Hong Kong Phooey: Wikis


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Hong Kong Phooey
Title Card for Hong Kong Phooey
Genre Comedy
Format Cartoon series
Created by Hanna-Barbera
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Starring Hong Kong Phooey
Voices of Scatman Crothers
Joe E. Ross
Kathy Gori
Don Messick
Sean B. Pasternak
Theme music composer Hoyt Curtin
Country of origin  United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 16 (31 Sub-episodes)
Producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Iwao Takamoto
Running time 30 Minutes (Approx.)
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Original channel ABC
Original run September 7, 1974 (1974-09-07) – September 4, 1976 (1976-09-04)
Status Ended
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 September 4, 1976 (1976-09-04). The star, Hong Kong Phooey, is the secret alter ego of Penrod Pooch, or Penry (sometimes mispronounced "Henry")[1], a "mild-mannered" police station janitor.



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.[2] 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 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.

Like many Hanna-Barbera shows from this era, Hong Kong Phooey was originally broadcast with a laugh track. In the episode "Comedy Cowboys", several new cartoon characters (Honcho, The Mystery Maverick, and Posse Impossible) appeared and helped to clear Hong Kong of a crime he did not commit. Posse Impossible found their way onto The CB Bears Show.

Notable quotations

Hong Kong Phooey
  • "Hah! Hoo! And a-rinky dinky doo (to you)!"
  • "Better look it up in my Hong Kong Book of Kung Fu.."
  • "Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!"
  • "Pe-en-n-ry-y-y-y!" (shouted whenever Penry bungles something at the police station; Sgt. Flint would often mispronounce Penry's name in such a way that it sounded as Henry, however many times in the show a clear pronunciation of Penry - diminutive of Penrod, can be heard).
  • "Hello, hello. Police Headquarters. This is Rosemary, the lovely lassie with the classy chassis..." (from Storm Warning)

Theme song

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

"Hong Kong Phooey, number one super guy.
Hong Kong Phooey, quicker than the human eye.
He's got style, a groovy smile,
and a car that just won't stop.
When the going gets rough, he's super-tough,
with a Hong Kong Phooey chop (Yah!)
Hong Kong Phooey, number one super guy.
Hong Kong Phooey, quicker than the human eye.
Hong Kong Phooey... Fan-riffic! (gong!)"[3]

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

Bloopers and references inside the show

Geographical references
Many Hanna-Barbera cartoons were set in unspecified cities and locations only suggesting that the action takes place in the US, however with Hong Kong Phooey there is proof of that in the show (in episode's 1.12 From Bad to Verse (Rotten Rhymer) segment Hong Kong Phooey follows the Rotten Rhymer to Washington D.C.; in episode's 1.02 Cotton Pickin' Pocket Picker segment Penry and Spot are going to a Janitor's Convention in Miami Beach; in episode 1.16 Comedy Cowboys the Wild West entourage of the presented heroes, also within the Honcho segment of the episode Honcho stops pursuing Tin Nose the villain because he crossed a state line - a obvious American law enforcement reference; furthermore the currency are dollars and cents). Hong Kong Phooey also visits London in episode's 1.14 Mr. Tornado segment and in its other segment The Little Crook Who Wasn't There goes to Venice. Another geographical reference is the name of Hong Kong Phooey. His trusty handbook the 'Hong Kong Book of Kung Fu' give the same reference while being cultural reference to the martial arts at the same time.

Cultural references
Although imitating real life and situations instead of directly referencing the cultural aspects, few scenes from the show make parody of them. In episode 1.09 The Claw / Hong Kong Phooey vs. Hong Kong Phooey the first segment involves a parody of Leonardo Da Vinci painting "Mona Lisa" as 'Mona Pizza'. In the same scene Penry is moved sleeping by the Claw onto the resemblance of the fifth century statue of "Discobolus" by Myron. Even further in the episode Hong Kong Phooey is offering his services in protecting the necklace of Sunny Chair (obvious name and animation reference to Cher the singer and her husband and band partner Sonny). One of the villains Hong Kong Phooey encounters is named Goldfisher - an obvious reference to one of James Bond's nemesis, Goldfinger. The link between the episode's 1.05 segments is sgt. Flint and Spot constructing models out of toothpicks: in the first segment Spot is making a model of supposedly Empire State Building and in the second segment sgt. Flint constructs the Eiffel Tower and Golden Gate Bridge. Also the legendary Lost Dutchman Mine is mentioned in the episode 1.16.

