Hong Kong Phooey

Hong Kong Phooey

Originally airing in 1974-1976, Hong Kong Phooey became a hit Saturday Morning Cartoon when it ran in reruns again in 1981. 

Each episode begins with Rosemary, the somewhat ditzy telephone operator, getting a call about a crime which she explains to Sergeant Flint. Penry, the janitor, overhears the conversation and proceeds to transform himself into the crime-fighting canine (whom Rosemary has a crush on) by slipping into the hidden room behind the vending machine, then jumping into the bottom drawer of his filing cabinet, getting stuck, and, with help from Spot, coming out of the top drawer.

After sliding behind an ironing board to the floor below, he bounces off an old sofa, through an open window, into a dumpster outside, and emerges driving his Phooeymobile. Even when he crashes into, harms, or otherwise inconveniences a civilian, the passer-by feels honored, as opposed to being annoyed or embarrassed, when they see who did it. One example was when he drove the Phooeymobile through wet cement, splattering the workers: they responded that it was an honor to have a whole day’s work ruined by “the great Hong Kong Phooey”. Despite his blatant lack of talent or intelligence, Hong Kong Phooey is feared by criminals and admired by citizens, but disliked by Sergeant Flint who sees him only as a hindrance to the police, and as evidenced in the final episode “Comedy Cowboys”, Flint takes pleasure in arresting the framed hero (though he is later exonerated).

Hong Kong Phooey

Hong Kong Phooey/Penrod “Penry” Pooch appeared in the TV series Laff-A-Lympics, with Scatman Crothers reprising his role for the voice.

On August 15, 2006, Warner Home Video released the complete series on 2-disc DVD in Region 1. The DVD set includes commentary on select episodes as well as a documentary of the show from its development through its legacy. The set also includes production designs, never-before-seen original artwork, new interviews, and the special feature Hong Kong Phooey—The Batty Bank Gang: The Complete Storyboard. The series is also available in the UK as a Region 2 two-disc set, and as two separate volumes in Region 4. The shorts “Car Thieves” and “Zoo Story” were also released on a 1970s Saturday morning cartoon compilation.

 

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