Gator, Lori and Inch: A private eye has many uses for a keyhole.


Original Medium: TV animation
Produced by: Hanna-Barbera
First Appeared: 1973
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Were Mr. and Mrs. High inflicting a cruel joke on their son when they named him Inch? Or did they somehow peer into the future, and know the unusual career fate had planned for him?

Whatever the reason, Inch …

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… lived "up" to his name by occasionally ingesting a potion which shrank him, like DC Comics' Atom or Marvel's Ant Man, to that exact size. But instead of a superhero outfit, Inch High wore a trenchcoat, which for many years was used in movies and TV shows as visual shorthand to indicate the wearer was a spy or a private detective. Inch was the latter, working for The Finkerton Detective Agency.

Inch High, Private Eye was a half-hour cartoon show by Hanna-Barbera, the studio that had started in the 1950s with Huckleberry Hound, Ruff & Reddy and similar humorous fare for young viewers; and continued in the late '60s with adventure cartoons like Space Ghost, The Mighty Mightor and Jonny Quest, for somewhat older ones. Inch High's show, which debuted on September 8, 1973, was a little of each, with the wearing off of his potion at inopportune times (resulting in his sudden expansion to normal size) being a frequently used gag.

Inch's voice was done by Lennie Weinrib, who also did Gomez Addams and Scooby-Doo's nephew Scrappy (no relation), but whose best-known role is probably H.R. Pufnstuf. His niece, Lori (spelled "Laurie" according to some sources), who usually accompanied him on his adventures, was voiced by Kathy Gori (Rosemary in Hong Kong Phooey, Gidget in the animated version). Her boyfriend, the Neanderthal-like Gator, was Bob Lutell (whose other voice credits are very sparse). Mr. Finkerton, the owner of the agency (which undoubtedly had nothing to do with the same-named outfit Q.T. Hush worked for), was John Stephenson (frequently heard in Top Cat, Tale Spin and dozens of things in-between). Mrs. Finkerton was Jean VanderPyl (Wilma Flintstone, Magilla Gorilla's Ogee). Inch High's trusted canine companion, Braveheart, was voiced by Don Messick, who also did non-anthropomorphic animals on The Jetsons, Josie & the Pussycats, Dastardly & Muttley and elsewhere.

The show wasn't one of Hanna-Barbera's greatest hits, lasting only a single season (13 episodes). Inch never even had a comic book of his own, tho he did appear in an issue or two of Gold Key's Fun-In, an anthology title that also ran Penelope Pitstop, Speed Buggy and various other Hanna-Barbera properties. The series was re-broadcast during the mid-1990s, but hasn't been seen very much in more recent years.


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