[10/3/64 - 9/1/73]
"There's no need to fear, Underdog is here!" Wally Cox, TV's mild-mannered Mr. Peepers, provided the voice of NBC-TV's Underdog, a super-canine who talked in rhyme. Underdog was the alter-identity of Shoeshine Boy. He was usually called into action by his girlfriend, ace TV reporter Sweet Polly Purebred (voiced by Norma McMillan).
When he heard Polly's singing plea of "Oh where, oh where has my Underdog gone?", "humble, lovable" Shoeshine Boy would slip into a phone booth and emerge as the champion of justice.
The Underdog Show originally featured repeated segments from King Leonardo. In 1966, when the series moved to CBS, these were replaced by repeats of The World of Commander McBragg and new features starring Klondike Kat and The Go-Go Gophers.
"When Polly's in trouble I am not slow, it's Hip, Hip, Hip and away I go !"
The Underdog Show began with a parody of Superman's famous opening: "Look, up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's a frog...a frog?" At that point, the canine would correct the observers with: "Not bird, nor plane, nor even frog, it's just little 'ole me, Underdog !" Like his human counterpart, Underdog was not infallable. While he didn't have to contend with Kryptonite, occassionally his power would fade, causing him all kinds of trouble. For cases like that, the pooch would carry a revitalizing energy pill in a secret compartment in his ring.
Underdog's main foes included underworld boss Riff Raff, and Simon Bar Sinister, an evil scientist who once created a Big Dipper Machine to steal the world's water supply. He then enslaved the citizens and made them do as "Simon Says" just to get a drink.
The World of Commander McBragg
Introduced in 1963, The World of Commander McBragg featured the retired naval officer spinning Baron Munchausen-style yarns from his trophey-laden library. Kenny Delmar provided the voice of McBragg. The cartoons were also repeated on The Underdog Show and included in a package with Jay Ward's Hoppity Hooper cartoons
This cartoon featured Savoir Faire, the French mouse with a penchant for ill-begotten goodies, who was continually persued by Klondike Kat, an inept Northwest Territory Mountie stationed at Fort Frazzle. Klondike, under orders from Major Minor, persued the elusive rodent, eventually stopping him in spite of his bumbling efforts.
"Savoir Faire is every-waire!"
"...I'm gonna make mincemeat out of that mouse!"
The Go-Go Gophers featured a pair of buck-toothed gophers, Ruffled Feathers, who spoke in unintelligable phrases, and his interpretor Running Board.
They were the native inhabitants of Gopher Gulch, which was also home to a U.S. Cavalry Fort. The Fort was headed by Colonel Kit Coyote, a blustery Teddy Roosevelt-type. He was aided by Sergeant Okey Homa, a southerner who resembled John Wayne. The military-minded Colonel spent his time planning new ways to drive the gopher-Indians from their lands. The native gophers devised ingenious and successful ways to protect their territorial rights. Sandy Becker provided the voices of Ruffled Feather and Sergeant Okey Homa. George S. Irving was the voice of Running Board and Kenny Delmar spoke for Colonel Kit Coyote.
Visit California Animation Online for a rare look at storyboard drawings from a Go Go Gophers
The Summer-Fall 1997 issue of Animato! (issue 38) has several great articles focusing on Underdog and the other Total Television cartoons. Joe Harris (the former Vice-President, Supervisor of Animation for Dancer, Fitzgerald, Sample Advertising, who left D-F-S in 1959 to found Total Television Productions with Treadwell Covington and writers Buck Biggers and Chet Stover) even did an original cover for the issue!
The articles help to fill in many of the blanks.
Underdog was the 1997 spokes-mutt for World Hunger Year. Click on the image below to go their website.
Return to Toon Tracker's Total TV Page
Also visit Toon Tracker's King and Odie Page
Also visit Toon Tracker's Tennessee Tuxedo Page
Go To Toon Tracker Home Page
This WEB site created and maintained by RON KURER. Send comments to:
TOON TRACKER © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
Thanks to Dan McCormick for
the URL to the California Animation Online site!!
Make sure to check out his GREAT Hoppity Hooper Homepage
Underdog and related characters are © 1997 GBPC, a subsidiary of Golden Books Family Entertainment. The Toon Tracker sites are not endorsed by any of the respective copyright owners. They are presented solely for historical reference and educational purposes. The creators and maintainers of this web site take no responsibility for the information provided herein. All products and brand names mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. All characters and all related slogans and indica are trademarks of the respective copyright owners. The use of such material falls under Fair use provisions
Updated June 17, 2001
THIS SITE HAS BEEN ACCESSED
times since August 8, 1997