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)

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

Mike Monster

Created by Dick Briefer (1915-80) "I hate complicated cases. Dey gimme a migraine." We're way out of the woods with this one, folks. One-eyed, fedora-and-trenchcoat wearing MIKE MONSTER, billed as "the most monstrous shamus of all!" was concocted to satisfy the allegedly "red-blooded, ferocious" readers of ZANY (a would-be rival of MAD Magazine back in the … Continue reading Mike Monster

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

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

Last Night I Shot a Private Eye in My Pajamas…

Groucho Marx, P.I.? Created by Mr. and Mrs. Marx Okay, I'll confess. I'm a big Marx Brothers fan. I remember stumbling into class Monday mornings in high school, all bleary eyed, for what seemed like an entire semester, because CBC-Montreal insisted on running Marx Brothers flicks on the late show every Sunday night. And to … Continue reading Last Night I Shot a Private Eye in My Pajamas…