Penelope Pitstop

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Penelope Pitstop
Wacky Races character
Created byWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Portrayed byJanet Waldo
Information
SpeciesHuman
GenderFemale
 
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Penelope Pitstop
Wacky Races character
Created byWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Portrayed byJanet Waldo
Information
SpeciesHuman
GenderFemale

Penelope Pitstop is a fictional character who appeared in the Hanna-Barbera animated series Wacky Races, and starred in the spin-off The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, voiced by Janet Waldo, 1969.

Background[edit]

In Wacky Races she drives the Compact Pussycat, a pink, stereotypically feminine car equipped with an assortment of beauty supplies. To carry over the theme Penelope also wears a bright pink racing uniform with white gloves, maroon tights, and white go-go boots. She is called by the race announcer as the "Glamour Gal of the Gas Pedal". Also, as Wacky Races is inspired by The Great Race, Penelope is inspired by the Maggie DuBois character (played by Natalie Wood in the film).

According to Iwao Takamoto, Penelope was an afterthought in the development of Wacky Races. Joseph Barbera requested that a woman be added among the racers, so Takamoto and Jerry Eisenberg designed Penelope and her car in about two hours.[1]

The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, a spinoff from Wacky Races which features Penelope as the lead character, is set in the 1920s. Penelope is a traditional "damsel in distress" stock character as in the old serial The Perils of Pauline. Her catchphrase is "Help, help!" (spoken in an affected upper-class U.S. South accent, and pronounced "HAY-ULP"). Here she displays a curious combination of ingenuity and helplessness. She often figures out clever ways to get out of perils, and is very athletic; if any sport happens to be mentioned, it is revealed that she was the women's champion in said sport in college. Nonetheless, when her archnemesis The Hooded Claw, voiced by Paul Lynde (who, unknown to her, is her guardian Sylvester Sneekly) grabs her, she is somehow incapable of doing anything other than yelling for help. She will occasionally flee from his clutches, running in an unusual goose-stepping stride. Also in the background helping her out of her perils are the minuscule Ant Hill Mob and trusty old classic car Chuggaboom (which is actually based on another team from Wacky Races).

Compact Pussycat[edit]

In the series, Penelope's car is called the Compact Pussycat. Bearing a numeral 5 on the sides, it is a pink car, with front bumpers that look like a pair of red lips with lipstick on them. It has an umbrella on the top and is equipped with an assortment of beauty supplies, making it essentially a beauty parlor on wheels.

Appearances in other productions[edit]

Penelope Pitstop in popular culture[edit]

Penelope Pitstop in other languages[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Iwao Takamoto (interviewee) (2004). Wacky Races (DVD). Los Angeles: Warner Home Video. 
  1. ^ Iwao Takamoto (interviewee) (2004). Wacky Races (DVD). Los Angeles: Warner Home Video. 

External links[edit]