Herbert of Pink Panther

Herbert (or Herbie) Pink is a character in the “Pink Panther” series of films, and is an antagonist to the main character, the eponymous Pink Panther. He is also known as The New Purple Panther or The New Inspector. Herbert first appeared in the final scene of “The Return of the Pink Panther”, when he is revealed to be Inspector Jacques Clouseau’s new partner. After being dismissed by Chief Inspector, who says that he will give him someone else in another five minutes if he finds anyone who won’t mess things up, Clouseau starts to doubt his abilities as a detective and takes Herbert on as his new partner instead.

In “The Revenge of the Pink Panther”, Herbert again appears as Clousee’s inept partner, but this time he has been promoted to Chief Inspector. In “Stool Pidgeon”, Herbert returns once more as Clouseau’s new inept partner and it is implied that they are partners with each other again after being demoted from Chief Inspector at some point prior to this film. Furthermore, during this same film he was also referred to as “The New Inspector” when Chief Inspector Stendebach introduced him to Chief Inspector Crabbe and Agent 13; implying even further that he has been promoted from inept inspector several times over until becoming chief inspector for a second time now. In this article we take a look at all three


Herbert’s Appearance

Herbert is always seen wearing a black trench coat, a black wide brim hat and dark sunglasses He appears to be the same age as Clouseau but is significantly taller. He has a neat black mustache and a high, squeaky voice. He has black hair and is bald on top. Herbert has big teeth and is often seen smiling with his teeth showing. His teeth are very uneven and they are yellow and cracked. Herbert appears to be slightly overweight through his torso and also seems to have a small paunch. His hands are large and he has a bit of a pot belly. In “The Revenge of the Pink Panther”, the second film in the series, Herbert wears a black suit, rather than a trench coat, but still has a black wide brim hat and dark sunglasses. In “Stool Pidgeon”, Herbert wears a black trench coat again, but this time doesn’t wear a wide brim hat nor dark sunglasses.


How Herbert is introduced

Herbert first appears as Inspector Jacques Clouseau’s new partner at the end of “The Return of the Pink Panther”. Chief Inspector dismisses Herbert almost immediately because he finds him inept. He then asks Clouseau if he has found anyone else to partner him, to which Clouseau responds that he has already in fact partnered with Herbert. Herbert then ends up accompanying Clouseau at the end of “The Revenge of the Pink Panther”, where he is again found to be completely inept, and is later promoted to Chief Inspector at the end of the same film. In “Stool Pidgeon” he is referred to as “The New Inspector” by Chief Inspector Stendebach, who introduces him to Chief Inspector Crabbe and Agent 13. It is also implied that Herbert is still Clouseau’s partner at this point as Chief Inspector Stendebach tells Clouseau to “get a move on” when he is seen taking his time.


The relationship of Chief Inspector and Inspector

Inspector is the lowest rank in the Sûreté. The rank of Chief Inspector is one rank above Inspector. Herbert is the Inspector to Clouseau’s Chief Inspector. In “The Revenge of the Pink Panther”, Herbert is revealed to have been promoted to Chief Inspector in the previous film. Here, Clouseau is once again trying to catch the Pink Panther and Herbert is helping him with this mission. During the film’s ending scene, Clouseau is once again seen to knock out Herbert by mistake, but this time it is not the real Pink Panther that he was trying to catch. Instead, it is the Chief Inspector himself whom Clouseau knocked out. This is revealed to be because Herbert was wearing rubber gloves at the time and so Clouseau was not able to recognize that it was not the Pink Panther that he was trying to catch.


Herbert as a foil to Clouseau

Herbert is Clouseau’s partner in the first two Pink Panther films, The Return of the Pink Panther and The Revenge of the Pink Panther. Herbert is Clouseau’s opposite in almost every way. Herbert is serious, while Clouseau is whimsical. Herbert is methodical, while Clouseau is impulsive. Herbert is intelligent, while Clouseau is clumsy. Herbert is well-dressed, while Clouseau is slovenly. And Herbert is dependable and responsible, while Clouseau is careless and impetuous. The contrast between Clouseau and Herbert is often used for comic effect. Their differences highlight the absurdity of their investigations. Herbert is almost always in a hurry, eager to conclude an investigation as quickly as possible. He is also often frustrated by the misdirection of the investigation; he is eager to get to the bottom of the case as soon as possible. Herbert is a methodical, detail-oriented type of person who follows a strict routine, whereas Clouseau is a whimsical, seemingly unorganized type of person who sometimes leaps before he looks, who sometimes doesn’t even know where he is going until he gets there.

Herbert is the foil to Clouseau, and symbolises the other half of the id. He is the part of Clouseau that he cannot control and so instead he projects it outwards onto Herbert. The two men are often seen working together and appear to be good friends. Their relationship is a comic one. Herbert’s stupidity and Clouseau’s overconfidence are funny together. Herbert also symbolises Clouseau’s competitive streak. Herbert’s presence makes Clouseau strive harder because he wants to prove that he is superior to his partner. In the end, Herbert symbolises the foolish parts of Clouseau, the part of him that makes him impetuous and competitive.