On a Shoeshine Boy

Superheroes are common in cartoon world, yet Underdog brought us an animated animal as a take on Superman – and everyone knows, There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!

Points to know about Underdog

  • Debuted October 3, 1964, ran 124 episodes, until 1973
  • Underdog, the alter ego of Shoeshine Boy, always protects Sweet Polly Purebred.
  • Underdog, voiced by actor Wally Cox, always spoke in rhymes.
  • Underdog kissed Sweet Polly in The Wicked Witch Of Pickyoon
  • Villain Simon Bar Sinister, based on a Lionel Barrymore character, had an assistant, Chad Lackey; but a Barre Sinister is a diagonal line on medieval family crests indicating the person is a bastard by birth
  • Villain Riff-Raff, Public Enemy #1 and based on gangster character by actor George Raff, has a gang of Sandy the Safecracker, Mooch, Spinny Wheels, Dinah Myte, Nails the Carpenter, Needles the Tailor, Smitty the Blacksmith, and the Witch Doctor.
  • Other villains include The Electric (Slippery) Eel, Battyman, Tap-Tap the Chisler, and Overcat. Underdog also regularly faced enemies from alien worlds, such as the Marbleheads from Planet Granite, the Magnet Planet, home to the Magnet Men, the Planet of Zot, and the Saucer Planet, home to the Flying Sorcerers.
  • Other characters on the show, but not in the Underdog episodes, include Go Go Gophers, King Leonardo, Tennessee Tuxedo, Klondike Kat, The Hunter and Commander McBragg
  • When Polly’s in trouble, I am not slow; For it’s pip! pip! pip! and away I go.

10 thoughts on “On a Shoeshine Boy

  1. used to know the whole theme song for underdog. loved commander mcbragg and the go-go gophers. there was the one gopher who mumbled real fast and the other would translate for him. don adams did the voice of tennessee tuxedo. did not like klondike cat. have you ever heard of “underdog woman”? she’s a local F-list celebrity who appears in parades and bad cable tv shows. howard stern put her on his show a few times about ten years ago. not sure if she’s still making appearances, but she used to be a regular in the 4th of July parade in pitman, nj.


    • RMV,
      You are keeping me on my toes with your deep dives into my vault! Oh – yes, I appreciate it! Never heard of Underdog Woman, and it seems like a person NOT worth the search to discover more. Meanwhile, cartoons just aren’t what they used to be. Thanks for commenting.


  2. Pingback: On a Flashback Hodge Podge | A Frank Angle

  3. I was a huge Underdog fan as a kid, and I was also a fan of Wally Cox. Even though the animation was crummy, I appreciated the star power. I was so influenced by Underdog, before going to bed I would tie the arms of my red flannel housecoat around my throat to make it cape-like. Then, following a running start in the hallway, I would take a flying leap into my bed. Eventually, I got better and better at this, so in true cartoon fashion, a day arrived when I completely cleared my bed and and crash landed on the crown of my head — knocking myself out, with my feet sticking straight up because I was standing on my head but out cold. My father revived me and that was the end of me taking flying leaps into bed.


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