Created by Marion Mainwaring (1922-2015) "You're so wonderful, Spike," she muttered, "All those ugly scars....your broken nose...and the ear that's chopped off...How could they do it, Spike? How could anyone bear to hurt you?" "The ones who did it are dead," I told her. "People who cross me usually end up that way." Murder in … Continue reading Spike Bludgeon
Created by Warner Bros. "Bugs Bunny, private eyeball – thugs thwarted, arsonists arrested, bandits booked, forgers found, counterfeiters caught and chiselers chiseled.” — Bugs answers the phone in “Bugs and Thugs" Created in the late 30s by a slew of producers, writers and directors at Warner Bros., BUGS BUNNY has always seemed like a natural as … Continue reading Bugs Bunny, Private Eye
Created by Neil Simon Lionel Twain, an eccentric millionaire (played with some kind of awkwardly mad brilliance by Truman Capote) invites five of the "world's greatest detectives" to his secluded castle for the weekend, and offers $1 million to the one who can solve a murder, in Neil Simon's 1976 at-times delightful send-up of the … Continue reading Sam Diamond, Dick and Dora Charleston, Inspector Milo Perrier, Inspector Sidney Wang & Jessica Marbles (Murder by Death)
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
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
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 Bugs Bunny, Private Eye Private Eye Popeye (1954, Famous Studios) Meat Hamburg (Pogo) by Walt Kelly Tracer Bullet (Calvin & Hobbes) by Bill Watterson … 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
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
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?
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!