Hong Kong Phooey

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"Hong Kong Fuey" redirects here. For the snooker player with this nickname, see Marco Fu.
Hong Kong Phooey
Hong Kong Phooey logo.jpg
Genre Action
Adventure
Comedy-drama
Martial arts
Format Cartoon series
Created by Hanna-Barbera
Directed by Charles A. Nichols
Wally Burr (Recording Director)
Starring Hong Kong Phooey (designed by Playboy cartoonist Marty Murphy (1933–2009))
Voices of Scatman Crothers
Joe E. Ross
Kathy Gori
Don Messick
Theme music composer Hoyt Curtin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 16 (31 sub-episodes)
Production
Producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Iwao Takamoto
Running time 30 Minutes (Approx.)
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run September 7, 1974 (1974-09-07) – December 21, 1974 (1974-12-21)
Chronology
Related shows Laff-A-Lympics
CB Bears

Hong Kong Phooey is a 16-episode (31 shorts) Hanna-Barbera animated series that first aired on ABC Saturday morning from September 7, 1974 (1974-09-07) to December 21, 1974 (1974-12-21). It was a parody of kung fu shows and movies of the time.

The main character Hong Kong Phooey is a clownishly clumsy secret identity of Penrod "Penry" Pooch,[1] working at a police station as a "mild-mannered" janitor under the glare of Sergeant Flint ("Sarge"). Penry transforms himself into Hong Kong Phooey upon running into a magic filing cabinet despite always getting stuck — and unstuck by his striped cat Spot — and once transformed, gets equipped with the "Phooeymobile" vehicle that transforms itself into a boat, a plane, or a telephone booth depending on the circumstances by banging his gong or changes automatically whenever necessary. He fights crime relying on his copy of The Hong Kong Book of Kung Fu,[2] but he succeeds only thanks to Spot who provides a solution to the challenges or they are solved by himself as result of a comically unintended side effect of his conscious efforts. Background was designed by Lorraine Andrina and Richard Khim.

Synopsis[edit]

Mosaic in Hong Kong by Invader

Each episode begins with Rosemary, the telephone operator, getting a call (and routinely saying "Hallo, hallo, this is Rosemary the telephone operator, the lovely lassie with the classy chassis") and explaining the crime to Sergeant Flint, upon which Penry, the janitor, does the routine of transforming himself into the person on whom Rosemary has a crush by going through the passageway behind the vending machine, then jumping into the bottom drawer of his filing cabinet, getting stuck, and, with help from Spot, coming out of the top drawer. After sliding behind an ironing board to the floor below, he bounces off an old sofa, through an open window, into a coal bunker outside, and emerges in the Phooeymobile.

Even when he crashes into, harms, or otherwise inconveniences a civilian, the passer-by feels honoured as opposed to annoyed or embarrassed when they see who did it, such as when he drove the Phooeymobile through wet cement, splattering the workers: they responded that it was an honour to have a whole day's work ruined by "the great Hong Kong Phooey".

Production[edit]

Hong Kong Phooey was voiced by Scatman Crothers. Sergeant Flint was voiced by Joe E. Ross, best known as Officer Gunther Toody in the early '60s television series Car 54, Where Are You?. As Flint, Ross revived Toody's famous "Ooh! Ooh!" exclamation. Sergeant Flint was very similar both in voice and appearance to Botch, assistant zookeeper at the Wonderland Zoo on Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch, whom Ross also voiced.

The final episode "Comedy Cowboys" was a backdoor pilot for a new series. In this two-part episode, several new cartoon characters (Honcho, The Mystery Maverick, and Posse Impossible) appeared and helped to clear Hong Kong Phooey of a crime he did not commit. These characters later appeared in their own continuing segment, "Posse Impossible," on The CB Bears Show.

Like many animated series created by Hanna-Barbera in the 1970s, the show used the limited Hanna-Barbera laugh track.

Theme song[edit]

The show’s theme song, entitled "Hong Kong Phooey", was written by Chester Stover, W. Watts Biggers, Treadwell Covington, and Joseph Harris and was sung by Scatman Crothers.

A cover of the show’s theme song, performed by Sublime, is included on the 1995 tribute album Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits, produced by Ralph Sall for MCA Records.

