The Hep Cat opens with a cat strolling through an abandoned lot. Unfortunately, he stumbles across a dog named Rosebud"—otherwise known by fans as Willoughby the dog—who, upon noticing the cat, gives chase. The cat, after a successful escape, begins singing "Java Jive." Later, the cat encounters an attractive female cat, and attempts to woo her, failing utterly. Suddenly, Rosebud the dog reappears and the chase resumes. After a series of zany, Clampett-esque sight gags, the cat once again evades the dog. As the cartoon closes, the cat can be seen kissing his dream girl—a puppet.
According to Milton Gray, beginning from this cartoon, Bob Clampett's creativity and experimentation reaches his peak, as subsequent Looney Tunes cartoons became wilder, zanier, and loonier in tone, direction and timing . In cartoons Clampett directed after this one such as "A Tale of Two Kitties" or "A Corny Concerto", there is a notable increase in violence, irreverent humor, more exaggerated double takes and surrealism.
DVD - The Big Street (USA 1995 Turner dubbed print added as a bonus)
This cartoon is notable for being the first Looney Tunes short to be produced in color.
This cartoon was re-released into the Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies program on November 12, 1949.
A cultural reference is made when the cat claims to be a "gorgeous hunk of man", as his face turns into a caricature of Victor Mature. As the cat feels Rosebud's hand beside the puppet he's kissing he exclaims, "Ah, something new has been added!" At the end of the cartoon the cat says, "Well, I can dream, can't I?" Both quotes were used often in Looney Tunes cartoons of this era (like for instance "Plane Daffy") and are both catch phrases by Jerry Colonna. "Ah, something new has been added" was a slogan for Old Gold (cigarette).
The opening title cards aired on The Bob Clampett Show are not correct, since the 1942-43 season was the first in which Looney Tunes cartoons opened with the "bulls-eye" titles, usually with thicker rings. Since the original titles are lost, the restored version on DVD and Blu-ray use the Blue Ribbon titles instead of the original titles.