Underdog is the main character of his self-titled animated television series, which aired on NBC from 1964 to 1973, with 124 episodes. Normally a humble and lovable fellow named Shoeshine Boy, the character transforms into his heroic alter ego whenever his love interest, Sweet Polly Purebred, has been victimized; Underdog generally must foil the schemes of various villains, such as Simon Bar Sinister or Riff Raff, in order to save her. All of his dialogue on the show, with few exceptions, is in rhyming couplets.
Underdog made his first Macy's Parade appearance in 1965, and continued to fly for over 10 years after his series ended. He was retired in 1984.
- Underdog (1965-1984)
Long after his balloon was retired, Underdog returned to the parade in 2001 in a costumed-character version, on the "75th Parade Superstars" float, along with other characters who had balloons that had been retired, such as Popeye, Kermit the Frog, and Ice Skating Snoopy.
In the 1975 parade, Underdog's arms were ripped apart by a tree.