Hong Kong Phooey (ABC, 1974)
I have now come to the final Hanna-Barbera cartoon that I want to review, and I have realised that there really have been a lot of them. Others include Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, and so on, but I don’t really remember those. It has definitely been a good experience to look back at these, there really are a lot of creative and amusing characters.
And it’s proof for me that they were as enjoyable as anything that the likes of Disney and Warner Brothers have had to offer. This was shown on CBBC for about a decade until the mid-80s, but the repeats stopped before I was a viewer, the first time that I saw this was actually on Cartoon Network in the late-90s. This is another one with a rather bizarre idea.
Who is the mysterious superhero who plays the main character in this show? Is it Sergeant Flint? No. Is it Rosemary, the telephone operator? No. Is it Daffy Duck? No. Is it Penry Pooch, the mild-mannered (canine) janitor at the police station? Could be… Penry turns into Hong Kong Phooey by jumping into a filing cabinet, but he always gets stuck, and Spot The Police Cat has to help out.
Hong Kong Phooey really was “The Number One Superguy”, according to the rather groovy opening theme, and he was voiced by Scatman Crothers, and remember, if the Scatman can do it, then so can you. He was also quicker than the human eye, although that’s taking his boasting to rather ridiculous levels, as that’s not entirely possible.
He also had a car that he would jump into, that could change into various shapes. And he learned martial arts, well some of them, he would often have an instruction book to hand, if he needed some help. He would take on various villains, and often save the day (although it seemed that Spot was actually more skilled than he was). And nobody at the police station ever realised that he was their janitor all along!
Once again, it’s a surprise to realise that there weren’t a huge amount of episodes of Hong Kong Phooey made, but there seemed to be so many Hanna-Barbera cartoons in production at this time, all competing for the attention of viewers, maybe they only had so many paintbrushes to go round. And this was another one shown as part of Cartoon Network’s Cult Toons, a real delight.
One thought on “More TV Memories – Hong Kong Phooey.”
Hey there, i like Hong Kong Phooey which features Scatman Crothers (who died on 22nd November 1986), Don Messick, Kathy Gori and Joe E. Ross (who also died on 13th August 1982) as the voices of Penrod “Penry” Pooch/Hong Kong Phooey, Spot, Rosemary and Sergeant Flint, respectively.
I think this show was also shown on Channel 4 in the mid-to-late 1990s as well, IIRC.
Hong Kong Phooey also even appeared in Scooby’s All-Star Laff-a-Lympics with the late Scatman Crothers reprising his voice acting role as the character.
Penrod “Penry” Pooch/Hong Kong Phooey, Spot, Rosemary and Sergeant Flint also even appeared in a Scooby-Doo! Team-Up Issue 26 called Enter The Dragon! Exit Scooby-Doo! which was issued in the USA by DC Comics. Here’s the link: https://scoobydoo.fandom.com/wiki/Scooby-Doo!_Team-Up_issue_26
Also of note, Hong Kong Phooey/Penrod “Penry” Pooch even appeared in the Wacky Races 2017 reboot episode called “Hong Kong Screwy”, where he was voiced by Phil LaMarr due to Scatman Crothers’ death of lung cancer in November 1986.
This show is now also available on DVD as well.
So what are your thoughts about Hong Kong Phooey anyway?