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

Sergeant Beef

Created by Leo Bruce Pseudonym of Rupert Croft-Cooke (1903-79) It's difficult to figure out exactly how seriously we were supposed to take Golden Age detective SERGEANT WILLIAM BEEF.  They both follow the formula of the era's crime fiction, and spoof it. Initially a village copper, a "big red-faced man of forty-eight or fifty, with a straggling … Continue reading Sergeant Beef

Eddy Deco

Created by Gahan Wilson (1930-2019) "It's a little joke of mine to call the place where I have my office the Rundown Building, but that's not to say it didn't have sreams once; you can easily tell it did from the winged stone lady on its front." Playboy cartoonist Gahan Wilson's Eddy Deco's Last Caper (1987) … Continue reading Eddy Deco