Inch High (Inch High, Private Eye)

Created by Hanna-Barbera

INCH HIGH, “the world’s biggest little detective,” was the hero of Inch High, Private Eye, a goofy 1972 Hanna Barbera Saturday morning cartoon for kids. Resplendent in a bright green trencgcoat and matching fedora, his real power came from his ability to shrink down to the height of one inch, thanks to the help of a secret shrinking formula. Unfortunately, the effects of the formula weren’t always reliable, and he would often start to grow at the worst of times. Suffice it to say the whole thing was played for laughs…

At least Inch could count on the well-intentioned (although not always capable) assistance of his normal-sized niece Laurie, her palooka of a boyfriend (and master of disguise) Gator, and his cowardly dog Braveheart. They also had a car, The Hugemobile, in which they sallied forth to fight crime on behalf of the Finkerton Organization, run by Mr. Finkerton, of course. Mr. Finkerton, alas, wishes he could fire the shrinking shamus, but somehow–wouldn’t you know it?–Inch and the gang always crack the case.

Inch was allegedly modeled on Get Smart‘s Maxwell Smart, and certainly Lennie Weinrib’s performance as Inch High sounds an awful lot like Don Adams.

I was a bit past Saturday morning cartoons when it aired, but I still hear from folks who swear they loved it as kids, according to The Boxtree Encyclopedia of TV Detectives the show was “short on stature, short on entertainment.”

To which I say, “Bah!” It was no worse than some of the stuff that they peddled on Saturday mornings–light

Inch was last seen on the Cartoon Network‘s Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law in 2004, in an episode entitled “Trio’s Company,” in which he hires Harvey to represent him in a height-discrimination case, and in an ad for the Cartoon Network he teams up with Batman, only to be crushed under the wheels of the Batmobile.

He hasn’t been sighted since.


    (1973-74, NBC)
    13 30-minute episodes
    Premiere: September 8, 1973
    Writers: Fred S. Fox, David Harmon, Seaman Jacobs, William Raynor, Gene Thompson, Myles Wilder
    Directed by Charles A. Nichols
    A Hanna-Barbera Production
    Starring the voices of Lenny Weinrib as INCH HIGH
    with Kathy Gori as Lori
    Bob Lutell as Gator
    John Stephenson as Mr. Finkerton
    Jean VanderPyl as Mrs. Finkerton
    and Don Messick as Braveheart
    Also featuring the voices of Ted Knight, Jamie Farr, Allan Oppenheimer, Janet Waldo, Vic Perrin

    • “Diamonds Are A Crook’s Best Friend” (September 8, 1973)
    • “You Oughta Be In Pictures” (September 15, 1973)
    • “The Smugglers” (September 22, 1973)
    • “Counterfeit Story” (September 29, 1973)
    • “The Mummy’s Curse” (October 6, 1973)
    • “The Doll Maker” (October 13, 1973)
    • “Music Maestro” (October 20, 1973)
    • “Dude City” (October 27, 1973)
    • “High Fashion” (November 3, 1973)
    • “The Cat Burglars” (November 10, 1973)
    • “The World’s Greatest Animals” (November 17, 1973)
    • “Super Flea” (November 24, 1973)
    • “The Return Of Spumoni” (December 1, 1973)
    Starring the voice of Gary Cole as Harvey Birdman

    • “Trio’s Company” (April 18, 2004)
      Starring the voice of Maurice LaMarche as INCH HIGH


    • August 24, 2021
      THE BOTTOM LINE: It’s probably unkind to call this 1973 Saturday morning gumshoe the “incredible shrinking dick.” But hey, thanks to a secret formula, he could make himself just an inch tall! That’s 2.54 cm for the rest of you.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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