If you guessed Penny from Inspector Gadget, you are correct! It was a landslide vote in her favor on Wednesday’s poll, though I was happy to see Penny Robinson get one vote. Who the heck voted for the giant penny in the Batcave? Really?
I loved Inspector Gadget when I was a kid, and it was only later that I became a huge fan of Get Smart and realized that Gadget is essentially the same character as Maxwell Smart, played by Don Adams. Both of those shows also have a fair bit of influence on one of my all-time favorite cartoons, Darkwing Duck. What do I like so much about bumbling crimefighters? (Hmmm… I also love the Peter Sellers Pink Panther films.) Maybe it’s the idea that a positive attitude and a strong sense of justice can always win out, although competent “sidekicks” and extraordinary abilities sure help a lot.
Penny is clearly awesome all on her own, but what I loved most about her, I’m almost embarrassed to say, was… her computer book. Which was a computer, and an actual book. This was an incredible idea in the 1980s, and I desperately wanted one. I didn’t even get a regular computer until the mid-Nineties, and that was pretty amazing, but now I have a computer book too–a “netbook,” if you will–and I carry it around with me all the time and use it to solve international crimes, WHICH I DO ON A REGULAR BASIS. Don’t you?
Penny’s wristwatch was also cool. Still working on that one.