Can I Have Your Autograph… / Underdog Lady
Have no Fear… Underdog Is Here!
By Doc (DeansPlanet.Com, 01/28/2006)
Hey Now DeansPlanet.Com readers and Howard Stern fans. As many of you know, I have been hard at work on Howard Shrine: The Book, and have held off on doing any interviews for the last few months. Well, I’m still hard at work (making a book ain’t easy), and hope to be done by Spring. But an opportunity came my way that I just had to take: An interview with a Howard Stern show legend, Suzanne Muldowney. A performance artist, who portrays characters such as Vlad the Impaler and Spectrum the Ghost King through the art of interpretive dance, Suzanne is best known to Howard Stern fans for her ” Underdog” character. She is also one of the best guests Howard has ever had. Hopefully, Howard can get his old shows back so that Suzanne’s appearances can be replayed on Howard 100 Sirius Radio. There is no way her appearances can ever be recreated, no matter how hard you try. Howard, think about cashing in some of that Sirius stock, and make it happen brother. Howard 102 filled with nothing but old bits will bring a lot of subscribers, no doubt, and will make the whole Sirius experience even better than it already is for the people already there. Just sayin. Well, its back to the book for me, (my first attempt only had about 1,000 errors in it but we’re gaining on it).
If anyone that is shrine-worthy would still like to contribute to the book by way of an autograph, interview, piece of Stern art, a quote perhaps, etc., there is still time. Email me at Howardshrine@aol.com or catch me on AIM: Howardshrine. I hope you all enjoy this interview with Suzanne. It’s nice to be back. Thanks for having me.
Doc: I understand that you have a movie coming out. Tell us about the movie, how did it come about, and did you enjoy making it?
Suzanne : The movie is called “My Life as an Underdog. ” It’s about my life, and about my career as an improvisational dancer. It shows some of my performances, topics I was the first to use for dance, and flashbacks to significant life experiences. Sometime in the late eighties I met a still photographer, Christine Back, in Cape May, NJ. She photographed me for several years, but eventually felt that still photos did not convey my message adequately. Around 1996 she introduced me to Yugoslavian-born filmmaker Boris Gavrilovic, who felt that a moving picture worked better than still shots in telling my story. For the most part, I enjoyed making it since the characters/topics I used, and my original dances, would be preserved on film as proof positive. Unfortunately, we also caught some bad moments because of discourteous audiences.
Doc: What do you hope will happen with this movie?
Suzanne : Since performances and information, that are my life’s blood were included on film, it’ll provide the widespread circulation necessary to make my works/messages household words, since my own previous efforts at perpetuation had been mostly unsuccessful. Many people believe that a person or story isn’t important unless it’s the subject of a movie or TV show.
(Editor’s note: You can see the movie trailer, film stills, Christine’s photos of Suzanne, read Suzanne’s weekly blog entries and many other things related to the film at www.artofmadness.com ).
Doc: You have had many characters such as Dracula, but you are known mainly for your Underdog role. Why Underdog? What does Underdog mean to you?
Suzanne : Underdog was created as a canine equivalent of Superman, who had the power to fly, unlike many other fictional characters. Like Superman, Underdog was allegedly omnipotent, although the stories were very silly and campy. I was hounded and criticized for going for such a buffoonish character, and felt it was my duty to dignify and upgrade Underdog with theatrical dance as the portraying medium. Events such as block parties, and especially parades were more appropriate for Underdog than for Dracula. I made more Underdog appearances. Underdog was a chance to portray a phenomenal character, who makes significant achievements.
Doc: What has been the best experience you have had being Underdog?
Suzanne : I think there were two best experiences: First, my acting on TV in an Underdog episode I had written myself, “The Cat’s Call.” Second one would be my judging an Underdog Look-alike Contest in October 2004.
(Editor’s note: “The Cats Call” aired on Manhattan Neighborhood Network cable show Checkerboard Kids.)
Doc: What has been the worst experience?
Suzanne : The worst is having been a guest, victim rather, of the vulgar and corrupt Howard Stern. He and his staff lured me into being on TV as Underdog, but they gave me no information about the program – which I had never seen or heard of – and rushed me into appearing, without granting me time or chance to do my homework. I didn’t know Howard Stern was profane, vulgar and sexually explicit. Being made to interact with him was thus a sin of associating with bad company.
Doc: Tell us more about your experience with the Howard Stern show, did they really hold you captive?
Suzanne : Like I said, I was lured, rushed and vulgarized. Howard Stern created the impression that Underdog was his invention, therefore R to X rated. Howard provoked me into battles of wits, interrupted me or sidetracked me in mid-statement, and made me share a game panel position with the worst exponents of human vices (Editor’s note: The Howard Stern Show on Channel 9 called Howieweird Squares that featured Daniel Carver, homeless, lesbians…) I was taken for granted as a lewd person and performer, and was reprimanded, not praised, for having been in his presence. Howard Stern ruined both Underdog’s and my names. I was indeed held captive since I was made to sign releases before any taping and was not allowed to leave when I discovered that the man and the program were crude. When I was nominated for an award, I refused to come but was told that any nominees must attend. When I saw that the award figurine was pornographic, I tried to escape but was forced to return.
(Editor’s note: The award in question was a “Sphinctee”, an Oscar parody of a figure bent at its waist with a $20 bill stuck in its rear end.)
