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  • Portnoy is a character in Berke Breathed's comic strip Bloom County. Portnoy was one of the critters that could talk, and was often surly mouthed and bigoted, usually leading Hodge-Podge, his best friend, to have to cover his mouth. When Bill the Cat became a televangelist denouncing "penguin lust", Portnoy helped run Opus the penguin out of town. The character was named for Portnoy's Complaint, a novel about sexual frustration. Portnoy changed physically over the years; sometimes into an entirely different animal. It was initially unknown what species he was; sometimes a squirrel, an opossum, or a gopher. Finally he was revealed as a groundhog, which he had hidden because Hodge didn't associate with "pigs". Eventually the two made up. Portnoy and Hodge enjoy human-like entertainment, such as strip bars and playing jokes on others.