On October 7th I was in the annual Fall Festival Parade in Woodbury, New Jersey. Since this parade is always held on the first Saturday in October, it’s close enough to October 3rd or sometimes on October 3rd! – Underdog’s anniversary- that I always do Underdog for it. It’s also covered by local cable TV, so that I’m on TV when I reach the grandstand. Some emcees who are on call year after year are heard to say on video, “What would the parade be without Underdog?”
Unfortunately Woodbury is also probably the worst site for Howard Stern related harassment from discourteous spectators! Five or six, this time, there were whole groups of hecklers shouting with all their strength, and not a policeman in site! These perverts didn’t care that they were abusing their right of free speech, or that I risked being banned from future parades because of them! Two of these perverts were children, a guffawing girl who looked about fourteen, and a boy of no more that ten: this boy could not yet have been born when I appeared on Stern’s TV show.
Immediately ahead of me was a car containing three young beauty queens. Between the car and me was a walking couple. They took offense at my telling the harassers to stop, because the man bore down that I was scaring the youngest of the girls, who was his daughter, and who looked no more than six! He didn’t even care to hear my explanation which, if this couple had bothered to listen to, would have made their hair stand on end!
The police department in this town was very familiar with the harassment problem, it having existed since 1992! One officer pledged to keep patrol on me on his bike, but he didn’t followed through. Three times, when the procession was temporarily halted, I had to run to officers I caught sight of to point out harassers to them.
At the reviewing stand, where my performance really counted, hecklers were yelling even then and there, so that their cries were picked up by the TV crew to be heard any time someone reran the event! I could sense the stress and tension in my face when I was before the cameras because these perverts were rude and persistent.
Two brothers who live in my apartment complex are fans of mine, and had promised to serve as bodyguards for this event. But they did not follow through; I was in dire need of their assistance.
Sometimes I have been advised that hecklers do their business because I’m dressed as Underdog; I should dress differently at these sites. But that advice has proven futile: perverts continue to harass me about Howard Stern, even with his much smaller audience
On satellite radio, no matter how I’m dressed or when I am. Even when I’m in civilian clothes, some manner less rogues still make trouble for me.