by Tammy Tillotson

Who would win in a fight between Hong Kong Phooey and Scooby Doo?

A Hard Question
In today’s dog eat dog world, my vote goes to Scooby Doo.

Argument 1
Don Messick is the leading man in Scooby Doo and not just a catty sidekick.

For cartoon enthusiasts unfamiliar with popular Hanna-Barbera credits, Don Messick is the voice of Scooby Doo. Messick is also the voice of Spot, Hong Kong Phooey’s partner. Hong Kong Phooey is primarily an egotistical, kung fu fighting, incompetent canine, while feline sidekick Spot is the brains and genius behind Phooey’s crime solving.

Don Messick has a patterned history of setting a high standard in the canine cartoon world, as he was also the voice of Astro in Hanna-Barbera’s The Jetsons. If Spot were a dog, the question would be slightly more difficult to answer. Or more likely, the question would never have been posed in the first place.

Judging by Messick’s track record in the Hanna-Barbera cartoons, there could be some other explanation to these canine cartoon coincidences. Perhaps, two out of three really ain’t bad. The Jetsons aired 24 episodes before successfully entering syndication and later adding three movies to its credits. Scooby Doo’s claim to fame is an even more substantial list, including original episodes, other series, successful syndication, guest appearances, and movies. Hong Kong Phooey aired only 16 original episodes.

Phooey on Hong Kong Phooey, as the canine lacks the striking innocent and lovable charismatic qualities that both Astro and Scooby Doo possess. In Messick’s paws, I would have chosen to be Spot in the spotlight too. The cat is typically bored to distraction, while utilizing quick-thinking rationale and clever resourcefulness. The sarcasm and cattiness is quite understandable when dealing with this Bruce Lee wannabe misfit.

Argument 2
I am rather fond of the whole do anything for a Scooby Snack…a Klondike bar…a half pint of Ben & Jerry’s, or any other positive cause and effect relationship that utilizes food as a catalyst.

Who says our culture consists largely of people with emotional and psychological attachments to food because food fulfills a perceived lack of self-esteem in a stressful situation? Correct me if I’m wrong, but is emotional fulfillment in moderation really such a bad thing?

Scooby Doo never denies his fears or his shortcomings, but he can be coaxed into overcoming them with the aid of food. Scooby Doo never encounters battle of the bulge anxiety around Thanksgiving or Christmas. He never frets about the freshman fifteen. He never appears anorexic or bulimic, and he is a model example of consuming food in moderation when necessary (i.e. 1 Scooby Snack, 2 Scooby Snacks, 3 Scooby Snacks, or only on rare occasions a whole box of Scooby Snacks). There are also some instances where Scooby Doo either loses the Scooby Snacks or Shaggy eats them first, which illustrates that even in the absence of this bribery technique the insurmountable can still be conquered.

In Scooby’s defense, I consider the use of treats to be positive reinforcement that in no way contributes to overindulgence. Scooby Doo does not require fancy smancy Kung Fu fighting to mask his true self. Scooby Doo also graciously admits being kin to far from perfect relatives including Scrappy, Scooby Dum, and Scooby Dee. Considering the dysfunctional imprinting that he must have suffered during his childhood, give man’s best friend a break and pass the darn Scooby Snacks!

Argument 3
Every dog has its day. Yet, when the dog’s alter ego fights villains that include Dr. Nowhere and The Incredible Mr. Shrink, does that not scream negative “subliminal messages” to innocent viewers sitting on their couches at home? How about a Cotton Pickin’ Pocket Picker break!

On the other hand, we have the Red Baron…hmm…anyone else feel like pizza for dinner?

Argument 4
Does anyone really know what Daphne and Velma put in those snacks? How much does it matter?

It would seem that Fun Loving Criminals might have an answer. According to lyrics from “Scooby Snacks,” the first single from their album Come Find Yourself, the characters in the song are “running around robbing banks, all wacked off of Scooby Snacks!” The original concept for the lyrics was based on how Scooby Snacks always calmed down Scooby and Shaggy so they could do anything. Perhaps that might even include robbing a bank while on Valium. Fun Loving Criminals certainly address a perplexing question in a highly enlightening fashion. The symbolic and iconic meaning to cartoon references can be interpreted in many different ways. Scooby Snacks have become a cultural symbol that might possibly refer to Valium, Prozac, Crystal Meth, Scooby Doobies (marijuana), or any number of other substances.

If there really was some special brownie ingredient added in to the mix, and Scooby Doo still managed to take on the world, that is certainly even more impressive. Phooey on anything else, and again, pass those darn Scooby Snacks!

Argument 5
Hong Kong Phooey had to receive a 21st Century makeover to even be allowed to return to the Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Network in 2001. Hong Kong Phooey is once again masking his true cowardly self in the disguise of a beefed up werewolf wanna-be. Ooow!

Maybe Phooey had high hopes of impressing Buffy the Vampire Slayer. However, my best guess is that Hong Kong Phooey invested in a few Scooby Snacks. They come in steroid flavor too now?

This exclusive debate is courtesy of hanna-barbarians enjoying a Scooby Snack break around the water cooler, while otherwise disguised in alter egos of ordinary people with college degrees.

The person with the weird looking glasses, mysteriously peering out from his or her small boxed-in cubicle, might also have one of these amazing yet undetectable human alter egos. My advice, keep some Scooby Snacks handy for emergency situations.

Don’t forget to feed the egos of faithful canine friends either! Boxes of Scooby Snacks can actually be purchased at certain stores. Look carefully on the pet food aisle. Don’t hold back!