The Inspector - Le Escape Goat 18
18 - Le Escape Goat
In 1964, the feature length, live-action film "The Pink Panther" was released. The film's opening credits were animated with a cartoon version of the film's main character, Inspector Clouseau, who chased after the elusive Pink Panther. In the movie the name was given to a rar diamon, but DePatie-Freleng (the designers of the title sequence) showed a literal representation of the Pink Panther as a large, pink cat. Audiences fell in love with Pink's cool sense of style and Henry Manaini's jazzy theme music and, as a result, DePatie-Freleng was commissioned to create a series of theatrical shorts for both the Pink Panther and the Inspector.
In his theatrical shorts, The Inspector was usually assigned cases by the Commissioner of Police, and would bungle them badly, finding himself in all sorts of trouble. Unlike Inspector Clauseau from the feature film, the cartoon version of the character was not so much a bumbling simpleton as he was a casualty of exceptionally bad luck. He was often paired with Sergent Deudeux.
The Inspector came to television in 1969, when his theatrical shorts aired as a segment on The Pink Panther Show. The show also featured former Pink Panther theaticals and was hasted by comedian "Crazy" Lenny Schultz, along with the Ritts Puppets. In the show's second season The Inspector was dropped from the lineup and replaced by The Ant and the Aardvark.
The Inspector was brought back in 1976 to join The Ant and the Aardvark and other DePatie-Freleng theatrical cartoons (as well as new material made specifically for televsion) in the 90-minute series. The Pink Panther Laugh and a Half-Hour and a Half. The new shows added to the series were Texas Toads / Tijuana Toads, Hoot Kloot, Roland and Rattfink, The Dogfather, Crazylegs Crane, and The Blue Racer.
- The Inspector -
The Inspector is a senior detective for the Surete and assisted in most episodes by Sergeant Deux-Deux. Though his actual name is never mentioned, the character is clearly based on Inspector Jacques Clouseau from The Pink Panther films (to the point it's design was later reused in the opening credits of the 1968 Inspector Clouseau film, implying that both inspectors are in fact one and the same). But in slight contrast to the completely inept live-action Clouseau, the animated Inspector is more competent, though still prone to bad luck and poor judgment.
- Sergeant Deux-Deux -
The Inspector's young and timid assistant, Sergeant Deux-Deux (pronounced "Doo-Doo), is a slow-talking Spaniard and gendarme who loves Mexican food. He is noted to exclaim with a pun by saying: "Jole Frijoles" ("Holy Beans"). He often replies in his native tongue saying "Si", only to be admonished by the Inspector who often tells him, "Don't say 'si', say 'oui'", which sometimes leads to confusing situations between the two. Deux Deux usually responded afterwards by intoning: "Si, I mean oui, Inspector." In one cartoon, Deux Deux said "outsick" instead of "seasick". On a couple of occasions, when the Inspector is incapacitated, Deux-Deux himslef almost effortlessly manages to apprehend the culprit. He talks about how he thinks the Inspector is the hero.