
His quote, "DONT TOUCH MY GUNS!" has become an internet meme.