"Hong Kong Book of Kung Fu" title bloopers
The show involved an inconsistency throughout its whole run with the famous 'Hong Kong Book of Kong Fu' book's cover. Depending on a angle of the animation and the close ups the book would be presented as having no print on the cover or the title in many variants:

  • the true name - 'Hong Kong Book of Kong Fu' is shown on the cover only in two episodes: 1.07 Stop Horsing Around segment and 1.08 Mirror, Mirror on the Wall segment.
  • 'Hong Kong School of Kung Foo' (episode's 1.01 Car Thieves segment)
  • 'Hong Kong School of Kung Fu' (episode's 1.02 Iron head the Robot segment; episode's 1.08 Mirror, Mirror on the Wall segment; episode's 1.09 Hong Kong Phooey vs. Hong Kong Phooey segment; episode's 1.14 The Little Crook Who Wasn't There segment; episode's 1.15 The Incredible Mr. Shrink segment), this title also appears on the back cover instead of the front in episode's 1.05 The Voltage Villain segment
  • 'Kung Fu' (episode's 1.04 Penthouse Burglaries segment)
  • 'Kung Fu' with handwritten 'property of Hong Kong Phooey' (episode's 1.05 Professor Presto (the Malevolant Magician) segment.

Also in episode's 1.02 Ironhead the Robot segment an asian writing can be seen on the back cover. Additionally, the running head of the handbook is presented in episode's 1.03 Grandma Goody (Cat Burglar) segment while Penry is sliding down the drainpipe, it shows the books true name 'Hong Kong Book of Kung Fu'.

Animation inconsistency
The show as many of the Hanna-Barbera's productions was not free from animation mistakes and bloopers. One inconsistency involves the Phooeymobile due to the use of stock animation in which the cells are presented in their mirror reflection (commonly used in chases when a character runs towards one end of the screen, leaves the camera and comes back the same way pointing in the opposite direction; this technique saved money on animation, however delivers many inconsistencies with characters having some kind of distinguishing feature only appearing on one side of them e.g. police badge). The Phooeymobile's rear window is glass stained in an unsymmetrical pattern. This made it vulnerable to the stock animation techniques repercussions and as such can be seen changing its pattern from regular to mirror reflection even couple of times per sequence. Also the drawing of this windows pattern is mistaken often even when Phooey mobile is going in the same direction on different occasions.

Penry's hat color bloopers
There is also the recurring blooper of Penry's janitor hat color. The DVD feature 'Phoo-Nomenon' shows a development sketch of all the major character in the show in which the hat is red, therefore the white hat should be considered as miscolored. The hat is presented as white in:

  • the opening sequence
  • episode's 1.01 Car Thieves segment from the beginning until the jump into the filing cabinet (we can then see its red for the first time in the series)
  • entire episode's 1.01 Zoo Story segment
  • episode's 1.09 The Claw segment in one close up
  • episode 1.10 Professor Crosshatch segment in one close up.

Also in episode's 1.08 Great Movie Mystery segment the hat is colored in a way matching his shirt when Penry is in jail, however this mistake is made twice and it could be argued that this is a prison uniform.

Further bloopers
The additional bloopers attributed to individual episodes are as follows:

  • in episode's 1.03 Grandma Goody (Cat Burglar) segment Hong Kong Phooey reads the 'Hong Kong Book of Kung Fu' on the intersection waiting for a green light, after he takes out the book from his kimono a camera shows the bird's eye view of the Phooeymobile where he no longer holds the book but the wheel and in another close up the book is back in his paws (4th minute 36th second)
  • in episode's 1.03 Candle Power segment Spots face is drawn in a way that the coloring of his face is seen on almost entire head (17th minute 50th second)
  • in episode's 1.04 Batty Bank Mob segment Penry paints over Sgt. Flint's portrait that has different hair color before and after the paint remover is applied (11th minute 59th second); also after the paint remover was applied to the painting there is still some paint left on the wall but during the conversation between Rosemary and Penry the paint on the wall is no longer drawn (12th minute 37th second)
  • in episode's 1.05 The Giggler segment Giggler's clown nose is seen losing color (18th minute 47th second)
  • in episode's 1.06 Professor Presto (the Malevolant Magician) segment Presto is missing his cape string in one close up (17th minute sharp)
  • in episode's 1.07 TV or Not TV segment the TV robbers voices are miscast in the TV store where they both speak on close up recognizing Hong Kong Phooey with each others voices (6th minute 15th second)
  • in episode's 1.12 The Kong and the Counterfeiters segment Spot's face is miscolored matching his whole head instead of his standard face color (19th minute 55th second)

