Sunday, March 4, 2012

Underdog Update # 1!

Time again for THE UNDERDOG SHOW, featuring that champion of champions… Underdog!” – so says narrator George S. Irving, at the beginning of THE UNDERDOG SHOW – and for this update. 

If and when we uncover additional information about “UNDERDOG THE COMPLETE COLLECTOR’S EDITION” on DVD, as we slowly work our way through this wonderful set, we’ll have updates right here!   

First, please read the ORIGINAL POST, if you’ve not done so already.

In that post, I discussed the interstitial segments.  Over the course of Episodes 6-9, more of them are revealed.
Episodes 6-7 feature the four part Underdog serial “The Great Gold Robbery” (at the usual two chapters per episode).   The Great Gold Robbery” introduced Underdog’s other recurring nemesis (after Simon Bar Sinister), the gangster “Riff-Raff”. 

Picture the basic look and dapper dress of Golden Age Hollywood, Warner Bros. movie tough-guy George Raft (thus the admittedly-reaching pun of his name) designed as a wolf in the TTV style, and that’s what you get!  In “The Great Gold Robbery”, thanks to the diligent efforts of Underdog, Riff-Raff falls from “Public Enemy # 1” to “Public Enemy # 5280”! 

In order to regain his lost “malevolence mojo”, Riff plans the (per the title) the greatest gold heist in history – by setting a speeding train carrying a huge gold shipment on a collision course with another, oncoming train, while confusing and preoccupying Underdog with Sweet Polly Purebred’s safety. 

All in all, this is quite a good episode of Underdog – introducing a new recurring character, and nicely balancing some humor and the typical Underdog-ian melodrama.  Nicely scored too, for TTV that is.
Funny thing is, for these two shows that introduce Riff-Raff, THE UNDERDOG SHOW opening – from which I quote to open this post – is MISSING and, in its place (acting as the show’s opening) is an interstitial segment that features Riff-Raff! 

Underdog fans will know this as the bit with the song: When criminals in this world appear… and break the laws that they should fear… and frighten all who see or hear… the cry goes out both far and near… for Underdog!” 
This song played on all previous shows – but over the interstitial of Simon operating a clawed, jawed, and big-toothed mechanical monster, that grabs Sweet Polly… from which this illustration is taken. 

Here, it plays over Riff-Raff shaking down a news-dealer, and getting knocked into jail by Underdog.  We did not see this interstitial until we reach this point.    
And, it gets better.
For Episodes 8-9, THE UNDERDOG SHOW opening is BACK – followed by the THIRD version of this interstitial that I recall, where a big, ugly GIANT is knocking down city buildings, until Underdog puts a stop to it – destroying more buildings in the process.  ALL TOGETHER NOW: When criminals in this world appear… and break the laws that they should fear…”.

So, despite seeing the “Simon version” of this interstitial for the previous FIVE SHOWS, we now get several in a row that vary the rotation!  All other interstitials remain as they were up through Episode 5. 

Episodes 8-9, while on the subject, feature the Underdog serial “Fearo The Ferocious”, UNDERDOG’S version of “King Kong”, down to a sea voyage to an island of prehistoric beasts.  And, for those keeping score of “Firsts”, this makes the first appearance of Underdog’s “Vitamin Pill Ring”.  Makes me wonder where Roger Ramjet kept his “Proton Energy Pills".  Fearo” is another serial I remember well. 
Still having fun with this set.  Feel free to comment on your own observations when viewing. 


Chris Barat said...


I definitely remember the "shakedown" segment, but not as clearly as the "giant mechanical monster" (can't you just hear Simon chortling, "Simon says, LET'S LEVEL [insert name of Underdog's city]!"?) and "invading giant" sequences. Glad to hear that they are all included.


Joe Torcivia said...


After seeing “Simon’s Mechanical Monster Version” of the interstitial in five straight shows, I was wondering if they were going to vary it at all. Hopefully, other such surprises lurk therein.

And, speaking of Simon, I look forward to seeing “Simon Says: No Thanksgiving” for the first time in decades! That was another favorite.

…And that other Simon classic “The Phony Booths”! …And Riff-Raff’s “Just in Case”!

Having not seen Underdog in so long has certainly increased my appreciation of it!


Chris Barat said...


Got UNDERDOG today, so I'll soon be treadmilling my merry way through it.

Here is one of the Xerox commercials with George S. Irving:


Joe Torcivia said...

Feel free to leave your Underdog comments and observations here – or do your own Blog entry. Either way, enjoy!