Guy Johnson (It’s a Wonderful World)

Created by Herman J.  Mankiewicz "I never met a dame who wasn't a nitwit or a lumphead." -- Guy's take on women. When his boozing millionaire client, Willie Heyward, is framed for murder, money-grubbing New York city private eye GUY JOHNSON (played by Jimmy Stewart at his befuddled, doofus best) hides him away so he can catch … Continue reading Guy Johnson (It’s a Wonderful World)

Last Night I Shot a Private Eye in My Pajamas…

Groucho Marx, P.I.? Created by Mr. and Mrs. Marx Okay, I'll confess. I'm a big Marx Brothers fan. I remember stumbling into class Monday mornings in high school, all bleary eyed, for what seemed like an entire semester, because CBC-Montreal insisted on running Marx Brothers flicks on the late show every Sunday night. And to … Continue reading Last Night I Shot a Private Eye in My Pajamas…

Sam Grunion (Love Happy)

Created by Frank Tashlin, Mac Benoff, Ben Hecht (uncredited), Harpo Marx "I am the same Sam Grunion who solved the international uranium-mining swindle. Scotland Yard was baffled; the FBI was baffled. They sent for me and the case was solved immediately: I confessed." -- Sam Grunion In Love Happy (1949), the last film the Marx Brothers … Continue reading Sam Grunion (Love Happy)

Wolf J. Flywheel (The Big Store)

Created by Hal Fineberg, Ray Golden, Sid Kuller & Nat Perrin "We won't need any stores detectives with him around." -- Hah! Not your average gumshoe, but certainly one of the mouthiest, Groucho Marx stars as WOLF J. FLYWHEEL, possibly the most useless private eye in the world in the 1941 Marx Bros. comedy The … Continue reading Wolf J. Flywheel (The Big Store)

Harry Lockhart & Gay Perry (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)

Created by Shane Black "You don't get it, do you? This isn't good cop, bad cop. This is fag and New Yorker." -- Perry sums up the premise for Harry In Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Shane Black's entertaining 2005 comedy thriller, HARRY LOCKHART (a pre-Iron Man Robert Downey Jr., on his fourteenth or so "comeback"), … Continue reading Harry Lockhart & Gay Perry (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)

Ben Garrity, Harrigan and Mulligan (The Gorilla)

Created by Ralph Spence (1890-1940) "A Ritz is afraid of nothing ... but ... THIS ... IS ... SOMETHING!" -- tagline The Gorilla was a relatively obscure comedy by playwright Ralph Spence (original title: The Gorilla: A Musical Comedy), which had a short run on Broadway way back in 1925, but it had surprising long … Continue reading Ben Garrity, Harrigan and Mulligan (The Gorilla)

Eddie Mannix (Hail, Caesar!)

Created by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen "EDDIE MANNIX" was a real-life character, a legendary (and allegedly mob-connected) Hollywood bouncer and fixer who rose through the ranks to become a studio executive at MGM in the fifties. You may recall his appearance in the 2006 film Hollywoodland, director Allen Coulter and writer Paul Bernbaum's ambitious … Continue reading Eddie Mannix (Hail, Caesar!)

Ronnie Jackson (My Favorite Brunette)

Created by Edmund Beloin and Jack Rose "You see, I wanted to be a detective, too. It only took brains, courage, and a gun...and I had the gun." -- Ronnie Jackson For any baby boomers or gen Xers out there who grew up in the sixties and seventies, Bob Hope is mostly remembered as a smarmy … Continue reading Ronnie Jackson (My Favorite Brunette)

Nick and Nora Charles

Created by Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) Nora: "I read where you were shot five times in the tabloids." Nick: "Not true. He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids." -- from The Thin Man (1934 film) The glitzy adventures of Dashiell Hammett's retired private eye NICK CHARLES and his rich, beautiful (and not quite as ditzy as … Continue reading Nick and Nora Charles

Jonathan Ames (Bored to Death)

Created by Jonathan Ames Ray: "You're an idiot!" Jonathan: "Thanks for understanding." -- from "Super Ray is Mortal!!" There's something a little too self-consciously hip and edgy and meta-smug about the HBO comedy Bored to Death (2009-11), but underneath it all, there beats a warm and generous heart. I think. Jason Schwartzman stars as JONATHAN AMES, … Continue reading Jonathan Ames (Bored to Death)