Created by Lee Goldberg Down, down, down. CHARLIE WILLIS is a Beverly Hills cop who lands a plum security gig for a major Hollywood studio, after being shot in the stomach by one of their most beloved stars, in this wicked spoof by Lee Goldberg, a TV scriptwriter and producer (Spenser: For Hire, Monk, Diagnosis Murder, … Continue reading Charlie Willis
Private Eye Popeye
Created by E.C. Segar Pseudonym of Elzie Crisler Segar (1894-1938) POPEYE, everyone's favourite spinach-chugging sailor man, gets the P.I. treatment in "Private Eye Popeye," a lame, low-budget cartoon from the mid-fifties, put out by Famous Studios. It was not Popeye’s greatest moment. Despite the fact this was produced smack-dab-in-the middle of the hard-boiled P.I. craze, with … Continue reading Private Eye Popeye
See Ya in The Funny Papers
P.I. Spoofs and Callouts in Comics & Cartoons If Mickey Spillane Wrote NANCY… from MAD Magazine In the Tradition of Hammett, Chandler, Macdonald and Snoopy (Peanuts) by Charles Schultz Arlo, Janis & Spenser Private Eye Popeye (1954, Famous Studios) Meat Hamburg (Pogo) by Walt Kelly Tracer Bullet (Calvin & Hobbes) by Bill Watterson Sam Spayed (Garfield) by … Continue reading See Ya in The Funny Papers
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)
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
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