There’s a new superhero hanging out at my house, and it’s not Batman or Spiderman or even Kung Fu Panda. It’s Hong Kong Phooey.
(I’d post a picture but I’m having a hard time finding one that will work.)
Now, I know we’ve got a lot of young ‘uns that hang out here who may not remember Hong Kong Phooey. So for those of you who might need a little help, I direct you here. Why, you may ask, am I posting about him? Well, it turns out that my strictness about commercial television has taken a turn I didn’t expect.
My relationship with TV has never been a comfortable one. As a child my parents restricted my viewing but put the TV in my bedroom because they didn’t want it in the living room. I did read a ton but also spent a good bit of time watching Happy Days (absolutely forbidden by my mother) with the sound turned off. It has left me with a kind of love-hate relationship that has carried over into my parenting and as a consequence, I have pretty much banned commerical TV from my house. We have cable, but all the kids get to watch is PBS, with an occasional foray into the Disney Channel.
Problem is I now have a six year old who isn’t interested in the “babyish” programming he’s been offered up to now. I do let him watch Sponge Bob, but unfortunately it’s not always on when I permit him to watch TV (usually in the morning or evening).
DH lets me set the rules, but he has a much less complicated attitude. He knows there is no possible way that our children will even come close to watching as much TV as he did, and he’s not really worried about it. So naturally, he was the one who came up with the idea of showing them TV programs from his childhood on the computer.
It started with Looney Toons, which I heartily endorsed, as I have many a fond memory of watching Foghorn Leghorn at my grandmother’s house (more fun there – she had a color TV, which my parents never owned).
Then it was Scooby Doo, another favorite of mine. I got a little uneasy though at the level of devotion to Scooby that both children displayed. They talk about the characters like they are real, even referring to them as “the gang.” My youngest is still apt to burst out singing the theme song at inappropriate times (i.e., church) and always at high volume (he has patiently explained to me many times that it is supposed to be loud).
As you can probably guess, we have now landed on their latest passion: Hong Kong Phooey. I am now subjected to my younger child singing this vaguely offensive song, often multiple times before breakfast.
I will actually admit that it’s been fun to see how eagerly the two of them sit in a desk chair and peer at cartoons from the 1970s whose production value can’t even come close to those of today. Or to hear the belly laugh elicited by Scooby Dum (who I never liked especially). Or even to laugh myself at Pepe le Pew (while sitting in a Parisian apartment no less).
Do any of you have old favorites that you might share with your children? I realize for some of you the vintage might be much more recent. But please, do share.
DH is threatening Underdog next.