Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Pain Strikes Underdog

Suzanne Muldowney's Cat Scratch Fever

Suzanne Muldowney - who in her guise as "Underdog" (among other characters) has been a fixture of Baltimore's annual "Mayor's Christmas Parade" (not to mention the subject of the feature-length documentary My Life As an Underdog and - to her great dismay - a frequent "person of interest" as Underdog Lady on Howard Stern's TV and radio show, as well as public access' Atomic TV) - is in pretty poor shape these days. To make a long story short, Suzanne got a new cat in July 2009 that bit her, leading to a severe septic infection and eventual hospitalization. Additional complications caused her to go to the ER, where she had a major operation that threatened to keep her out of this past weekend's Mayor's Christmas Parade in Baltimore's happenin' Hampden 'hood.

But there's no need to fear, Underdog was here!

"I couldn't miss Underdog's 45th Anniversary!"

People who know Suzanne know that there was no way she would miss out on donning her custom-made cape and leotards in celebration of the 45th Anniversary of the '60s cartoon superhero Underdog, whose show debuted on NBC in October 1964 and ran until September 1973. In fact, she literally left her hospital bed to make the trek to Baltimore, where her good friend Violet Glaze picked her up at the train station and made sure she made it to the parade grounds. Though she was too weak to march the route this year, parade officials provided her with a convertible motorcar so that, like fellow celeb Mayor Sheila Dixon, she could wave to the crowds that have come to expect her annual appearance at the festivities. (She actually got more cheers than our sitting mayor!) It was Suzanne's 21st consecutive appearance at the Hampden parade, and her 19th in the guise of Underdog.

Below are two videos I shot of Suzanne on my crappy Flip camera:

Underdog Motors Through Hampden Parade:

Suzanne Overcomes Illness To March in Parade:

Underdog on the Harsh Realities of Healthcare

Underdog cartoon is rife with medical inaccuracies

Prior to her December 6 appearance in Baltimore, Suzanne was subjected to many procedures during her extended hospital stay. She talked about it on her YouTube "Real Underdog Channel" and compared her hospital experiences with the "grossly inaccurate and incorrect" experiences of her favorite cartoon superhero in the four-part 1965 TV episode "Pain Strikes Underdog":

Suzanne Muldowney on "Pain Strikes Underdog":

Following is an excerpt from the original "Pain Strikes Underdog" cartoon episode:

"Pain Strikes Underdog - Pt 2"

Related links:
Real Underdog Channel (YouTube)
"Pain Strikes Underdog, Part 1" (YouTube)
"Pain Strikes Underdog, Part 2" (YouTube)
"Pain Strikes Underdog, Part 3" (YouTube)
"Pain Strikes Underdog, Part 4" (YouTube)

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