Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hong Kong Phooey

Penrod Pooch was a mild-mannered Police Station janitor but when injustice abounded, he became Hong Kong Phooey. He was voiced by Scatman Crouthers, who voiced many a cartoon Black man in his time. This Saturday Morning Cartoon ran from 1974 to 1976 for a total of 31 episodes. This cartoon was a comedy and included a laugh track like many Hanna Barbara cartoons. Here's the intro:

This show was great but things never went right for Hong Kong Phooey because he really was a bumbling buffoon. In the end he would always prevail, mainly due to blind luck or his pet cat, Spot, who unlike him, could not actually talk but was clearly much smarter. Even though he consistently screwed up, Hong Kong Phooey was literally the idol of millions. No matter how many people got hurt or inconvenience due to his mistakes, like over the top fans, they considered it an honor just to screwed over by him. The villains didn't seem to think much of him though. The henchmen feared him but their bosses never did.

Hong Kong Phooey knew Kung Fu but sometimes his basic skills weren't enough. When his knowledge failed him, he would pull out "The Hong Kong Book Of Kung Fu" from his sleeve for more ideas. His only gadget was the Phooeymobile which transformed into any kind of vehicle he needed when he banged a gong. When he would change into superhero mode, he'd jump into some hidden lockers, then into a trash bin which housed the hidden Phooeymobile.

Hong Kong Phooey lasted one season and was never seen again. Many Hanna Barbera characters came back in other shows that put them together with characters from other shows but Hong Kong Phooey never made the cut and no one seems to know why. Maybe they could never find a suitable voice after Scatman died. I've seen his image in a few shorts on Cartoon Network but they're weren't speaking parts.

There is a rumor that Hong Kong Phooey may get the remake treatment and become a movie but who knows if that will ever happen? I did see Hong Kong Phooey re-imagined in what I though was a great video but nothing came of it. He doesn't speak in this one either but here he is bad-ass. Check it out.

1 comment:

  1. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat i forgot all about this cartoon, now imma have to buy it..