Episode guide[edit]

Title(s) Air date
HKP-1 "Car Thieves / Zoo Story" 7 September 1974
  • Car Thieves: A stolen car ring is operating in town, and it's up to Hong Kong Phooey to break through the ring's sneaky secrets and stop them in their fiendish tracks.
  • Zoo Story: A kangaroo helps Phooey capture a gang of animal thieves.
HKP-2 "Iron Head the Robot / Cotton Pickin' Pocket Picker" 14 September 1974
  • Iron Head the Robot: When a crook commands his robot to steal every safe in town, Hong Kong Phooey gives chase — resulting in a showdown in the crook's gym.
  • Cotton Pickin' Pocket Picker: Phooey is sent to capture legendary pickpocket Fingers Fazoo.
HKP-3 "Grandma Goody (Cat Burglar) / Candle Power" 21 September 1974
  • Grandma Goody (Cat Burglar): This time cats are being stolen all over town, including Spot — and Grandma Goody is not what she seems, as Hong Kong Phooey finds out in a bubble-filled climax.
  • Candle Power: Two villainous criminals force the city to use candles so that they can build their very own wax museum.
HKP-4 "The Penthouse Burglaries / Batty Bank Mob" 28 September 1974
  • The Penthouse Burglaries: Phooey is called to investigate a number of robberies from penthouse apartments.
  • Batty Bank Mob: Phooey enlists the help of Spot and a friendly octopus to stop a bank robbery.
HKP-5 "The Voltage Villain / The Giggler" 5 October 1974
  • The Voltage Villain: Phooey is called to investigate a villain who can control electrical appliances.
  • The Giggler: A crazed clown-like criminal uses laughing gas to rob the senses of the guests attending high-society parties of a important mayor and Phooey must defeat the deranged lunatic before everyone dies laughing.
HKP-6 "The Gumdrop Kid / Professor Presto (The Malevolent Magician)" 12 October 1974
  • The Gumdrop Kid: Phooey investigates a child-sized villain's plans to take over the town's sweet production.
  • Professor Presto (The Malevolent Magician): Phooey is asked to track down a magician who disappeared from the police station.
HKP-7 "TV or Not TV / Stop Horsing Around" 19 October 1974
  • TV or Not TV: Phooey attempts to sabotage plans by thieves to steal everyone's television sets.
  • Stop Horsing Around: Phooey tracks down a circus gang that's kidnapping horses.
HKP-8 "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall / Great Movie Mystery" 26 October 1974
  • Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Phooey investigates a number of robberies in a health salon.
  • Great Movie Mystery: Phooey is asked to participate in the filming of a bank robbery, unaware that it's real.
HKP-9 "The Claw / Hong Kong Phooey vs. Hong Kong Phooey" 2 November 1974
  • The Claw: Phooey investigates how a mechanical claw is stealing gold from the National Bank.
  • Hong Kong Phooey vs. Hong Kong Phooey: An impostor starts to claim all of Phooey's rewards for fighting crime.
HKP-10 "The Abominable Snowman / Professor Crosshatch" 9 November 1974
  • The Abominable Snowman: Phooey tracks down a snowman who's stealing equipment for a luxury ski resort.
  • Professor Crosshatch: Phooey is asked to capture an evil professor who has trained his pet bird to steal jewels from shop windows.
HKP-11 "Goldfisher / Green Thumb" 16 November 1974
  • Goldfisher: A villainous gang plans to raise the cost of fishing by stealing its competitor's fish.
  • Green Thumb: Phooey tracks down a gang who want to rid the entire city of plants.
HKP-12 "From Bad to Verse (Rotten Rhymer) / Kong and the Counterfeiters" 23 November 1974
  • From Bad to Verse (Rotten Rhymer): The villainous Rotten Rhymer plans to steal the nation's book collection.
  • Kong and the Counterfeiters: Phooey is called to investigate a bogus money-making scheme.
HKP-13 "The Great Choo Choo Robbery / Patty Cake, Patty Cake, Bakery Man" 30 November 1974
  • The Great Choo Choo Robbery: The villainous Jim Shady plans to steal every railroad car in the country.
  • Patty Cake, Patty Cake, Bakery Man: Phooey investigates the mysterious theft of jewels by people hiding in baker's food.
HKP-14 "Mr. Tornado / The Little Crook Who Wasn't There" 7 December 1974
  • Mr. Tornado: Phooey tracks down a super-villain who robs banks by using his tornado-strength lung power.
  • The Little Crook Who Wasn't There: Phooey is called to track down a criminal who can disappear without a trace.
HKP-15 "Dr. Disguiso / The Incredible Mr. Shrink" 14 December 1974
  • Dr. Disguiso: A villainous master of disguise uses his skills for a number of bank robberies.
  • The Incredible Mr. Shrink: An evil businessman terrorizes the town into buying his umbrellas.
HKP-16 "Comedy Cowboys" 21 December 1974
Tin Nose, a conniving cowboy of crime, frames Hong Kong Phooey for the theft of a rare map to The Lost Dutchman Mine from a museum. It's up to Honcho, The Mystery Maverick, and Posse Impossible to help corral Tin Nose and clear Hong Kong's name.

