Klunk last edited by jazz1987 on 09/10/18 08:20AM View full history

One of Hanna Barbera's least remembered creations, Klunk is also one of their most poorly developed characters to co-star in an ongoing series, and he has never appeared outside the series itself and any homages to it.

Klunk serves as the obedient inventor/designer of flying craft in the slapstick animated TV series *Dick Dastardly and Muttley and their Flying Machines* and is defined entirely by his verbal shtick of speaking in odd nonsense noises that only colleague Zilly can translate. (A frequent running gag is Dick Dastardly's asking helplessly, "What did he say? What did he say?" in response to Klunk's indecipherable explanation of his latest invention, a running gag that voice actor Paul Winchell somehow makes amusing through sheer talent.)

Other than occasional surprise and mild dread when something goes wrong (as it inevitably does in the series), Klunk never evinces any emotion except a bland smile. He seems to be fairly indifferent to whether the pigeon is stopped, bereft of any sort of motivation and acting only in rote obedience to Dick Dastardly's orders. The failure of any of his inventions never seems to disappoint him, and the success of any of his inventions never seems to delight him; never once does he show pride in or devotion to his inventions, nor does he seem to care whether or not his inventions actually work. Throughout the series, Klunk never shows anger, fear, regret, happiness, or any sort of human response per se other than a slapstick reaction to the latest mishap; he provides no indiction of his past or personal life; he reveals nothing about his motivations or interests or goals.

His most remarkable trait is his sheer lack of characterization, which is so intense (even for a Saturday morning cartoon character) that one wonders whether Hanna Barbera did this on purpose to ensure that Dick Dastardly and Muttley never have to share the audience's attention.

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