Originally a supporting character on Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right was an endearingly (to the audience, at least) incompetent officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, spoofing silent-movie melodramas. Apparently the only officer in his regiment, Dudley took orders from Inspector Ray Fenwick while protecting the inspector's daughter, Nell, as well as the rest of Canada, from the schemes of the wicked Snidely Whiplash. Or so he thinks. Truth is Dudley mostly saves the day by sheer luck or the competence of his horse, but he nevertheless takes credit just the same.In the late 1960s, Dudley headlined his own half-hour Animated Anthology series, which also included cartoons from Total Television, the creators of King Leonardo and His Short Subjects (TTV and Jay Ward both used the services of Gamma Productions). In 1999, Universal released an abysmal live-action Dudley Do-Right movie directed by Hugh Wilson and starring Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker and Alfred Molina.
Dudley Do-Right provides examples of the following tropes:
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Inspector Fenwick instructed Dudley to get himself kicked out of the service in order to investigate Snidely Whiplash's fur-smuggling operation while in disguise. Dudley's attempts had initially backfired, as the building he burned down was condemned anyways and blowing up the dam solved an irrigation crisis. When instructed by Fenwick to not try, Dudley actually succeeded in the step by eating peas with a knife, something no mountie should ever do.
Cool and Unusual Punishment: In an episode where Whiplash steals Do-Right's clothes (making him too ashamed to show his face, not because he's naked, but because he's out of uniform, which to him, if far worse), Do-Right comes up with a clever way of getting even later: He swipes Whiplash's clothes.
Darker and Edgier: While the film was a box office failure, it somewhat retains the style of comedy we all know and love in Dudley Do-Right. However a chunk of the film focuses on Dudley being the bad guy in order to ruin Whiplash's reputation as the Bad guy doing good. What does Dudley do in his first act of evil? He takes Snidely's best henchmen and tortures him with a sawmill. It's really paper mache, but he didn't know that.
Hollywood Law: In the episode when they finally capture Snidely, Nell is his defending attorney, and Dudley is the judge. Even if one goes along with the Narrator's statement that Nell had developed a first-rate legal mind from reading all the law books in the Mounty Post (For lack of anything else to do), she hadn't taken the Bar, and Dudley, as the arresting officer, had no business trying that case, even if he was legally entitled to serve as a judge at all (Which he wasn't). That doesn't even take into account Dudley overruling all of Nell's objections purely because he could, or Nell getting Snidely off the hook for numerous counts of attempted murder with a Society Is to Blame speech in her closing statement.
Idiot Hero: Yeah. One memorable incident involved Dudley discovering his commanding officer Bound and Gagged, but simply thinks he's bundled up against the cold, and decides to throw another log on the fire. However...
Narrator: In the dim light that dim-wit threw in the fireplace not firewood but firearms!
Fortunately for them both, the fire cooked off the ammunition, which scared off the criminals that had taken over the post.
The Movie gives us an example when Dudley decides to test whether or not the woman at the door who claims to be Nell is a vampire (Snidely put the idea in his head that vampires were about) by asking her a question any true Canadian would know: What is Wayne Gretzky's middle name? Nell points out that she doesn't know and then asks if he knows. Dudley realizes he doesn't, and then realizes something worse:
I am a vampire!
Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: Spoofed in the episode: The Disloyal Canadians. In order to infiltrate Snidely Whiplash's crew and expose him as a fur smuggler, Inspector Fenwick ordered Dudley to dirty his own record and get kicked out of the Mounties. After two failures at getting thrown out, Dudley stopped trying and ate peas with a knife, something no Mountie would ever do, and got drummed out, allowing phase 2 of his mission to go through.
Lawful Stupid: Dudley. In one notable episode, Snidely kidnaps Nell at her wedding. A couple days later, Dudley receives a letter from his abducted bride delivered from Snidely's sawmill. He refuses to open it because it isn't stamped. So he rides to the sawmill, gets Nell (Who is tied to a log being fed into the sawblades) to stamp the letter, then rides back to the Mountie post before opening it. An hour and a half later, after finally receiving coherent orders to rescue Nell (Inspector Fenwick flubbed a line), he rides back to the sawmill (Thankfully, the sawmill was seriously in need of maintenance or else Nell would have been in pieces by this point). After saving Nell, he then proceeds to arrest her for mail fraud since what she put on the envelope wasn't a legal stamp.
No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dudley is (to some extent, at least) a caricature of Nelson Eddy's Mountie character in Rudolf Friml's Rose-Marie, and has a tendency to break into Eddy's signature melody, "Shortnin' Bread."