The Funky Phantom

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The Funky Phantom
The Funky Phantom.jpg
Genre Cartoon series
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voices of Daws Butler
Tommy Cook
Jerry Dexter
Micky Dolenz
Kristina Holland
Don Messick
Country of origin Untied States
No. of episodes 17 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Running time 30 min.
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run September 11, 1971 – September 2, 1972

The Funky Phantom is a Saturday morning cartoon, produced for Hanna-Barbera Productions by Australian production company, Air Programs International in 1971 for ABC.

Plot[edit]

Similar to Hanna-Barbera's successful Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, The Funky Phantom featured three teenagers — Skip, April and Augie — and their dog Elmo. While trying to get out of a storm when driving the Looney Duney, they entered an old house where the longcase clock was wrong. Upon setting the clock to midnight, it released two ghosts: a Revolutionary War-era ghost named Jonathan Wellington "Mudsy" Muddlemore and his cat, Boo. The two stumbled upon two Redcoats and ended up hiding inside the clock 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 voice of Mudsy was provided by Daws Butler and was identical to his voice work for the character Snagglepuss, down to the use of Snagglepuss's catchphrases, Even. (In turn, that voice was an impersonation of actor Bert Lahr.)

In the 1970s, comic books of The Funky Phantom were released by Western Publishing and Gold Key Comics. The comics were both original stories as well as adaptations of some of the TV episodes. The stories in the comics, however, took a different turn from the TV episodes. While on the show, the "ghost" was always a villain in a mask (like Scooby-Doo), in some of the original comic stories, the villains would often turn out to be other ghosts from on or around the colonial era. (The show never addressed why it seemed that there were no other ghosts besides Mudsy and Boo.) The comics even did a twist on the series when the gang traveled back to colonial times via an erratic time machine, only to find out that the kids are now the ghosts (the machine could only transport spiritual matter) and Mudsy is once more inside a flesh-and-blood body.

Also, the comics introduced a new regular character who never appeared in the show. Priscilla Atwater, a ghostly matron from Mudsy's time, who lusted after Mudsy and pursued him actively, although she tended to flirt with about any other ghost who came along.

Episodes[edit]

Episode No. Title Original air date Summary
FP-1 "Don't Fool With a Phantom" September 11, 1971 (1971-09-11) Mudsy comes to the aid of Farmer Higgens when a mysterious villain called the Raven has been sabotaging the barnyard in order to claim the property. When the group plans to enter a local cross-country race for the money to pay off the mortgage, the Raven plans to sabotage their attempts.
FP-2 "Heir Scare" September 18, 1971 (1971-09-18) The Looney Duney gets lost in a swamp and they end up outside of Conway Mansion. They end up aiding Michael Conway when he is stalked by a marsh monster that is after the Conway fortune.
FP-3 "I'll Haunt You Later" September 25, 1971 (1971-09-25) Skip, April, Augie, and Mudsy stumble onto an abandoned truck somewhere in the swamp. While looking for the driver, they stumble onto a castle that is haunted by the Ghost of Jean Lafitte.
FP-4 "Who's Chicken" October 2, 1971 (1971-10-02) Chickenman steals a shipment of chickens bound for Chicken Delicious owned by April's Uncle Henry.
FP-5 "The Headless Horseman" October 9, 1971 (1971-10-09) The Looney Duney gets a flat tire outside of Sleepy Hollow. Skip, April, Augie, and Mudsy encounter the Headless Horseman who is targeting a descendant of Ichabod Crane.
FP-6 "Spirit Spooked" October 16, 1971 (1971-10-16) While competing in a race in Mexico, The Funky Phantom Gang is stopped by the Ghost of Montezuma and a Sun God. They also meet two men who both claim to be archaeologist Professor Lundgren.
FP-7 "Ghost Town Ghost" October 23, 1971 (1971-10-23) The Looney Duney arrives in the western town of Plainville where its 50 Year Frontier Celebration is crashed by two outlaws named Ringo and Blackie who are disguised as Bob Dalton and Jesse James.
FP-8 "We Saw a Sea Serpent" October 30, 1971 (1971-10-30) Mudsy, Skip, Augie, and April learn about a sea serpent called the Black Lake Creature which is scaring away the locals near Black Lake. They are unaware that Mr. Warnock and his henchman Packy are using the Black Lake Creature for their own reasons.
FP-9 "Haunt in Inn" November 6, 1971 (1971-11-06) Mudsy, Skip, Augie, and April end up staying at Widow Wilson's Inn which is haunted by a ghost that's been scaring away its customers.
FP-10 "Mudsy Joins the Circus" November 13, 1971 (1971-11-13) Mudsy, Skip, Augie, and April visit the Barnaby Bros. Circus where they spot a gorilla robbing the circus. They suspect that the circus' gorilla Gigantua is behind this and eventually discover that the gorilla in question is connected to a counterfeiting operation.
FP-11 "Pigskin Predicament" November 20, 1971 (1971-11-20) The football playoffs between Central High and Westside is interrupted when criminals Fingers and Lefty steal the $1,000,000 necklace of Brockton Van Cleef and store it in a football which ends up in a mix-up upon colliding with the Central High team. Now Fingers and Lefty plan to reclaim the football that contains the necklace by posing as members of the other team.
FP-12 "The Liberty Bell Caper" November 27, 1971 (1971-11-27) The Parafiend has stolen the original U.S.A. Flag that was made by Betsy Ross and leaves a poem riddle for his next caper. Mudsy, Skip, Augie, and April figure out that the Parafiend is after the Liberty Bell.
FP-13 "April's Foolish Day" December 4, 1971 (1971-12-04) Mudsy, Skip, Augie, and April enter the Looney Duney in the Desert Race. Known racer Winfield Wheely is hired to ride the Road Hog Roadster by Cyrus Road Hog and Winfield Wheely ends up taking April as his navigator. Yet Cyrus Road Hog has his own plans for winning the race.
FP-14 "The Forest's Prime-Evil" December 11, 1971 (1971-12-11) While in the Sequoia National Forest, Mudsy, Skip, Augie, and April end up camping out there. The next morning, the group find tracks left by Bigfoot and end up stumbling upon an illegal logging activity.
FP-15 "The Hairy Scary Houndman" December 18, 1971 (1971-12-18) Elmo is entered in a dog show. Houndman targets Mrs. Alstair's dog Cromwell yet his henchmen mistaken Elmo for Cromwell since the two dogs look alike.
FP-16 "Mudsy and Muddlemore Manor" December 25, 1971 (1971-12-25) Mudsy, Skip, Augie, and April arrive at Muddlemore Manor which was a showplace for George Washington and his army. They find the place haunted by a ghost claiming to be the Spirit of '76. Meanwhile, Mayor Henry Iverson, a descendent of Mudsy's arch-nemesis, plans to have Muddlemore Manor torn down.
FP-17 "Ghost Grabbers" January 1, 1972 (1972-01-01) Arriving in East Muddlemore, Skip, Augie, and April learn more of Mudsy's past where he and Boo hid in a clock upon stumbling upon two renegade Redcoats burying their loot. The group decides to look for the lost treasure when the hotel clerk Mr. Richford and the criminal Slippery Stark plan to capture Mudsy in order to lead them to the lost treasure by disguising themselves as the ghost of the two renegade Redcoats.