DVD release[edit]

On August 15, 2006, Warner Home Video released the complete series on 2-disc DVD in Region 1. The shorts "Car Thieves" and "Zoo Story" were also released on a 1970s Saturday morning cartoon compilation.

DVD name Ep No. Release date Additional information
Hong Kong Phooey- The Complete Series 16 August 15, 2006 Hong Kong Phooey- volume 1
  • Commentary on select episodes
  • Documentary of the show from its development through its legacy. Includes production designs and never before seen original artwork as well as new interviews
  • "Hong Kong Phooey – The Batty Bank Gang: The Complete Storyboard"

The series is also available in the UK as a Region 2 2-disc set, and 2 separate volumes And R4 also got 2 separate volumes

Although the episodes are listed in airing order, there is a slight error on the disc one/volume one menu and cover. Mirror Mirror, On the Wall/Great Movie Mystery is placed BEFORE The Gumdrop Kid/Professor Presto, thus causing a mix-up with the selection on the menu.

Voices[edit]

Other media[edit]

With a copyright of 2001, Alan Lau in conjunction with Wildbrain.com produced a flash animation webshow cartoon that was prominently featured on CartoonNetwork.com, and can still be found there. While Penry appears identical to the original incarnation, Hong Kong Phooey is a much larger, cut, and highly competent and skilled fighter without Spot the cat.

Hong Kong Phooey faces off against and easily defeats evil anthropomorphic animals: a trio of rabbits, what appears to be a crane, and a reptilianoid (that appears to be a komodo dragon). At the end he morphs back to Penry with a smile and sparkle in his eye.

Film[edit]

On July 12, 2009, it was announced that David A. Goodman had been hired to pen a Hong Kong Phooey film.[3] Alex Zamm is set to direct and Broderick Johnson, Andrew Kosove, Brett Ratner, and Jay Stern are producing.[4] Alcon Entertainment will back the film.[5] It was announced August 10, 2011, that Eddie Murphy will be voicing Penry/Hong Kong Phooey in the film.[5] On December 28, 2012, test footage of the film with live action CG was leaked.[6]

Music[edit]

The Moldy Peaches song "Nothing Came Out" mentions Hong Kong Phooey among other cartoons: "I want you to watch cartoons with me. He-Man, Voltron and Hong-Kong-Phooey".

The song "Sugarcane" by The Space Monkeys mentions the side-effect of drugs as being "Quicker than the human eye or Hong Kong Phooey".

The song "Old School" by Danger Doom, features a few classic cartoon mentions. One of which is a mention of Phooey by rapper MF Doom in the line "Ooh Wee, like a Hong Kong Phooey Kick," reminiscing about his childhood.[7]

Literature[edit]

The short children's novel Hong Kong Phooey and The Fortune Cookie Caper by Jean Lewis, illustrated by Phil Ostapczuk, was published in 1975 by Rand McNally and Company, as well as Hong Kong Phooey and the Bird Nest Snatchers (1976).

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "IMDB:Hong Kong Phooey-Plot Summary". IMDb. Retrieved November 11, 2009. 
  2. ^ CD liner notes: Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits, 1995 MCA Records
  3. ^ "'Hong Kong Phooey' lands Goodman". Hollywood Reporter. July 12, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (July 12, 2009). "'Phooey' kicks into high gear". Variety (magazine). Retrieved November 11, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Fleming, M. "Eddie Murphy Lends Voice To 'Hong Kong Phooey' Feature" Deadline.com (August 10, 2011).
  6. ^ "'Hong Kong Phooey' Movie Test Footage Revealed; 'Marvin The Martian' As Well (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. December 28, 2012. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  7. ^ Danger Doom; MF Doom, Danger Mouse, Talib Kweli. "Old School Rules". Epitaph Records. Retrieved May 28, 2013. "Ooh wee, like a Hong Kong Phooey Kick." 

External links[edit]