Western Animation: Hong Kong Phooey
Hong Kong Phooey immediately after a costume change, and Spot.Hanna-Barbera
produced this Animated Series
in 1974 as a response to the martial arts fad of that time, especially the Adventure Series Kung Fu
, Hong Kong Phooey "number one super guy"
posed as mild-mannered police janitor Penrod Pooch, and listened in on dispatcher Rosemary's responses to crime reports. It wasn't until Sgt. Flint
took off after the criminal that "Penry", as he was called, engaged his Transformation Sequence
. As his super-hero alter ego, Hong Kong pursued crooks in his shape-shifting Phooeymobile, accompanied by Spot the cat.
Despite HKP's impressive displays of martial arts, it was Spot who did most of the work
and got none of the credit. Neither Sgt. Flint nor Rosemary ever suspected that Penry led a double life.
Benjamin "Scatman" Crothers (no, not that Scatman
) voiced the title character and performed the show's theme song. Later in the decade, Hong Kong Phooey joined Scooby-Doo
's team on Laff-A-Lympics
This series provides examples of:
- 100% Heroism Rating: Pretty much the only thing that keeps Phooey branded as a hero.
- The Ace: Spot, who is arguably the real hero of the show.
- Almighty Janitor: The title character himself.
- Animal Superheroes: Natch.
- Animated Series
- Catch Phrase: Sgt. Flint's "Ooh, ooh!"
- Chop Sockey
- Comic Book Adaptation: Nine issues by Charlton. Whatever wasn't simple model sheet poses were simply poorly drawn. Phooey also made appearances in Marvel's take on Laff-A-Lympics.
- Cool, but Inefficient: That would be Phooey.
- Cool Car: The Phooeymobile.
- Dogs Are Dumb
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Poor Spot. You can't help but feel bad for him because he saves the day and his master just reads stupid Chinese sayings.
- Epic Fail: A number of Penry's screw-ups in his janitor job qualify. One time he got some important papers wet and when he tried to dry them with a hair dryer, the letters blew off.
- Face Palm: Spot notably does this quite a bit, even during the "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune, mostly when Hong Kong Phooey does something stupid.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: As mentioned, Spot always does the work, and Hong Kong Phooey takes all of the credit. It shows just how brainless he really is. He's not doing this maliciously, mind you; he actually believes he won all on his own and never notices Spot's help. Moreover, neither does anyone else watching the fight, including the criminals he defeats. Luckily, Spot doesn't seem to mind much that Phooey gets all the credit, which makes sense, given his established reputation as the city's "hero" and that he wouldn't want to ruin that (even though he obviously isn't too thrilled about it).
- Fanservice: Rosemary's incredibly short uniform. Surprising, given that the Animation Age Ghetto was taking television by force at the time.
- Film Felons: On one episode.
- The Fool: Hong Kong Phooey; his crazed attacks always get him in danger, during the time of which Spot effectively thwarts the Big Bad of the episode, which Hong Kong Phooey never notices, and when the enemy has his bum handed to him on a silver platter he replies with something like, "I moved so fast, I didn't even see myself catch him!"
- Funny Bruce Lee Noises: At least once an episode, during one of Hong Kong's inevitably failing attacks.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Just one example from "Storm Watch": "Hello, Hello! Police Headquarters! This is Rosemary, the lovely lassie with the classy chassis!"
- Also, from another episode, "Hello, hello! Police Headquarters! This is Rosemary, if you want a date, I'm off at 8:00. (beat) Hong Kong Phooey! For you, I'd get off at 7:30!"
- Great Big Book of Everything: The "Hong Kong Book of Kung Fu", covers a lot more than just martial arts.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Hong Kong's kung fu costume includes an orange gi jacket, a gold belt and a mask over his eyes.
- His alter ego, Penry, sports a long-sleeved shirt and red cap.
- Hero Insurance: Hong Kong Phooey is worshipped by so many that the citizens who suffer damage from his actions are actually flattered by this.
- Heroic Dog: Well, if you can really call Penry a hero, that is. Spot definitely qualifies.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Spot in one of the most exaggerated examples of such. Phooey's incompetence just exaggerates the trope further.
- Interspecies Romance: Rosemary made it pretty clear she was interested in Phooey. Of course, this being a kids' cartoon, nothing really came out of that.
- Loves My Alter Ego: Rosemary is less interested in Penry than in his heroic persona.
- Non Indicative Name: Spot has striped fur; no spots at all.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Penry/Hong Kong Phooey appears to be the only anthropomorphic dog [or anthropomorphic animal in general] in the town where the show takes place, but this doesn't arouse any suspicion from anyone who knows both.
- Poorly Disguised Pilot: The double-length last episode functioned as a pilot for several TV shows; only one, Posse Impossible, took off, as a segment of CB Bears.
- Sexy Secretary: Rosemary.
- Sexy Spectacles: Rosemary wears them.
- She's Got Legs: Rosemary was intentionally designed this way.
- Shout-Out: Penry is described as "mild-mannered".
- Sidekick Ex Machina: Too many times to count.
- The Speechless: Spot prefers to let his actions do the talking.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The final episode has Hong Kong Phooey in jail after being framed while the Poorly Disguised Pilot heroes save the day.
- Super Hero: Again, Hong Kong Phooey isn't exactly super. Granted, he tries, but either he doesn't try hard enough, or he tries a bit too hard.
- Talking Animal: Only Phooey himself.
- Tickertape Parade: The opening sequence starts with a ticker tape parade for the title character.
- To the Batpole!: In this case, a filing cabinet whose drawers have a distressing habit of getting stuck, requiring a quick bit of Percussive Maintenance from Spot.
- That's right—the "hero" can't even change into his costume without help.
- In one episode, the help was from a termite, who gnawed a tunnel and led Penry out of it, becoming HKP upon exit.
- In another, the help was him bouncing the cabinet into a wall in an attempt to escape (after Spot was cat-napped).
- In another, he got out without help by using the middle drawer. (The cabinet has three drawers: Penrod usually enters through the bottom one and HKP leaves through the top one) Then he somehow fell into it and Spot had to help him as usual.
- He also got out without help when he crawled his way out under a carpet on which the cabinet was placed.
- The Unchosen One: "The great" Hong Kong Phooey (unbeknownst to the entire world).