Hong Kong Phooey is a 16-episode (31 shorts) Hanna-Barbera animated series that first aired on ABC Saturday morning from September 7, 1974 to December 21, 1974. The main character, Hong Kong Phooey, is a superhero who uses Chinese martial arts to fight crime. Hong Kong Phooey is the secret alter ego of Penrod "Penry" Pooch, a "mild-mannered" police station janitor. Hong Kong Phooey/Penry Pooch is also an anthropomorphic dog in a world populated mainly by normal humans.
The series stars Hong Kong Phooey, the “number one super guy” who travels about the city in his “Phooeymobile” fighting crime with the aid of his manual, The Hong Kong Book Of Kung Fu. The stories begin at the police headquarters, where Hong Kong Phooey's alter ego, Penry, works as a mild-mannered janitor under the glare of Sergeant Flint ("Sarge"). Also at the police station is Rosemary, the telephone operator, who has a crush on Hong Kong Phooey. After Rosemary gets a call and explains the crime, Penry runs into a filing cabinet and (always getting stuck) transforms himself into Hong Kong Phooey.
Despite the theme song, Hong Kong Phooey is a classic screw-up, and often fails to save the city only to be saved by his sidekick pet cat, Spot. In a few rare circumstances, Hong Kong Phooey actually does save the city, but usually as an unintended side effect of his intended attack going horribly wrong. Hong Kong Phooey is a respected superhero who always gets full credit for Spot’s success.
A running gag is that Hong Kong Phooey is such a respected hero that when his incompetence causes him to crash into, harm, or otherwise inconvenience a civilian, the passerby feels honored as opposed to annoyed or embarrassed, such as when he drove the Phooeymobile through wet cement, splattering the workers, who responded that it was an honor to have a whole day's work ruined by "the great Hong Kong Phooey."
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 "Oooh! Oooh!" exclamation. Sergeant Flint was very similar both in voice and appearance to Botch, assistant zoo-keeper at the Wonderland Zoo on Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch that Ross also voiced.
In the episode "Comedy Cowboys", 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. This episode was a pilot for the characters, and Posse Impossible later appeared in their own continuing segment on The CB Bears Show.
Like many animated series created by Hanna-Barbera in the 1970s, the show used the limited Hanna-Barbera self-created laugh track.
The show’s theme song, entitled "Hong Kong Phooey", was written by Chester Stover, 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 Episode number Title/production number Airdate Synopsis HKP-1 Car Thieves (prod. #74–1 Act 1) / Zoo Story (prod. #74–1 Act 2) September 7, 1974 HKP-2 Iron Head the Robot (prod. #74–2 Act 1) / Cotton Pickin' Pocket Picker (prod. #74–2 Act 2) September 14, 1974 HKP-3 Grandma Goody (Cat Burglar) (prod. #74–3 Act 1) / Candle Power (prod. #74–3 Act 2) September 21, 1974 HKP-4 The Penthouse Burglaries (prod. #74–4 Act 1) / Batty Bank Mob (prod. #74–4 Act 2) September 28, 1974 HKP-5 The Voltage Villain (prod. #74–5 Act 1) / The Giggler (prod. #74–5 Act 2) October 5, 1974 HKP-6 The Gumdrop Kid (prod. #74–6 Act 1) / Professor Presto (The Malevolent Magician) (prod. #74–6 Act 2) October 12, 1974 HKP-7 TV or Not TV (prod. #74–7 Act 1) / Stop Horsing Around (prod. #74–7 Act 2) October 19, 1974 HKP-8 Mirror, Mirror on the Wall (prod. #74–8 Act 1) / Great Movie Mystery (prod. #74–8 Act 2) October 26, 1974 HKP-9 The Claw (prod. #74–9 Act 1) / Hong Kong Phooey vs. Hong Kong Phooey (prod. #74–9 Act 2) November 2, 1974 HKP-10 The Abominable Snowman (prod. #74–10 Act 1) / Professor Crosshatch (prod. #74–10 Act 2) November 9, 1974 HKP-11 Goldfisher (prod. #74–11 Act 1) / Green Thumb (prod. #74–11 Act 2) November 16, 1974 HKP-12 From Bad to Verse (Rotten Rhymer) (prod. #74–12 Act 1) / Kong and the Counterfeiters (prod. #74–12 Act 2) November 23, 1974 HKP-13 The Great Choo Choo Robbery (prod. #74–13 Act 1) / Patty Cake, Patty Cake, Bakery Man (prod. #74–13 Act 2) November 30, 1974 HKP-14 Mr. Tornado (prod. #74–14 Act 1) / The Little Crook Who Wasn't There (prod. #74–14 Act 2) December 7, 1974 HKP-15 Dr. Disguiso (prod. #74–15 Act 1) / The Incredible Mr. Shrink (prod. #74–15 Act 2) December 14, 1974 HKP-16 Comedy Cowboys (prod. #74–16) December 21, 1974
Brazilian Portuguese: Hong Kong Fu Spanish: Hong Kong Phooey (the title character is voiced by Rafael del Río) German: Hong Kong Pfui Japanese: ほえよ! 0011 (Hoeyo! 0011) Swedish: Hong Kong Phooey (also known as "Karate-Klanten" in comic version) French: Hong Kong Foufou Portuguese: Hong Kong Phooey Polish: Hong Kong Fu-I Chinese: 功夫迷 (Kung Fu Mania) Italy: La furia di Hong Kong (Hong Kong Fury) Russian: Кунг-фу Пёс (Kung Fu Dog)
Hong Kong Phooey later appeared as a regular character in Laff-A-Lympics, as a member of the Scooby Doobies.
Hong Kong Phooey also made an appearance in an early Robot Chicken episode.
In the What's New, Scooby-Doo? episode, "A Scooby-Doo Halloween" one of the guests at the party dresses up as Hong Kong Phooey. Other media
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. At the end he morphs back to Penry with a smile and sparkle in his eye. Film
On July 12, 2009, it was announced that David A. Goodman had been hired to pen a Hong Kong Phooey film. Alex Zamm is set to direct and Broderick Johnson, Andrew Kosove, Brett Ratner, and Jay Stern are producing. Alcon Entertainment will back the film. It was announced August 10, 2011, that Eddie Murphy will be voicing Penry/Hong Kong Phooey in the film. Also, Hugh Jackman will be voicing his cat, Spot. Music
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". Literature
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).