Doc: Is there anyone on the Stern staff you just don’t like?
Suzanne : I really don’t like any Howard Stern staff. They all proved themselves corrupt, even devious. They didn’t tell me the truth about Howard’s nature or program. Robin Quivers wore her dresses too low-cut, Stuttering John fostered the notion that Underdog abused drugs, for example pep pills. Kevin McMahon said I had to attend the awards episode, and Gary Dell’Abate and someone named Steve refused to pass news of my suffering and ridicule on to Howard Stern unless I went on the air.
Doc: Do you like anyone at all at the Stern show?
Suzanne : For the above reasons, I have no favorite Stern staff member. But the one who offered to stay in touch with me was Gary.
Doc: What do you think of Howard? Do you have any thoughts on his move to
Sirius Satellite Radio?
Suzanne : Howard Stern polluted both the airwaves and the people’s minds with his profanity, vulgarity and sexual explicitness. The FCC made a serious mistake by not terminating him. Three years ago he claimed, “I have evolved” but the E! Cable-TV channel proved that he was still being crude in that he had immodestly dressed, even naked people as guests in the radio station. How do we know he doesn’t do the same antics on satellite? As long as he is on the air at all, he is free to be up to his old tricks. On his last broadcast he spoke nonstop against censorship. The newspapers and some TV stations said that satellite is an excuse for him to use much more profane language.
Doc: Would you like to appear on his show again, maybe to promote your new movie?
Suzanne : No, I would not. He has proven himself too dangerous and untrustworthy. When I was made, against my wishes and judgment, to go on the air with him, and I had an important point to make, he interrupted me in mid-statement, and sidetracked the discussion. He provoked me into arguments. He had listeners phone in, but these callers were always perverts. They made false accusations, ranging from assault and battery to impregnation by Howard Stern. Some even insisted I striptease on the show. Howard Stern simply cannot be trusted.
(Editor’s note: Howard did not interrupt the last phone call Suzanne made to the show on 12.2.05. She was allowed to make a statement and then she hang up.)
Doc: Are his fans still harassing you?
Suzanne : Why am I being asked so many Howard Stern related questions? Indeed, they are! They have been harassing me unceasingly since 1992! Howard said in November of 2002, that I was not to be hounded anymore, but these hecklers have been brazenly defiant. They go to extremes to aggravate me, no matter where I am, what I am doing, or how I am dressed. These fiends have made me lose face with event organizers, other participants, and especially the police. Two locales have banished me, a third almost followed suit, and numberless others could very well take their cues.
Doc: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Suzanne : I am very grateful for your support; it is important for you not to lose faith since I have been snubbed by the dance world at large, and have been exploited and degraded by immoral fiends. Since I am getting older, I risk being judged too old and unfit to perform by self-appointed, self-constituted experts. When I die, many original works and ideas of mine probably will die with me because they were denied the chance to be seen and used. When I was younger, I created many dramatic works meant to be done by groups, but no one consented to perform them. This was especially true in the case of Dracula in dance. Except for one instance, above-mentioned Underdog episode “The Cats Call”, no group has performed one of my creations. Now other people are using my same ideas, being accepted when I was not, and getting the credit! Because my group-oriented works have been rejected, I have been strictly a one-person show.
Doc: Is there anything you would like to say to Howard’s fans?
Suzanne : You used monumentally bad judgment in deciding to be vulgar, profane and sexually explicit on the air for the sake of big ratings. You corrupted yourself and your soul before God and man. You know you made me suffer greatly, surrounding me with constituents of “a sea of debauchery,” presenting me with an obscene award, provoking me into battles of wits, blaming me for your divorce, saying I was your secret love, and distorting the good names of Underdog and me. I am still carrying the cross for how you maltreated me on TV. If you only had been morally straight and decent on the air, I would not mind people constantly shouting your name in order to bug me. Instead, you sowed evil seeds which still yield evil crops, and have brought about your own destruction since satellite has much smaller circulation than broadcast. You lied about my being nominated for an “F-Emmy”, no such award exists. I am still regarded as R to X rated as both a person and a performer. Several locales have banished me because of hecklers. You proved yourself immoral and corrupt, and have a heavy price to pay when you have to answer to God on Judgement Day.
Doc: Thank you Suzanne for this awesome interview. Please reconsider calling Howard to tell him about your movie. I have always enjoyed your appearances on the show, as have many of Howard‘s fans, as well as many of yours I am sure. You can reach him at 1-888-9-ASSHOLE. To learn more about Suzanne’s new movie, be sure and visit www.artofmadness.com Also, for those in the Washington, D.C. area, there will be a screening on Tuesday, January 31st, 7pm, in the Jack Morton Auditorium at The George Washington University Media and Public Affairs Building, located at: 805 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC. For more info visit www.docsinprogress.org . There will be a question and answer session after the movie and the director of the film, Boris Gavrilovic will be there to participate in the discussion. The filmmakers, Boris Gavrilovic and Leon Martin, are also scheduled to appear on the LA based TV program, “Attack of the Show,” on Monday, February 6th. The show airs at: 4PM PST / 7PM EST on Tech TV, G4. Check their link, www.g4tv.com/channel.aspx to find which channel broadcasts G4TV in your area. The show will feature an interview with the filmmakers and some clips from the movie.