CULT FACTION

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Cult Cartoon Essentials: The Funky Phantom

Produced for Hanna-Barbera Productions, The Funky Phantom, hit our screens in 1971 and lasted for 17 episodes (of 22 minutes). The premise of the show began with three teenagers trying to find shelter from a storm.

As the storm struck, the “Looney Duney” dune buggy containing Skip Gilroy (voiced by Micky Dolenz), April Stewart (voiced by Kristina Holland), Augie Anderson (voiced by Tommy Cook), and their dog Elmo (voiced by Jerry Dexter) pull up and seek shelter in an old abandoned house.

As the gang search the house they find an old grandfather with the wrong time. They set the clock to midnight and as a result two Revolutionary War-era ghosts are released!

The ghosts are an American patriot named Jonathan Wellington “Mudsy” Muddlemore (voiced by Daws Butler) and his cat Boo (voiced by Don Messick). Mudsy explained that during the Revolutionary War, they stumbled upon two Redcoats and hid inside the clock to avoid them. Unfortunately they were unable to get out of the clock and eventually died inside.

Thankful for their freedom Mudsy and Boo accompany the gang on their crazy adventures helping out when they can. In Episode 1, Mudsy comes to the aid of Farmer Higgens when a mysterious villain called the Raven has been sabotaging the barnyard in order to claim the property. When the group plans to enter a local cross-country race for the money to pay off the mortgage, the Raven plans to sabotage their attempts!

Another adventure sees the Looney Duney gets lost in a swamp and they end up outside of Conway Mansion. They end up aiding Michael Conway when he is stalked by a marsh monster that is after the Conway fortune.

Later the football playoff game between Central High and Westside is interrupted when criminals Fingers and Lefty steal the $1,000,000 necklace of Brockton Van Cleef and store it inside a football, which ends up in a mix-up upon colliding with the Central High team. Now Fingers and Lefty plan to reclaim the football containing the necklace by posing as members of the other team.

In the final episode we find our heroes arriving in East Muddlemore, Skip, Augie, and April learn more of Mudsy’s past where he and Boo hid inside the longcase “grandfather” clock inside which both were eventually trapped and died upon stumbling onto the two renegade Redcoats who were burying their loot on the grounds. The group decides to look for the lost treasure when the hotel clerk Mr. Richford and the criminal Slippery Stark plan to capture Mudsy, hoping that he will lead them to the lost treasure, by disguising themselves as the ghosts of the two renegade Redcoats.

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