Nick (The Case of the Murderer Who Killed)

Created by Dick de Bartolo (script) and Jack Davis (art)

“Drop your guns! I’ve got you covered! You’re all going to… er… that place with… er… bars on the window
and guards and…”
— Nick cracks the case (sorta)

Can a private detective tip the scales of  justice if there’s no tipping allowed?

In “The Case of the Killer Who Killed,” an affectionate parody of the Thin Man movies (or is it Mr. and Mrs. North?), handsome young private eye NICK “helps” comely nurse Fran Janice investigate the murder of her boss, Dr. Clinton. This being a MAD parody, however, Nick is essentially a buffoon, stumbling and bumbling his way through the case.

Along the way, de Bartolo (MAD’s Maddest Writer!) and artist Davis cram in plenty of the usual suspects (and tropes): a fat lady, a thin man, a candy store owner, a cute little girl, a newsboy, a morgue employee, assorted thugs and even a cameo by Charlie Chan. Oh, and ketchup bottles.

Lotsa ketchup bottles.

Naturally, Nick eventually cracks the case, but Fran is expecting a romantic payoff. But it doesn’t exactly go the way she’d hoped:

Fran: Well, Nick, justice has been done and…

Nick: And well, you know we saw a lot of each other during this case, and I don’t know exactly how  to say this, but… please get off my back!!!

The story never actually appeared in MAD Magazine, however. It was a 49-page epic in A MAD Look at Old Movies, a 1966 paperback collection of previously unpublished movie parodies written by de Bartolo and illustrated by Mort Drucker and Jack Davis, and boasting the sub-title “Lights! Camera! Nausea!”


  • “A thin Man parody, with a surprise twist at the end That would make M. Knight Shaliman jealous!”
    — Tom Bates (2015, Amazon Review)


  • “The Case of the Murderer Who Killed” (1966, A Mad Look at Old MoviesBuy this book
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

One thought on “Nick (The Case of the Murderer Who Killed)

  1. I bought this paperback when it first appeared and cracked up over the gumshoe story. A favorite bit was when Nick hears a newsboy crying a headline, buys a paper, and finds an important clue. A moment later, the newsboy announces another headline which seems to have nothing to do with his case. When Nick tries to buy this paper the newsboy says, “You’ve already had your clue! This one’s for him!” and sells the paper to Charlie Chan.

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