Who would suspect that mild-mannered Penrod Pooch was Hong Kong Phooey, crime fighter extraordinaire and hero of the people? As a cover, Penrod—called Penry by his co-workers—was employed as a janitor at the city police station, where his hairbrained inventions and crazy schemes regularly landed him in hot water with Sergeant Flint. But by working at the station, Penry was privy to incoming calls taken by Rosemary the telephone operator. When there was trouble, Penry dashed through a secret door behind a vending machine and into a room that contained a filing cabinet, which he used to change into his crime fighting costume. Inevitably, the filing cabinet got stuck and the police station cat, Spot, had to let the newly changed crime fighter extraordinaire and hero of the people, Hong Kong Phooey, out.
Accompanied by Spot, Hong Kong Phooey leapt through a back window into a dumpster where he hid his Phooeymobile. By ringing a gong, he could transform the Phooeymobile into any type of transportation he needed.
Generally, every clue to a crook’s whereabouts escaped Hong Kong Phooey, and the lawless committed crimes under his very nose. It was up to Spot to point out any illegal activity, although this was difficult for the cat because he couldn’t speak and had to do his best to point out what should have been obvious to his heedless partner. When Hong Kong Phooey finally went into action—often consulting his book, the Hong Kong School of Kung Fu, which was supposed to serve as a crime fighting guide but never offered any appreciable help—he proceeded to showcase an incredible array of inept blundering that could in no way be mistaken for the actions of a crime fighting champion. But in the end, either by sheer accident or more commonly through the efforts of Spot, the crooks were captured. Without exception, Hong Kong Phooey was oblivious to anything that had actually transpired. Convinced he had single-handedly caught the crooks, he proudly professed his deeds to all, to the repeated chagrin of Spot.
When Sgt. Flint showed up to take the felons into custody, Hong Kong Phooey always got credit for saving the day. This also served to foster a not-so-secret crush Rosemary had for Hong Kong Phooey, never suspecting that her hero was in fact her everyday work associate, Penry.