Principal cast[edit]

  • Daws Butler – Jonathan Wellington "Mudsy" Muddlemore, Fingers
  • Tommy Cook – Augie Anderson
  • Jerry Dexter – Elmo the Dog
  • Micky Dolenz – Skip Gilroy
  • Kristina Holland – April Stewart
  • Don Messick – Boo the Cat, Farmer Higgins, Raven/Otis Carter, Chickenman/Mr. Angus, Ichabod Crane, Mayor (in "We Saw a Sea Serpent"), Packy, Bill Sands, Lifeguard (in "Haunted in Inn"), Spirit of '76/Hank Miller

Additional voices[edit]

Other appearances[edit]

  • Jonathan Wellington "Mudsy" Muddlemore and his team appear in the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode "Mystery Solvers Club State Finals" with Jonathan Wellington "Mudsy" Muddlemore voiced by Tom Kenny and Boo the Cat voiced by Rick D. Wasserman. He and his team appear alongside other Hanna-Barbera mystery teams (consisting of Mystery Inc., Speed Buggy and his friends, Jabberjaw and the Neptunes, and Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels) in a fever dream of Scooby-Doo's. When the teenage sleuths are kidnapped by a flaming skeletal spirit called Lord Infernicus (also voiced by Rick D. Wasserman), the sidekicks are left to solve the mystery. Jonathan Wellington "Mudsy" Muddlemore believes Scooby cannot solve the case. It is revealed that Mudsy is the true culprit and not a real ghost, but a down-on-his-luck actor who joined a team of teen sleuths who mistook him for a real ghost. Tired of being reduced to sidekick status, he kidnapped the teenage sleuths to finally get his revenge and send them to Africa, which was in desperate need of teen mystery solvers in his eyes. Boo the Cat then states "You lied to me" and attacks Mudsy. When Scooby wakes up, he finds that the State Finals have been moved to a later date with the chairman that arrived having a strange resemblance to Mudsy.

Home release[edit]

On October 26, 2010, Warner Archive released The Funky Phantom: The Complete Series on DVD in region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Funky Phantom - The Complete Series Package Art, Plus a Discounted Pre-Order Price!". 

External links[edit]