"My Life as an Underdog" at Coney Island Film Festival
I made it out to the Coney Island Film Festival on Saturday afternoon, catching the documentary "My Life as an Underdog," about the life of Suzanne Muldowney, who's well-known, or as one person put it in the film, "infamous," for doing interpretive dances at parades of her favorite '60s cartoon icon, Underdog. It's a fascinating and sympathetic portrait of Suzanne's bizarre past time. A man in the audience at the festival mentioned that Suzanne would have attended the festival, but she had to take her cat to the vet for a rabies shot. It would have been the cherry on top of the sundae if she had been there. The film touches on Suzanne's emotional genesis as to how she became so fascinated in the character of Underdog, and other fictional & non-fictional characters, but unfortunately, as indicated in the epilogue, she asked that her family not be interviewed. That's too bad, as it would have given much further insight into her stangely unique life. What the film does deliver is a segment on Suzanne's nemesis, Howard Stern. Apparently, Suzanne did not quite understand who Howard Stern was when she was originally asked to appear on his Channel 9 show in the early 1990s. Her original appearance, and several returning appearances since, have made her an iconic figure in the daily lives of Stern's listeners, something she seems to regret due to what she sees as his vulgarity, despite the fact that she strives for some sort of international fame for her art, due to what she sees as Stern's vulgarity.