There’s no need to fear…Underdog is here!

Underdog debuted October 3, 1964, on the NBC network under the primary sponsorship of General Mills, and continued in syndication until 1973 (although production of new episodes ceased in 1967, for a run of 124 episodes.

Underdog’s secret identity was Shoeshine Boy. He was in love with Sweet Polly Purebred who was a news reporter. I would watch this cartoon before going to school in 1st and 2nd grade. Underdog would use his secret ring to conceal pills that he would take when he needed energy. NBC soon put an end to that…I loved the theme song.

The shows introduced such characters as King Leonardo, Tennessee Tuxedo, CommanderMc Bragg, Klondike Kat,  and more. Underdog was voiced by Wally Cox. Image result for wally cox

Image result for tennessee tuxedoRelated imageRelated image

Underdog always talked in rhyme and I’m a sucker for that.

Image result for underdog shoeshine boyImage result for underdog shoeshine boyRelated image

Two of the villains were Simon Bar Sinister and Riff Raff.

Image result for simon bar sinister underdogRelated image

For many years starting with NBC’s last run in the mid-1970s, all references to Underdog swallowing his super energy pill were censored, most likely out of fear that kids would see medication that looked like the Underdog pills (red with a white “U”) and swallow them. Two instances that did not actually show Underdog swallowing the pills remained in the show. In one, he drops pills into water supplies; in the other, his ring is damaged and he explains that it is where he keeps the pill—but the part where he actually swallows it was still deleted.

W. Watts Biggers teamed with Chet Stover, Treadwell D. Covington, and artist Joe Harris in the creation of television cartoon shows to sell breakfast cereals for General Mills. The shows introduced such characters as King Leonardo, Tennessee Tuxedo, and Underdog. Biggers and Stover contributed both scripts and songs to the series. When Underdog became a success, Biggers and his partners left Dancer Fitzgerald Sample to form their own company, Total Television, with animation produced at Gamma Studios in Mexico. In 1969, Total Television folded when General Mills dropped out as the primary sponsor (but continued to retain the rights to the series until 1995; however, they still own TV distribution rights.







Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

29 thoughts on “Underdog”

      1. That’s cool Hans… that’s a studio album. Didn’t that have Love Buzz on it?

        Bailey and I are starting to get vinyl and build up our collection.i would listen to more albums that way again.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am going through my vinyl collection- I don’t have that one though- I have Apple music- and Shocking Blue’s albums are on there. Yes “Love Buzz” is on there… great idea building up your collection. Are there good stores in your area for vinyl?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Man, that was some quality animation ! I watched it back in the day but forgot mostly what it was like. Got the Mighty Mouse theme in my head – had forgotten the Under Dog one!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes! Yes! Yes! I was SUCH a huge Underdog fan growing up!! It has been such a long time, but I know the whole series is available on DVD, and I probably need to get it! I remember hating Simon Bar Sinister and Riff Raff! As a kid, I never really noticed him talking in rhyme, but much later I became aware of it.

    I loved the other characters that were featured on the show Tennessee Tuxedo (voiced by the great Don Adams!!), Commander McBragg (perfect name!!), and Klondike Kat were all favorites, too! I remember watching an episode of Hollywood Squares and Wally Cox was on it and my dad told me “There’s the guy who does Underdog!” I probably never would have made the connection.

    One connection I DID make, however, was the narrator. George S. Irving was marvelous as the narrator! He, of course, did many many things, but I will forever remember him for Underdog and his work as the Heat Miser in The Year Without a Santa Claus!

    GREAT post, my friend!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought of you while I was writing it. I had a writing spurt because I had written in so long and out came the posts.

      I would watch this before I went to school…loved this one and he was my favorite superhero for a while.

      I loved this and Bullwinkle


      1. Lol – I think we talked about the theme song before – one of the best!!!

        Love Bullwinkle, too! William Conrad’s narrations were great!! Just like Underdog had other characters, Bullwinkle’s Fractured Fairy Tales and Peabody and Sherman were just as memorable.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Peabody and Sherman…I learned a lot from them. I have the whole set…love them. Now I want to see Peabody and Sherman lol


  3. I’m embarrassed to say that, if I ever saw an episode…I don’t remember it. I think my dad knew more about this show than I ever did. And, swallowing pills? Oh, yeah. That wouldn’t ‘fly’ today (pun intended).

    You have a link under the video that goes nowhere. Was it supposed to be Wikipedia?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No it wasn’t wiki…the html wasn’t included…now it is…it’s where I got the info.

      You never saw Underdog? He was part of my child hood .


      1. We only had the three networks and PBS back then. I guess my parents didn’t have me on the right channel.

        I remember (even very young) the original Scooby Doo that came out in ’69. Sesame Street, Superfriends, Muttley, Speed Racer, Grape Ape, Hong Kong Phooey, Pebbles & Bamm Bamm…The Flintstones but, they were all reruns (first run ended in 1966). I knew of Underdog but, don’t recall ever seeing an episode.

        Besides, my dad ruled the TV. My free TV time was when he was still at work or Saturday mornings.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yea I watched Underdog super early in the morning probably around 6-7 before I went to school.
        I knew all of those also… Grape Ape…it’s been a while. Did you ever watch Rocky and Bullwinkle?


      3. I’ve seen them in passing. Never developed an interest. That cartoon is my dad’s generation. He loved it. Original run ended in 1964. Anything past that, it would have to be reruns and I don’t recall seeing it as a kid. Saw some of it as teen.

        Liked by 1 person

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