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Busytown is a fictional town inhabited by an assortment of anthropomorphic animals, as depicted in various books by the children's author Richard Scarry. Main characters of these books include Huckle Cat, Lowly Worm, Mr. Frumble, police Sergeant Murphy, Mr. Fixit, Bananas Gorilla and Hilda Hippo.
In the mid-1990s Cinar (now Cookie Jar Entertainment) produced the animated series The Busy World of Richard Scarry, based around the inhabitants of Busytown. The series originally aired on Showtime in the United States. A board game and a computer game based on Busytown were also produced in the 1990s. Another animated series centered on Busytown, Busytown Mysteries, ran in the late 2000s.
Although the books contain a wide assortment of characters from different countries and backgrounds, there are some who appear in most of the stories as stars or guests making cameo appearances. For example, Huckle Cat, Lowly Worm and Sergeant Murphy often appear in the illustrations even if they are not mentioned in the text.
The most frequent characters include:
The Cat Family
- Father Cat: Runs a grocery store and is sometimes referred to as Grocer Cat, His first name is John. In the cartoon series The Busy World of Richard Scarry, he works as a travel agent.
- Mother Cat: A typical housewife and mother. Mother Cat's first name is Fiona.
- Huckle Cat: Their school-age son. Huckle Cat has red spots in The Busy World of Richard Scarry, but has orange spots in Busytown Mysteries. Huck was the nickname for Scarry's son, Richard Scarry Jr.
- Sally Cat: Huckle's younger sibling. In her early appearances she was known as Little Sister. Sally Cat has red spots in The Busy World of Richard Scarry but she has orange spots in Busytown Mysteries.
- Lowly Worm: Huckle's best friend/pet. He often stays with the Cats as a house guest. Although he attends school with the Cat children, Lowly can also be seen in more adult situations, like driving a street sweeper or working in the operating room of the Busytown Hospital. Lowly Worm has appeared in The Busy World of Richard Scarry and Busytown Mysteries.
- Grandma Cat: lives in another town, far enough away that the Cat family must travel by airplane to visit her.
The Pig Family: Father Pig is a house painter married to a typical housewife, Mother Pig. They have twin children, Harry and Sally.
Sergeant Murphy: a canine police motorcyclist who is often present in street and road scenes. He is married and has a little girl named Bridget. He is dedicated to his job and his passion for motorcycles is shown in the fact that he wears his crash helmet in bed.
Smokey, Sparky, Squirty and Snozzle: a four of pig firefighters. Sparky wears a saucepan as his headgear, Snozzle wears a colander as his headgear, Squirty wears a tin hat with a gold cross on the front and a bow on the back as his headgear, Smokey wears a tin hat with a round gold badge on the front and a brush on the top as his headgear, and one of them uses a trombone for a siren.
Mr. Fixit: a fox repairman who boasts that he can fix anything, but in practice his repairs usually end up going comically wrong.
Janitor Joe: a fox janitor who cleans most buildings in Busytown, including the theater and Huckle's school.
Mr. Frumble: a slightly clueless pig who often loses and chases after his hat. He drives a pickle-shaped car and is prone to vehicular accidents.
Wolfgang Wolf, Benny Baboon and Harry Hyena: a trio of layabouts who spend their time lazing in the sun, eating, or getting into trouble. On one occasion they were deemed suitable enough to fly to the moon (with Lowly as a passenger).
Miss Honey: a brown bear who teaches at the elementary school in Busytown. She is very kind and motherly and it is implied that she has children of her own, though they are never shown or mentioned. Her pupils include the Cat children and Lowly Worm.
Farmer Alfalfa: a goat who owns a farm in the outskirts of Busytown.
Farmer Patrick Pig: another farmer who resides on the outskirts of Busytown.
Mr. Gronkle: an elderly and grouchy warthog who isn't fond of children.
Hilda Hippo: a self-conscious hippopotamus who works as a playground monitor at the elementary school.
Fred: a squid who runs a fish and chips business.
Postman Pig: a pig letter carrier whose route includes the Cat family's home.
P.S. Pig: a pig letter carrier who appears in The Busy World of Richard Scarry.
Pig-Will and Pig-Won't: Pig-Will wears a green shirt/green overalls and Pig-Won't wears a red shirt/blue overalls. Pig-Will's catchphrase is "I will! I will!" Pig-Wont's catchphrase is "I won't."
Mr. Root: an armadillo who works at the community garden.