Created by Don Martin (1931-2000) Public notary, private eye? In one of the more surreal take-offs on the shamus game, MAD Magazine cartoonist Don Martin wrote several stories featuring noted notary public LANCE PARKERTIP. As notaries go, Lance was no babe magnet. With his squarer-than-square tweed jackets, flyaway hair and ever-present pipe, nobody was ever going … Continue reading Lance Parkertip
Created by Don Martin (1931-2000) Billed as "MAD Magazine's Maddest Artist," Don Martin's long tenure there (thirty years!) was marked by his his outrageously surreal cartoons, featuring the humungous schnozzes, large hinged feet, sleepy eyes, unfortunate body hair and elastic and seemingly indestructible bodies of his oddly-named characters and the cacophony of bizarre sound effects that … Continue reading Fester Bestertester
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.)
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
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
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
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
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