Saturday, 9 July 2011

Hong Kong Phooey - Panriffic!

Hong Kong Phooey was created by Hana Barbera and was an animated series that first aired on ABC Saturday morning from September 7, 1974 to December 21, 1974. The main character, Hong Kong Phooey, is a Superhero who uses Chinese Martial Arts to fight crime. Hong Kong Phooey is the secret alter ego of Penrod "Penry" Pooch, a "mild-mannered" police station janitor. Hong Kong Phooey/Penry Pooch is also an anthropomorphic dog in a world populated mainly by normal humans.

Like many Saturday morning animated series of the era, Hong Kong Phooey contained a laugh track.

The series stars Hong Kong Phooey, the “number one super guy” who travels about the city in his “Phooeymobile”, fighting crime with the aid of his manual, The Hong Kong Book Of Kung Fu. The stories begin at the police headquarters, where Hong Kong Phooey's alter ego, Penry, works as a mild-mannered janitor under the glare of Sergeant Flint ("Sarge"). Also at the police station is Rosemary, the telephone operator, who has a crush on Hong Kong Phooey. After Rosemary gets a call and explains the crime, Penry runs into a filing cabinet and (always getting stuck) transforms himself into Hong Kong Phooey.

Despite the theme song, Hong Kong Phooey is a classic screw-up, and often fails to save the city only to be saved by his sidekick pet cat, Spot. In a few rare circumstances, Hong Kong Phooey actually does save the city, but usually as an unintended side effect of his intended attack going horribly wrong. Hong Kong Phooey is a respected superhero who always gets full credit for Spot’s success.

A running gag is that Hong Kong Phooey is such a respected hero that when his incompetence causes him to crash into, harm, or otherwise inconvenience a civilian, the passerby feels honored as opposed to annoyed or embarrassed, such as when he drove the Phooeymobile through wet cement, splattering the workers, who responded that it was an honor to have a whole day's work ruined by "the great Hong Kong Phooey."

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