The Houndcats were five crack agents--leader Stutz, strongman Muscle Mutt, master of disguise Puddy Puss, electronics whiz Rhubarb and daredevil Dingdong--who received instructions of their latest mission via exploding tape-recordings and used their specialties to foil evil. If this sounds a bit like "Mission: Impossible", it's no coincidence. Sparkplug was the name of their car which took them to their assignments. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
"Mission: Impossible" meets "The Bearcats" meets "The Wild, Wild West". With funny animals.
I was *really* into "The Houndcats" as a kid, and I'm not (too) embarrassed to admit I liked it today. While the show is indeed a combination of "Mission: Impossible" and the quickly canceled "Bearcats", I think another major influence was "The Wild, Wild West", only without the fights and the scantily clad women. At least there were plenty of power-hungry villains, though. (Remember, not only was "The Houndcats" a kids' show, but it was produced at a time when concern about violence on children's television was at its peak. That's probably one reason why the "Mission: Impossible" formula appealed to the producers: the Houndcats always tricked their opponents into defeat instead of beating them up.) Also, I'd like to correct a common error about "The Houndcats"' voice cast. Daws Butler did *not* play Stutz; that was Michael Bell. Butler played Rhubarb in a few episodes (presumably when Arte Johnson was unavailable; remember "Laugh-In" was still in production) and also played two of the villains, Grogan and Dr. Strangeless.
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