Hong Kong Phooey
Hong Kong Phooey is an an American animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and originally broadcast on ABC. The original episodes aired from September 7 to December 21, 1974, and then in repeats until 1976. The show was brought back in reruns in 1978 and 1981.
The main character, a clownishly clumsy and inept, kung-fu fighting Penrod "Penry" Pooch who is a janitor working at a police station as a "mild-mannered" janitor under the glare of Sergeant Flint nicknamed "Sarge" that disguises himself as Hong Kong Phooey as his secret identity who is just as clownishly clumsy and leaps into action as Hong Kong Phooey by jumping into a filing cabinet – in so doing he always gets stuck, and is unstuck by his snickering, unintelligible police pet cat Spot – and once disguised, gets equipped with the "Phooeymobile" vehicle that transforms itself into a boat, a plane, or a telephone booth, depending on the circumstances to fight villains and solve crimes as his alter-ego.
In fighting crime, he relies on his copy of The Hong Kong Kung Fu Book of Tricks, a correspondence-course martial-arts instruction handbook. However, his successes are only either thanks to Spot, who provides a solution to the challenges, or the direct result of a comically unintended side effect of his conscious efforts. The humor of the incompetence of Hong Kong Phooey is a recurring theme of each episode. The backgrounds were designed by Lorraine Andrina and Richard Khim.
Why It Rocks
- Incredibly catchy, upbeat, and memorable theme song.
- Fun Hanna-Barbera soundtrack that stays true to the show.
- Classy voice acting, most remarkably Hong Kong Phooey himself from the ever so, talented Scatman Crothers and Spot's humorous gibberish from Dom Messick.
- This show takes an shot of the growing popularity of Hong Kong martial arts movies and many crime fighting cartoons that were popular in the 70s and makes an fun and comedic parody of it.
- The style of having a egotistical and lucky if inept at being a superhero while his sidekick's more competent than he is, would be a predecessor to other shows that came after like Inspector Gadget or Darkwing Duck.
- The plots are unpredictable, engaging and sometimes enjoyable to watch.
- Likable characters such as Hong Kong Phooey (if having some ego in his laid-back, dense, and carefree appearance) and his sidekick Spot.
- The jokes are quite entertaining (even for the way this show was done in the 70s), especially Penrod's strong sense of humor and wit out of his typical, clumsy demeanor.
- And speaking of Phooey's presence in and out of his costume, he may be an total failure of a crimefighter, but he's got TONS of witty lines to tell to the viewer and to the characters he interacts with.
- Speaking of humor again, some of the dialouge and voices are very amusing.
- The consistent running gag that Phooey needs to resort back to his book of "Hong Kong School of Kung Foo" because on what to do (whether they work or don't) since he never seems to memorize any of his martial arts moves in the first place is pretty funny when thinking about it and is always done fairly and not done badly or poorly.
- It was short-lived by only one season and ended too quickly.
- Some jokes are hit-or-miss or just silly.
- Phooey's incompetence can drag out if not irritating at all.
- Rosemary's jokes or her running gag because of her ditzy nature can be dull and not as funny.
There was merchandise featuring the characters/etc and Hong Kong Phooey would be featured in some commercials.
- An musical artist named Sublime made his own recreation of the theme song from the show.
- Hong Kong Phooey almost had a full feature film done by the studio who made the live action Scooby Doo movies but was scrapped.