Underdog

I watched the Mighty Mouse cartoon when I was young and I thought that he was pretty cool, as he could fly and he was really strong.  Mighty Mouse may have been my favorite cartoon till Underdog came out and then I liked him better.  I would guess that if they ever got into a battle that Mighty Mouse would probably have beaten Underdog, as he runs out of energy and he has to take another secret pill and Mighty Mouse did not have any flaws like that.  Underdog was also clumsy and that made him more funny and likeable.

Underdog was a rhyming canine superhero and at the same time he was a milquetoast (timid or submissive) character who debuted on NBC on October 3, 1964.  Actor Willy Cox, a regular on Hollywood Squares was the voice for Underdog, who was a small dog with a potbelly and ill-fitting uniform that was able to fly and he had Super strong breath.  His famous line when rescuing someone was, “There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!”  Underdog only spoke in four beat iambic verse.  Underdog’s Lois Lane was a poodle named Sweet Polly Purebread who was a news reporter, and his primary villain was a mean-looking gangster dog named Simon Bar Sinister, but he also saved Polly from the clutches of Overcat and Fearo the Ferocious.  When he was not performing heroic deeds, Underdog kept his secret identity masquerading as a humble shoeshine boy named Shoe Shine Boy.

Underdog wore a red jumpsuit with a white ‘U’ on it that is clearly too big for him, and an oversized blue cape.  He is tan with black ears.  As Shoeshine Boy, he wore glasses.  He uses his super energy pills to enhance his super powers which he kept in a secret compartment in his ring.  One year my mom asked me what I wanted to be for Halloween and I told her Underdog and she made me this great costume.  I had so much fun being Underdog.

Shakespeare is often misunderstood, because of his complex plots and the antiquated language that he used, but people in his time actually spoke that way.  His words have a rhythm built into them that is based on stress, where certain syllables in words are emphasized more than others.  Shakespeare’s trademark is the iamb, where the first syllable is unstressed and the second syllable is stressed.  Underdog was often in heightened emotional situations and since a heart beats in iambic rhythm, it is appropriate for Underdog to talk this way.

Underdog Theme

There’s no need to fear! Underdog is here!
when criminals in this world appear
and break the laws that they should fear
and frighten all who see or hear
the cry goes up both far and near
for Underdog!  Underdog!  Underdog!  Underdog!
speed of lightning, roar of thunder
fighting all who rob or plunder
Underdog. Underdog!
when in this world the headlines read
of those whose hearts are filled with greed
who rob and steal from those who need
to right this wrong with blinding speed
goes Underdog!  Underdog!
Underdog!  Underdog!
speed of lightning, roar of thunder
fighting all who rob or plunder
Underdog.
Underdog!

9 thoughts on “Underdog

  1. I remember and was a fan of Mighty Mouse…who was here to save the day. But I guess I never got into Underdog. I’ve heard of Underdog, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the show. Rocky and Bullwinkle were my favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Riff Raff was the dog villain. Simon Barsinister was the bald-headed mad scientist. Yes, I watched a few episodes of “Underdog,” and “Tennessee Tuxedo” and most of the other Total Television shows. Total used the same animators that Jay Ward Studios used for “Rocky and Bullwinkle,” so they all kind of had the same vibe.

    Remember “Tom Slick”?

    Liked by 1 person

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