DVD release

On August 15, 2006, Warner Home Video released the complete series on DVD in Region 1.

DVD Name Ep # Release date Additional information
Hong Kong Phooey- The Complete Series 16 August 15, 2006
  • 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"


Hong Kong Phooey in other languages

Production credits

  • Executive Producers: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
  • Directed by: Charles A. Nichols
  • Creative Producer: Iwao Takamoto
  • Recording Director: Wally Burr
  • Executive Story Consultant: Myles Wilder
  • Story Editor: Bill Raynor
  • Storyboard Editors: Alex Lovy, Lew Marshall, Cullen Houghtaling
  • Writers: Fred Fox and Seaman Jacobs, Len Janson and Chuck Menville, Larz Bourne, Jack Mendelsohn
  • Voices: Scatman Crothers, Richard Dawson, Ron Feinberg, Kathy Gori, Bob Holt, Casey Kasem, Jay Lawrence, Peter Leeds, Allan Melvin, Don Messick, Alan Oppenheimer, Bob Ridgely, Joe E. Ross, Fran Ryan, Hal Smith, Jean Vander Pyl, Lee Vines, Janet Waldo, Franklin Welker, Paul Winchell, Lennie Weinrib
  • Production Design: Bob Singer
  • Production Supervision: Victor O. Schipek
  • Titles: Iraj Paran
  • Musical Director: Hoyt Curtin
  • Music Supervision: Paul DeKorte
  • Character Design: Marty Murphy
  • Layout Unit Manager: Willie Ito
  • Layout: Alvaro Arce, Ed Benedict, Jaime Diaz, Barry Goldberg, Gary Hoffman, Don Jurwich, Lin Larsen, Phillip Mendez, Dardo Valez
  • Unit Director: Bill Keil
  • Animation: Robert Bemiller, Emil Carle, Steve Clark, James Davis, Lillian Evans, Marcia Fertig, Bob Goe, Julie Lackenby, Joan Swanson, Dave Tendlar, Ken Muse, Bill Nunes, Joan Orbison, Rod Parkes, Ed Parks, Tom Ray, Jay Sarbry, Joel Seibel, Hicks Lokey, Bob Maxfield, Russell Von Neida
  • Background Supervision: Fernando Montealegre
  • Background: Lorraine Andrina and Richard Khim
  • Technical Supervision: Frank Paiker
  • Checking and Scene Planning: Evelyn Sherwood
  • Ink and Paint Supervision: Billie Kerns
  • Xerography: Robert "Tiger" West
  • Sound Direction: Richard Olson, Bill Getty
  • Supervising Film Editor: Larry Cowan
  • Music Editor: Joe Sandusky
  • Sound Effects Editor: Milton Krear
  • Negative Consultant: William E. DeBoer
  • Post Production Supervision: Joed Eaton
  • Camera: Ralph Migliori, Louis Niemeyer, Roy Wade, Dennis Weaver
  • Production Manager: Art Scott
  • Assistant Production Manager: Jayne Barbera

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 anthropomophic 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.



On July 12, 2009, it was announced that David A. Goodman had been hired to pen a Hong Kong Phooey film.[4] Alex Zamm is set to direct and Broderick Johnson, Andrew Kosove, Brett Ratner, and Jay Stern are producing.[5] On July 31, 2009, it was announced that Warner Bros. will release the Hong Kong Phooey film, with co-financing from Alcon Entertainment (Johnson and Kosove's production company) and Hanna-Barbera Productions (an in-name-only unit of Warner Bros. Animation).


In the Moldy Peaches song "Nothing Came Out", they reference Hong Kong Phooey: "I want you to watch cartoons with me. He-Man, Voltron and Hong-Kong-Phooey".

See also


External links


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