Nick Danger

Created by The Firesign Theatre "Well, now, the gum's on the other shoe." -- Nick Danger, on a sudden plot shift, in The Case of the Missing Yolks .Even more than the literature, the classic radio eyes of the forties and fifties thrived on first person. And they did it in present tense, as in … Continue reading Nick Danger

Kane Keen, Private Eye

Created by Harvey Kurtzman (script) and Jack Davis (art) A lot of people (and most of the internet) seem to think that KANE KEEN, the eponymous hero of MAD Magazine spoof "Kane Keen, Private Eye," which appeared in the June-July 1953 issue, was a roasting of  the then-popular Martin Kane, Private Eye television show. But they'd be wrong. Because if the seven-page … Continue reading Kane Keen, Private Eye

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!

Rod Riley (The Girl Hunt Ballet)

Created by Betty Comden and Adolph Green It's not the same old song-and-dance, my friend... ROD RILEY's something of a parody figure like Guy Noir, and he exists in only one extended dance sequence, but take it from me--he's wonderful. The number, which appears in the 1953 film musical The Band Wagon (probably best known … Continue reading Rod Riley (The Girl Hunt Ballet)

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

Helena Handbasket

Created by Donna Moore Tired of mysteries that seem to spin out the same old tired clichés, one after another? Bored with the same old-same old private eye schtick? Had enough of books with all the fizz of that half-empty bottle of club soda left over from last Christmas? Then might I humbly suggest going … Continue reading Helena Handbasket

Nancy Clue, Cherry Aimless & The Hardly Boys

Created by Mabel Maney   I'm not even sure how to fit this series in. The heroes of it are not private eyes. They're not even parodies of private eyes. What they are are shrewd, dead-on lampoons of some of the most popular mystery series ever to be marketed to kids. Except these parodies are … Continue reading Nancy Clue, Cherry Aimless & The Hardly Boys

Mike Dime

Created by Barry Fantoni (1940--) ''He was no taller than the Empire State and no wider than the Grand Canyon.'' -- from Mike Dime. The author evidently graduated from Chandler U. Private eye MIKE DIME makes Philadelphia of the late 1940's his turf in the eponymous Mike Dime (1980), a cleverly written, spot-on homage to … Continue reading Mike Dime

Mathew Slade

Created by Robert Frederick & Brian Adams How can we miss you if you don't go away? It's hard to believe, but Mathew Slade, Private Investigator, which initially aired in 1964, was billed as a sort of revival of the glory days of Old Time Radio detectives right from the get-go. Despite the fact that … Continue reading Mathew Slade