Martial arts movies were in vogue in the mid-70's, and Kung Fu, a Western (!) starring David Carradine, was being shuffled in and out of the ABC prime time lineup. The network felt they needed another superhero show to complement Super Friends, which was in perpetual rerun for its 2nd season. Enter Hong Kong Phooey, a canine martial artist whose talents were overshadowed by his general ineptitude. Shoot, Maxwell Smart was more proficient with mere karate chops than Phooey, but then again, Hanna-Barbera had Smart in mind when they were developing this series. Here's the open, narrated by Don Messick, and uploaded to YouTube:
Phooey (Scatman Crothers) would solve two cases per week, and one of the rare times where this wasn't the case was in a backdoor pilot for Posse Impossible, which later made it to air as part of the 1977 anthology series, CB Bears. Joe E. Ross (ex-Car 54, Where Are You?) was heard as Sgt. Flint, Penrod Pooch's boss.
There have been rumors for the last few years about a live-action/CGI feature film version of the series, but nothing has ever materialized beyond the talking stage. Would Hong Kong Phooey be worth reviving as a regular series? Only if they rebooted and converted Flint and Rosemary into canine characters. As we've already seen in the 21st century, "funny animal" heroes interacting with humans (i.e. "Underdog") don't resonate with audiences the way they did back in the 60's & 70's.