This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

There's No Need to Fear!

Hey, does anyone besides myself remember the old
Dennis Miller line about the Underdog balloon
"hump[ing] the Kremlin into submission?"
No? Didn't think so...

Ahhh, Underdog. Wasn't it great seeing his cameo at the end of the Visa commercial that featured all the tacky-looking Marvel superheroes? It was to me.

And the "Underdog" theme song? Arguably one of the greatest cartoon songs ever. One of my five personal favorites, along with the "Jonny Quest" theme, the "Top Cat" theme, the theme from "The Mighty Hercules," and that catchy Vince Guaraldi piano composition played in countless "Peanuts" specials (which is officially titled "Linus & Lucy").

I'm sure you recall the "Underdog" theme, if you ever saw the show:

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!

Classic, huh? Of course, you also probably know the second verse, usually heard during the ending credits:

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!

Yup. Classic, indeed. But I remembered hearing a third verse, seldom used, but occasionally played during those ending credits. I could recall nothing about the actual lyrics, however, just that another verse existed. So I did an internet search, and quickly found this:

And when our woeful monologue
Is how by evil we've been flogged
Then breaking through the clouds and fog
Not plane, nor bird, nor even frog
Comes Underdog! (Underdog!) Underdog! (Underdog!)
Now unleash the Dog of Wonder
Tearing evil's bonds asunder
Underdog. Underdog!

As I've said before, ya gotta love the internet! Now I finally knew all the verses, after about forty years!
All of them, do you hear?!? All... of...

Oh, s**t.

Another freakin' verse popped up. Could it be true?

When Polly Purebread starts to fall
From buildings 20 stories tall
She knows the hero she can call
His ears prick up when Polly hollers
Underdog! (Underdog!) Underdog! (Underdog!)
There's no need to fear or quaver
Underdog is here to save her
Underdog. Underdog!

Are/were there really four verses? And are there more? Is someone writing them to this day, leaking them to those of us who are still... ummm... panting... for more?

I mean, geez, how many verses did this son of a bitch have?

Hey. Hey! Calm down, you! I did not just profane the name of a cherished cartoon icon! He's a male dog, right? So he really is the "son" of a "bitch." I was just being literal.

So. Bark... I mean, back... off.

Thanks for your time.


  1. Dennis who? Just kidding! Not a big Dennis Miller fan. Not even a television watcher anymore. It got too repetitive, boring and predictable. Besides, I can pick it up off the 'net. or DVD if the show was worth watching, in the first place.

    Underdog. Great theme and I agree on the Guaraldi comp for Peanuts. Of course, Mancini's comp for the Pink Panther cannot be over-looked. The lyrics do not matter as much as the composition, itself. I got to grow up watching all the toon reruns and the Mighty Mouse theme song still plays around in my head, from time to time. And yes, Top Cat was also on my list, as well as Hong Kong Phooey. But my all time favourite( getting away from toon series ), has got to be Thurl Ravenscroft with his rendition of the Grinch theme song. Here, the lyrics fully apply.

    Which brings up another point: will Hollywood stop doing toon-to-live-action films? PLEEEASE? There hasn't been an original idea in Hollywood( barring "true" storied films ), since the invention of moving pictures.Enough of this computer generated schlock. I gotta have a story to hold MY interest.

  2. Subtorp: Mancini's Panther tune was great, but I don't count it as being an official TV show theme only because it was borrowed from the movie series. Never heard the Hong Kong Phooey theme, as that particular toon came out after I'd stopped watching TV cartoons.

    IANO: Hitler also painted roses, according to Harlan Ellison. No, wait, I mean, according to Steve Richmond. I mean... WTF? Ellison wrote a story called Hitler Painted Roses, and Richmond published a book called Hitler Painted Roses. But a Google search using "Hitler Painted Roses," "Harlan Ellison," AND "Steve Richmond" yields... ZERO results?!?

    See what you started!?!?!?!?!?!

  3. Time to go to I don't think there ever was additional versus to Underdog.


  4. Redbeard: I really did find both of those verses on the 'net; supposedly they were both used on the show. I didn't make them up. (None of the songs I've written have ever been for television!) I can't remember if either of them was actually the elusive "third verse" I recall from my youth.

    Somewhere out there is at least one authoritative Underdog trivia buff. So if he or she somehow finds this blog, and can shed any light on the subject... ?

    Anyway, Redbeard, I'm not sure would tackle this subject. Since it involves a cartoon canine, maybe you should try

    [David laughs loudly & maniacally at his own silly "Snoopy" joke. David's cat, Orson, who had been sleeping on David's bed with his head resting on a stack of paperwork, awakens and leaps off the bed. The paperwork is mostly scattered onto the floor by Orson's departure. David gets up and chases after the cat, slips on the papers which are all over the floor, falls down, hurts himself, and stays there, mortified. Finally, all is quiet.]

  5. I know David, I'm just yankin' your chain. Nice pun with the snoopy bit, I liked that.

  6. Can't answer right now... head still hurts... oooooohhh...

  7. Does your cat look more Orson Beanian or Orson Wellesian? Or...totally unOrsonian and more Beulah Bondiate?

  8. Orson Wellesian, Spackle, although not as much as I! (Which'll come in really handy if I ever get that one-man play finished... )

  9. Hey, Sparkle! I mention the Orson Welles play here, on my blog, and you ask me about it over on your blog... ! HOLY CROSSOVER, BATMAN!!! This is like the Girl Scout Cookies thing all over again!


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