“Who is this superhero?
Rosemary, the telephone operator? No.
Penry, the mild-mannered janitor? Could be…”
Yes, it’s Hong Kong Phooey, the incompetent Kung Fu-crimefighting dog with a magical shape-changing car and a partner who is a stripey cat called Spot and who does all the real work of catching the bad guys.
It also has one of the all-time great cartoon theme tunes, written by Chester Stover, Watts Biggers, Treadwell Covington, and Joseph Harris and sung by Scatman Crothers, who also provided the voice for the title character and Penry, his mild-mannered alter-ego.
Only 16 episodes, featuring 31 adventures, were made back in 1974, but they continue to be re-run to this day around the world.
You know, watching the opening titles again after all these years, I can’t help but be distracted – and a bit annoyed by the lack of realism (well, y’know, realism within the context of a cartoon about a talking crimefighting dog who has a magical shape-changing car…) – by the fact that HKP’s car is clearly far too big for the trash can that he keeps it in.
But maybe that’s just me…