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Hong Kong Phooey
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Episode Review
History of Hong Kong Phooey
Interview:  Cool Qs for Kathy Gori (Voice of Rosemary)
Quick Facts
Voice Cast


Cool Qs for Kathy Gori (Voice of Rosemary):  April, 2011- Polar Blair asks voice actress/writer Kathy Gori 2 Cool Questions.

Kathy Gori Rosemary

Polar Blair:  What was your favorite piece(s) of dialogue as Rosemary?
Kathy Gori:  Anything rhyming was always fun and sometimes they just let me make something up.

Polar Blair:  What project(s) are you currently working on that people might find interesting?
Kathy Gori:  A new feature comedy and also a very exciting project that is being planned as a graphic novel and TV series.

Polar Blair sends a big, hearty THANK YOU to Kathy Gori for her time!  Check her out in the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon series, "Hong Kong Phooey", now available on DVD!

History of Hong Kong Phooey:  To the admission of everyone who worked on this cartoon (outside of the voice actors), "Hong Kong Phooey" was easy to develop.  That isn't to say this was a simple idea.  Far from it.  By the time this cartoon came out (1974), Hanna-Barbera had long established a reputation for funny cartoons with way out concepts.  At this time kung fu cinema and television, most notably Bruce Lee and the "Kung Fu" TV series was huge.  Simply Hanna-Barbera-ize a martial arts character, and you get something like Hong Kong Phooey.

    Hong Kong Phooey was a kung-fu superhero dog.  His car, the Phooeymobile, could do anything he wanted it to do.  He worked as a janitor at the police station.  Hong Kong had a pet cat/sidekick by the name of Spot (it only had stripes).  The idea of the humor is that no one ever questioned the fact he was a walking/talking dog in a world of people.  A little black mask easily threw off his secret identity, much like other lame superhero disguises (i.e. Superman's and Wonder Woman's glasses).

    Everything about the show was given a mock Asian feel.  The backgrounds, in particular, were simple watercolors like you'd find in Asian art.  The car looks like a little pagoda.  Any little Asian-y thing that could be plunked into a sight gag was used, including the gong that transformed the Phooeymobile into whatever.  Despite all this, the show was not insulting to Asians.  As a matter of fact, it was meant to celebrate all these things...while giving us a lot of laughs.

    "Hong Kong Phooey" is one of the funniest Hanna-Barbera cartoons I've ever seen.  This show has better dialogue than most cartoons, and you can tell the voice actors and creative team are really getting into it.  If you're calling this a kids' show, I'd say it was for kids that were a bit older (like 9 and up), or kids that are just a bit smarter.

    Every half-hour episode of the series (except the last) featured two cartoons.  Unlike most cartoons, "Hong Kong Phooey" didn't feature title cards.  There was a good reason: Both cartoons in an episode shared a common theme or running gag.  The first cartoon would easily slide into the second.  The last episode, 'Comedy Cowboy', was a full half-hour and was about Hong Kong being framed for a crime he didn't commit.

    The hardest thing about creating this series was finding the voice for Hong Kong Phooey.  Once Joseph Barbera heard Scatman Crothers, he knew Hong Kong had his voice.  Crothers is incredible as Hong Kong Phooey.  He's really funny to listen to, and his voice matches the shaggy look of the character.  Crothers knew how to deliver a line, and you could believe the character was real.

    Kathy Gori as the voice of Rosemary is absolutely awesome.  She is as indispensable to the show as Crothers.  Rosemary is one of the few female characters in fiction who is sexy because she's a little bit goofy.  We usually see/hear Rosemary at the beginning and end of an episode.  As a viewer, we're always looking forward to what greeting Rosemary is going to give next over the switchboard.

    Hong Kong really didn't know anything about kung fu, but it didn't stop him from trying.  It was his cat Spot or sheer luck that helped him save the day.  The show wasn't on that long, but the idea of the character made Hong Kong Phooey one of Hanna-Barbera's most beloved icons.  Best remembered about this show among the general public is the name and look of the character, and the fact that Scatman Crothers did his voice and sang the theme song.

    The theme song is one of Hanna-Barbera's best and most popular themes.  It is basic 70s funk with Asian overtones and a touch of scat.  Definitely unique, and it had some of the most memorable lyrics: "He's a number one super guy!".

Quick Facts:
  • Penry's full name is Penrod Pooch.  His name is sometimes mispronounced as "Henry".
  • The character was originally going to be called "Kung Phooey", but Joseph Barbera thought "Hong Kong Phooey" sounded a lot funnier.  He was right!

Studio: Hanna-Barbera

Episode No.
Original Airdate

Car Thieves

Zoo Story

Iron Head the Robot

Cotton Pickin' Pocket Picker

Grandma Goody (Cat Burglar)

Candle Power

The Penthouse Burglaries

Batty Bank Mob

The Voltage Villain

The Giggler

The Gumdrop Kid

Professor Presto (The Malevolent Magician)

TV or Not TV

Stop Horsing Around

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Great Movie Mystery

The Claw

Hong Kong Phooey vs. Hong Kong Phooey

The Abominable Snowman

Professor Crosshatch


Green Thumb

From Bad to Verse (Rotten Rhymer)

Kong and the Counterfeiters

The Great Choo Choo Robbery

Patty Cake, Patty Cake, Bakery Man

Mr. Tornado

The Little Crook Who Wasn't There

Dr. Disguise

The Incredible Mr. Shrink

Comedy Cowboy

Episode Review:

10. The Giggler-  Hong Kong Phooey didn't have recurring villains, but the Giggler would be his version of the Joker.  Many superheroes have their crazy, comical villains; Batman has Joker, Superman has Prankster, Flash has Trickster, and so on.  The Giggler worked for the "Hong Kong Phooey" series.  It would have been interesting to see him in another cartoon.

11. The Gumdrop Kid-  Continuing the fine tradition of trivial supervillains in this series is the Gumdrop Kid.  His goal?  To steal all the candy in the city so he can resell it at exorbitant prices.

18. Hong Kong Phooey vs. Hong Kong Phooey-  Another great cartoon!  In this one, HKP matches wits with an imposter.  In this cartoon, we get to see Rosemary wiggle walk from behind; cute and funny!

Voice Cast:

Scatman Crothers as Penrod "Penry" Pooch/Hong Kong Phooey
Kathy Gori as Rosemary
Joe E. Ross as Sgt. Flint
Don Messick as Spot