Penrod "Penry" Pooch, otherwise known as Hong Kong Phooey, is a mild-mannered canine janitor at a police station, and whenever help is needed he dives into a file cabinet and emerges as a karate fighting superhero named Hong Kong Phooey. He is voiced by Scatman Crothers.
Accompanied by his trusty feline companion Spot, Hong Kong Phooey fights crime while double-checking his trusty textbook The Hong Kong Book of Kung Fu.
Why He Rocks
- He acts cool and collected, seemingly unaware and oblivious of his own incompetence and bumbling nature. Though he has an earnest passion for fighting for truth and justice, he is also incredibly laid back, keeping a relaxed attitude most of the time.
- Despite being a comedic bungler most of the time, he constantly wins against his antagonistic opponents, and his victories are in large part due to luck and assistance from Spot, a fact to which he is largely oblivious.
- His clumsiness and his bumbling antics were always done in a very entertaining way, much like Goofy from Disney.
- He has many funny moments, especially because of his sayings that are used in an ironic context. An example of this includes:
- "I caught those crooks so fast, I didn't even see myself do it!"
- Much like many idiot-hero characters such as Gilligan from Gilligan's Island or Inspector Gadget, for example, he may be a bit of a buffoon and is an idiot. But he represents how everyone has their shortcomings and we all can make up for them with our own positive qualities.
- Speaking of which, he is very much a predecessor to Inspector Gadget and Darkwing Duck when it comes to having the similar personality of having an "egotistical and lucky if inept superhero while his sidekick is far more competent than he really is".
- He may be misguided, yet his action scenes/victories help develop great courage and determination by facing our obstacles without overthinking, sometimes to the point where 'dumb luck can be portrayed as a good thing instead of being something annoying or boring to watch.
- Scatman Crothers did a great job voicing him.
- While yes his frequent use of pseudo-Chinese didn't age too well, all of his one-liners are downright charming and entertaining to listen to.
- He is generally a nice guy if having some ego in his generally dense, carefree, and laid-back appearance.
- Speaking of Phooey's presence in and out of his costume, he may be a total failure of a crimefighter, but he's got TONS of witty lines to tell to the viewer and to the characters he interacts with. Whether he does this through inner monologue or not!
- He has a good character design.
- A lot like Inspector Gadget and Darkwing Duck, he can be too self-reliant and absent-minded to know any better. He is often bumbling through solving crimes, who Spot is inaudibly muttering the clues to him while Penrod takes most of the credit and just reads stupid Chinese sayings.
- Speaking of those sayings, his frequent use of pseudo-Chinese didn't age too well and it can come off as racist to some people nowadays. These include Hong Kong Phooey spouting out gibberish based on what he thinks are magic words that relate to Kung Fu, examples of these include "Ching Chong Bin Biyong").
- Despite his impressive displays of martial arts, it was always obvious that Spot did most of the work as the hero and got little to no credit.
- His crazed attacks always get him in danger, during the time of which Spot effectively thwarts any villain/antagonist of the episode, which Hong Kong Phooey never notices, and when the enemy has his bum handed to him on a silver platter he replies with something like, "I moved so fast, I didn't even see myself catch him!".
- Hong Kong Phooey isn't exactly super. Granted, he tries, but either he doesn't try hard enough, or he tries a bit too hard.
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