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Western Animation / The Funky Phantom

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A Hanna-Barbera series similar to their earlier success Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, The Funky Phantom features three teenagers — Skip, April and Augie — and their dog, Elmo. While trying to get out of a storm, they entered an old abandoned house where they found a longcase clock set to the wrong time. Upon setting the clock to midnight, they released two ghosts: Jonathan Wellington "Mudsy" Muddlemore, a dead soldier from The American Revolution, and his cat, Boo. The two of them allegedly hid inside the clock from the British during the Revolutionary War, but then couldn't get out and eventually died inside. Ever since being freed by their new friends, Mudsy and Boo have accompanied them on many mysteries, always giving an invisible helping hand.

The show—Hanna-Barbera's first series with animation work farmed out overseas (in this case, to Air Programs in Sydney, Australia)—aired for one season (1971–72) on ABC. The voice of Mudsy, provided by Daws Butler, was identical to his voice work for the character Snagglepuss. Butler went so far as to include Snagglepuss' Character Catchphrases, such as appending sentences with the word "even".

The Funky Phantom provides examples of:

  • Ascended Extra/Stalker with a Crush: In the Gold Key comics, Mudsy had one in the form of Revolutionary War belle spirit Priscilla Atwater.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Utilized to an extent but variable. In that Augie isn't always that dumb and that Skip isn't always that nerdy. As such Skip is actually quarterback of the high school football team, with Augie his halfback.
    • Skip: Brains
    • April: Beauty
    • Augie: Brawn
  • Beach Episode:
    • "Haunt-In Inn" has a beach scene with the guys in swimsuits and April in a bikini.
    • Bonus for Fanservice, the same episode has April in a nightgown that appears just as short as her usual skirt.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: The subject of "The Forest's Prime Evil".
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: April, Skip, and Augie.
  • Catchphrase: Mudsy's "It's Funky Phantom time!"
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Eleven issues by Western Publishing Company's Gold Key division (March 1972 - March 1974).
  • Cool Car: The Looney Duney and the car they build in the first episode.
  • Distressed Dude and Damsel in Distress: All the characters have been captured by a bad guy at least once in the series run.
  • Expository Theme Tune: There were two—one performed by the kids and another (after three episodes) by some studio performers.
  • Expy:
    • Mudsy's voice is being done in the same way as Snagglepuss, down to the same verbal tics, even! But that is really as far as that goes between the two characters.
    • Muddlemore's Cowardly Lion nature and backstory — rather than stand and fight, a reluctant warrior hid when danger approached and eventually starved there — bears a lot of similarity to the 1944 film adaptation of The Canterville Ghost, except that Mudsy died by accident rather than deliberate neglect.
  • Feuding Families: The Muddlemores and the Iversions have a feud over a courting issue.
  • Fun with Acronyms: April thinks up one on the spot as "The Young People's Protective League For the Perseveration of Historical Monuments". Skip later lampshades this as saying it is also known by it's phonetically spelt acronym as "yep-le-fuhm".
  • Generation Xerox: In The Headless Horsemen episode, the town of Sleepy Hollow has its own perfect equivalents to Ichabod, Katrina and Brom.
  • Ghostly Animals: The titular character has a mischievous pet cat called Boo, who had been trapped in the grandfather clock along with her master.
  • Headless Horseman: An episode features one as the monster of the week.
  • Jacob Marley Apparel: Mudsy is forever clad in his Continental Army uniform complete with tricorne hat, the latter of which Boo also dons.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Mudsy sometimes acts like this. He sometimes goes on about speeches of things he claims he totally witnessed when alive that the kids call out that is not what the history books said happened.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Possibly one of these with Augie, April, and Skip. Augie and Skip fight for April's attention and she seems attracted to them both to a certain extent.
    • Played with that in one episode Augie and Skip gravitate to a different girl making April jealous. And when April gravitates to another guy, Augie and Skip are united in getting their girl back. This no doubt leading to One True Threesome ideas.
  • Magic Skirt: April jumps up and down wearing a pleated cheerleader skirt in "Pigskin Predicament", and it does not flip up.
  • Origins Episode: "Ghost Grabbers" features a flashback to show how Mudsy and Boo ended up in the clock.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Mudsy and Boo can "tune out" to disappear and do various tricks.
  • Punny Name:
    • Henry Fowler, who runs Chicken Delicious, and Mr. Angus, who owns an angus and roast beef chain in "Who's Chicken"
    • Two pickpockets named Lefty and Fingers in "Pigskin Predicament"
  • Real After All: The real Bigfoot comes to the gang's rescue from the fake one in "The Forest's Prime-Evil"
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Much of the background music is recycled from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and Josie and the Pussycats, and half the time the music cues aren't used properly! (A common example is having the "chase" theme from the Black Knight episode playing under a normal conversation scene.) There's also a frequent-recurring music cue lifted from Jonny Quest.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: Originally played very straight but averted in a few episodes, one of which had mundane thieves and another had a gimmick supervillain more in line with something out of Dynomutt, Dog Wonder.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Mudsy and Boo. After dying inside the clock and having their spirits trapped there for nearly two centuries, they're released when the kids try to fix said clock and become their stalwart companions and helpers.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. No pun intended.
  • Spoofy-Doo: Scooby-Doo with a ghost from the Revolutionary War!
  • Stock Sound Effects: Being Hanna-Barbera's first International Co Production with Australia, some unusual sound effects are heard that are noticeably different from a typical Hanna-Barbera cartoon of the time, and some familiar sounds get used improperly as well.
  • The Smurfette Principle: April is the only girl in the group.
  • Team Pet: Elmo and Boo.
  • Title Scream: They scream the title at the end of the opening.
  • Twin Switch:
    • In "Heir Scare" in an attempt for the butler and maid to get an inheritance they switch the real heir with a fake twin.
    • In "The Hairy Scary Houndman" the titular Hairy Scary Houndman dognaps Elmo instead of the prize winning dog given they look near exactly alike.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: Mudsy and Boo emerge from the clock after the hands are set to midnight.