Are You Trying to Be Funny?

The Funniest Eyes No, really. Call it "Humour in a Severed Jugular Vein," if you must, but people have been poking fun at the P.I. genre -- and the whole mystery genre, for that matter -- almost as soon as it appeared. But there were a few brave souls over the years who dared to … Continue reading Are You Trying to Be Funny?

It’s Hammer Time!

Send-ups and Put-Downs of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer "I passed this kid sucking a lollipop. Don Brown dead, and him sucking a lollipop. I rammed it down his throat. I hate injustice." -- from "Don Brown's Body" by Jean Kerr As literary poobah Christopher La Farge pointed out in an article on the Mickey Spillane … Continue reading It’s Hammer Time!

Mitch Weaver (Dirty Work)

Created by Norm MacDonald and Frank Sebastiano "Note to self...Learn how to fight." -- Mitch to his pocket recorder, after getting the crap kicked out of him in a bar fight This 1998 vehicle for Saturday Night Live refugee Norm MacDonald would have played out as a spoof of TV's Vengeance Unlimited, except that they were … Continue reading Mitch Weaver (Dirty Work)

Stanley Melvin

Created by Frank Zafiro "On a basic level, Stanley understood sarcasm." The 2021 novella "Hallmarks of the Job" is "part mystery, part humour," according to the author. It introduces nit-picky, stick-in-the-mud private investigator, STANLEY MELVIN, who works out of his very tidy office above Hamilton's Barber Shop. It's a suitably non-exciting location for a P.I. who … Continue reading Stanley Melvin

Dick Spanner (Dick Spanner P.I.)

Created by Terry Adlam "The detective who puts the P.I. in stuPId!" Private eyes are GO! Mild-mannered private detective DICK SPANNER was the suitably square-jawed (but tiny-brained) titular robot hero of Dick Spanner, P.I., a tongue-in-cheek British series set in "a parallel universe not far from here," featuring puppets, filmed entirely in stop-motion animation. Occasionally … Continue reading Dick Spanner (Dick Spanner P.I.)

“Silky” Pincus

Created by Leo Rosten Pseudonyms include Leonard Q. Ross (1908-97) Ever wondered when someone would create a nice Jewish P.I.? Well, look no further, bubeleh. SID "SILKY" PINCUS is a genuinely nice guy, an ex-cop and Vietnam vet who runs a Manhattan detective agency called Watson and Holmes, Incorporated (Chutzpah, anyone?), with his partner, Michael … Continue reading “Silky” Pincus

Frank Burly

Created by John Swartzwelder (1949--) "I'll explain the dog costume in a minute." -- Burly Go Home D'oh! Once upon a time, the roundest peg in a world of square holes, John Swartzwelder, was the go-to guy when it came to writing for The Simpsons, the animated pop culture juggernaut that's been rumbling through this promised … Continue reading Frank Burly

Sam Space

Created by William F. Nolan Pseudonyms include Frank Anmar, F. E. Edwards & Warren Kastel  (1928-2021) Maybe Mars aint the place to raise the kids, after all... And it may not be the best place to run a detective agency either, as William Nolan's wonked-out sci-fi gumshoe is starting to discover. SAM SPACE is a … Continue reading Sam Space

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)

Mike Noonan

Created by S.J. Perelman (1904-79) "She... had eyes like dusty lapis lazuli, taffy hair, and a figure that did things to me. I kicked open the bottom drawer of her desk, let two inches of rye trickle down my craw, kissed Birdie square on her lush, red mouth, and set fire to a cigarette." One of the all-time great spoofs of … Continue reading Mike Noonan