1974: Hong Kong Phooey Rises
The 30-minute Saturday morning cartoon show known as Hong Kong Phooey debuted on this day in 1974. Although fairly popular, only 16 episodes of the show were produced by Hanna-Barbera. The show centered around the character of police station janitor, Penrod “Penry” Pooch, who would jump into a filing cabinet and pop out as Hong Kong Phooey. The show was a parody of kung fu movies and superhero shows. With the aid of Spot the cat (who had stripes), the pup would use a gong to transform his “Phooeymobile” into different vehicles depending on what was needed at the time. The show featured the voice talents of Scatman Crothers as Penry, Joe E. Ross as Sarge and Kathy Gori as the police secretary, Rosemary.
1974: The ‘Land of the Lost’ Legacy
Sid & Marty Krofft joined with Allan Fosko in the creation of Land of the Lost which is perhaps the most successful of all of the Krofft shows. Debuting on this day in 1974, the show’s premise is explained in the show’s opening where Rick Marshall (Spencer Milligan) and his children Will (Wesley Eure) and Holly (Kathy Coleman) are on a camping trip and while rafting, fall down a 1,000-foot waterfall that takes them into an alternate universe that is inhabited by dinosaurs. From there, much like other Krofft shows, they spent their time trying to get back home.
Land of the Lost ran for three seasons, but Will and Holly lost their father at the beginning of season 3 when Rick accidentally returns home without them but is replaced by his brother Jack (Ron Harper) who apparently was looking for the family at that exact time. (How convenient was that?)
On September 7, 1991, the Kroffts introduced a new version of the show that aired on ABC for two seasons. The new show boasted of better special effects and was lighter in tone overall. Though the show had similar themes, it was an entirely different series.
- 1860: Grandma Moses (painter)
- 1926: Samuel Goldwyn Jr. (film director)
- 1926: Don Messick (voice actor)
- 1947: Gloria Gaynor (singer)
- 1950: Julie Kavner (actress)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.